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New Policy Memo Provides Guidance on the L-1 ‘Function Manager’ Classification

The requirements to make a case for the L-1A ‘function manager’ classification are clearly spelled out in Matter of G-Inc., decided by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).  The November 8th Policy Memorandum issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designates AAO’s decision in Matter of G-Inc. as an Adopted Decision.  Accordingly, this adopted decision serves as a policy guidance and applies to and binds the USCIS officers.  While adjudicating L-1A petitions for the function manager classification, the USCIS officers are directed to follow the reasoning in this decision.

Matter of G-Inc. clarifies that, in order to establish that a beneficiary (foreign worker) will be employed in a managerial capacity as a “function manager,” in the U.S., the U.S. employer (petitioner) must show that:

  1. the function is a clearly defined activity within the petitioner’s organization;
  2. the function is “essential,” i.e., core to the organization;
  3. the beneficiary will primarily manage, as opposed to perform, the essential function;
  4. the beneficiary will act at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and
  5. the beneficiary will exercise discretion over the function’s day-to-day operations.

L-1A employers should ensure that all of the above criteria are fulfilled and produce documentary evidence wherever possible to support these requirements. 

Zeenat Phophalia, Senior Associate


(Keywords – L-1A, Function manager, Guidance, USCIS)