\ afm \ Adjudicator's Field Manual - Redacted Public Version \ Chapter 32 Petitions for Intracompany Transferees (L classification). \ 32.1 Background.
Previous Document Next Document
The L classification, which originated with the 1970 amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act, Pub. L. 91-225, was designed to facilitate the temporary transfer of foreign nationals' management, executive, and specialized knowledge skills to the United States to continue employment with an office of the same employer, its parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
The Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT), Pub. L. 101-649, made several modifications to the existing L category.
Section 123 of IMMACT
changed the definition of manager in section 101(a)(44) of the Act to also include “functional managers”, or those managers that manage an essential function within the company.
Section 205(b) of IMMACT eliminated L nonimmigrants from being “presumed to be an immigrant” under section 214(b) of the Act.
Section 206 of IMMACT
specified new limitations on the period of stay for L visa holders: seven years for executives/managers and five years for specialized knowledge personnel. That section also modified the definition of “affiliate” to specifically include the international partnership agreements used by international accounting firms. Section 206 also mandated a “blanket” petition process to accelerate the admission of individual L nonimmigrants. Finally, section 206 modified the prior qualifying experience requirement to al
low one year of the prior three (rather than the immediate prior year) to qualify an L-1 employee.
Section 6 of the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999,
Pub. L. 106-95
, further expanded the definition of "affiliate" to qualify for L-1 classification employees of international management consulting firms (most of which had been spun off from international accounting firms bearing the same names).