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L-1 Visa: Function Manager Position

In order to qualify for the L-1 visa, the work assignment in the US you will do must consist of duties that are managerial, executive, or require specialized knowledge. The L-1A visa category is for executives and managers, while the L-1B visa is for those who have specialized knowledge. If you believe that you may qualify as a “manager” but you do not supervise any subordinate employees, you still may qualify if you can establish your position is that of a “function manager.” If you have questions about the L-1 visa or would like to consult with an attorney, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.

What is an L-1 function manager?

A “function manager” meets the criteria of the “manager” position even though the position does not supervise subordinate employees. In essence, the responsibilities of this position are to manage a specific function of the company, rather than managing employees. To qualify, you must be able to establish that you primarily have managerial responsibility for all facets of a certain department, division, or business unit within the company.

What are the duties of a function manager?

While not directly supervising subordinate employees, the function manager should give them managerial guidance and direction, and these employees should be managers, supervisors, and/or professionals. Responsibilities may also include having the authority to recommend personnel decisions such as granting raises or leaves of absence. The answer is to establish that a function manager will not perform the activities of the business function, but rather that the function manager will manage the performance of those activities.

What if I provide guidance to first-line workers?

In the event that you will provide guidance to first-line workers, instead of to managers, supervisors, or professionals, you should establish that others will perform the activities of the business function, and you should explain why you will not be required to do the day-to-day work in performing that function. Reasons for this could be because another department within the company is charged with the task of performing the function, or this responsibility is given to an outside contractor. It is also acceptable to establish that you have function manager duties and first line supervisory duties over nonprofessional employees because those employees can do the day-to-day work, and those employees do not qualify as managers simply because they have first-line management responsibility.

Link your responsibilities to company objectives

The key here is to establish the link between your responsibilities and the objectives of the company. You must also show that although you have no direct supervision over subordinate employees, you have the authority to make wide ranging decisions that provide guidance and direction over others. If you would like more information about the functional manager L-1 visa category or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.

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