L-1 One-Year Foreign Employment Requirement

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L-1 One-Year Foreign Employment Requirement


Recently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) clarified the “one-year foreign employment” for an L-1A intracompany transferee as follows:


1. The L-1 Beneficiary must be physically outside the U.S. during the continuous one-year foreign employment, except for brief visits to the U.S.  Additional days of foreign employment must be accrued to account for the brief visits to the U.S.

2. The L-1 Beneficiary must have been employed abroad by a qualifying organization for at least one continuous year out of the three (3) years when the “initial L-1” is being “filed” to USCIS, regardless of when the L-1 Beneficiary was or will be admitted to the U.S.

3. Additionally, the 3-year period is calculated as below:

(a)   If L-1 Beneficiary is already in the U.S. working in a non-L-1 nonimmigrant work status (e.g. H-1B or E-2) for the qualifying organization, the 3-year period is to look back 3 years from the non-L-1 nonimmigrant work status (e.g. H-1B or E-2).

(b)   The 3-year period is to look back for 3 years from the date of filing the initial L-1 Petition:

(i)                 If L-1 Beneficiary is working in the U.S. for the qualifying organization in an L-2 dependent status of L-1 or F-1 student such as Optional Practical Training.

(ii)               If L-1 Beneficiary is already in the U.S. working for an unrelated organization or not working.

(iii)             If it is an L-1 extension.

4. Moreover, if an L-1 Beneficiary stops working for the qualifying organization as a principal beneficiary for a period of more than two years during the three years preceding the petition filing, the one-year foreign employment requirement will not be met.  Such an L-1 Beneficiary must start another one-year employment in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity with the qualifying organization abroad to qualify for an L-1 Petition.


USCIS is a part of DHS.  USCIS administers the U.S. lawful immigration system such as adjudicating requests for immigration benefits.

For additional information, please visit:




November 29, 2018


This article is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be relied on as legal advice or attorney-client relationship. By Aik Wan Kok, Lawyer USA Immigration Services, at Tiya; Tel: 703-772-822four & info at tiyaimmigration dot com; Tel (from abroad): 001-7037728224four;

https://www.tiyaimmigration.com ; http://tiyalaw.blogspot.com https://immigrationresource.net


Aik Wan Kok at Tiya represents companies, employers, individuals and families, located nationwide and internationally, in U.S. Immigration Law.  We focus on diverse immigration cases such as extraordinary ability; national interest waiver; PERM; various green cards; N-400 Naturalization; various waivers; Hs; L executive, manager and specialized knowledge professionals; E treaty investor/trader; cases with USCIS, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Consulates and National Visa Center.


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