The New Office L-1 can provide a relatively quick way for companies abroad to establish a foothold in the U.S. and transfer key personnel. It is for U.S. employers that have been operating for less than one year.
Its requirements are similar to those for the regular L-1, but more forgiving.
Specifically, while there must be a qualifying relationship between the company abroad and the newly formed U.S. entity, and while the transferred employee(s) must have been executive/managerial/specialized knowledge abroad and coming to the U.S. to fill an executive/managerial/specialized knowledge role, the adjudication standard for both the level of U.S. operations and the executive/managerial/specialized knowledge nature of the U.S. position is softened in recognition of the company’s infancy. The New Office L-1 in effect provides for a grace period: the U.S. employer must grow to support a managerial role, but it does not have to already be in a position to do so at the time of filing (as is the case for the regular L-1).
New Office L-1 petitions are granted for a 1 year validity period. The period of stay can be extended and converted to a regular L-1 if the company’s U.S. operations have grown sufficiently.