The L-1 visa allows companies to transfer executives, managers, or specialized knowledge employees to the company’s U.S. branch, subsidiary, or affiliate. The L-1 can also be used to open a new office in the United States. The employee being transferred must have been employed abroad as an executive, manager, or specialized knowledge employee for at least one year within the previous three years, and be coming to the U.S. to work in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity, but does not have to do the same work in the United States that he or she was doing abroad. Executives and managers (L-1A) are eligible to stay in the U.S. for up to seven years. Specialized knowledge employees (L-1B) are eligible to stay in the U.S. for up to five years. Executives and managers may be eligible to apply for permanent residency after one year in L-1A classification.