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The L1 Visa One-Year Foreign Employment Requirement

Hi William,

I worked for a foreign company A in U.S. for last one year. Now another
foreign company B wants to hire me to work in U.S. Do I qualify for L1 visa to work for company B?


In order for an L-1 petition to be approved, one of the basic requirements is that the beneficiary has worked abroad for a related entity for at least one year in the past three years. This is often referred to as the “one-in-three” rule. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has clarified how USCIS officers should calculate the one-year period of foreign employment when the beneficiary has traveled to the United States during that period.

The L-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager (L-1A) or an employee with specialized knowledge (L-1B) from one of its qualifying foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. The L1 visa allows a foreign company that does not yet have a qualifying U.S. office to send an executive or manager, or specialized knowledge employee, to the United States to establish one.

Specifically, USCIS'
“one-in-three” rule of L1 visa requirements include:

1) The L-1 beneficiary must be physically outside the United States during the required one continuous year of employment, except for brief trips to the United States for business or pleasure;

2) Time spent in U.S. while employed by foreign entity does not count

3) The petitioner and the beneficiary must meet all requirements, including the one year of foreign employment, at the time the petitioner files the initial L-1 petition.

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