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USCIS issues guidance on L-1 one-year foreign employment requirement

  1. Date Announced

    Nov. 15, 2018

    USCIS issues a policy memorandum on calculating qualifying employment abroad for L-1 intracompany transferee temporary worker status. Time spent working for a qualifying entity in the U.S. does not count toward the required one year, but the 3-year look-back period is adjusted to start three years before the individual was admitted to the U.S. as a principal beneficiary of an employment-based nonimmigrant petition. However, the 3-year look-back is not adjusted if the work in the U.S. was in a student or dependent (e.g., H-4 or L-2) status, or if the individual worked for an unrelated entity in the U.S. [ID #537]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Nov. 15, 2018
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Agencies Affected: USCIS


Fragomen: USCIS Issues Guidance on L-1 One-Year Foreign Employment Requirement

This is the first time USCIS has provided comprehensive guidance on how a foreign national can meet the one-year of continuous foreign employment requirement necessary for L-1 status. In the past, the agency offered varying interpretations, sometimes calculating the “one year within three years” requirement from the date of admission to the United States, regardless of what status that admission was in, and sometimes calculating it from the date of the filing of L-1 petition.

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