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L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge Visa

The L-1B visa, like the L-1A, helps multinational corporations transfer their employees temporarily to work for their branch or affiliate in the United States. Both visas are subcategories of the L-1 visa for multinational corporation employees.

For the L-1A category, it is restricted to executives and managers. The deciding factor for an L-1B visa is that the foreign worker has specialized knowledge that is integral to the company’s operations.

Qualifying as a Specialized Knowledge Worker

A specialized knowledge employee is an individual with expertise that is not readily available in the job market in a specific field or industry. It is often knowledge that is integral to the sponsoring company’s operations that may even be unique to the organization. Whether in proprietary technology, product lines, methodologies, or an advanced understanding of the company’s internal processes.

The L-1B visa allows multinational corporations with these kinds of employees to transfer them from a foreign branch to their U.S. office. To qualify for the L-1B intracompany transferee specialized knowledge visa, the applicant must meet certain requirements:

  • The applying employee must have advanced expertise in their field and industry.
  • The specialized knowledge of the employee should not be common among others in the field.
  • The specialized knowledge should be vital to the company’s operations.
  • Long-term commitment and understanding of the corporation’s practices.

Examples of Specialized Knowledge include but are not limited to:

  • Product Developers.
  • Technology Experts.
  • Research Professionals.
  • Process Improvement Specialists, etc.

While applying, documents like letters of recommendation, certifications, and projects worked on can help solidify the specialized knowledge stance. Our immigration experts are available via WhatsApp to help with more details and help check for the applicant’s eligibility before applying.

L-1B Requirements for Multinational Corporations (Sponsoring Employer)

Like the specialized knowledge worker, the multinational corporation sponsoring the employee on the L-1B visa has to meet some requirements. This includes:

  • The U.S. employer must have and prove a qualifying relationship with the foreign employer. This could be as a branch, affiliate, subsidiary, etc.
  • Both the U.S. and foreign employers have to prove their size and organizational structure.
  • The U.S. employer should have the financial capacity to pay the L-1B employee.
  • A job offer detailing the role, responsibilities, and terms of the transferring specialized knowledge worker.
  • Prove that specialized knowledge is not readily available in the U.S. job market.
  • Good compliance with U.S. immigration laws.

Our lawyers can help you through the process if you provide details on the Contact Us page.

How to Apply for the L-1B Visa

It is crucial to pay utmost attention to details while applying for the L-1B visa, as errors could lead to denial. Here is a guide on how to apply:

  • Ensure all required documents and proof of qualification are up-to-date and ready for submission.
  • File Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker with the USCIS. The petition will contain details on the U.S. employer, the employment, and the specialized knowledge worker being transferred.
  • Submit supporting documents, e.g., a letter from the U.S. employer to outline necessary details about the transferee, their specialization, and the need for their expertise.
  • A premium processing option is available for applicants to fast-track the petition processing timeline to within 15 days.
  • Applicants outside the U.S. will schedule and attend their visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country.
  • USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) for additional documents to aid the decision on the application.
  • Await USCIS’s decision on the visa application and proceed to obtain the visa and resume work in the U.S. if approved.

The processing time may vary for each L-1B visa application, depending on various factors like the service center, current caseload, response to USCIS additional document requests, etc. So, it is important to apply way ahead of the intended resumption date of the transferring employee.

While we have attempted to list crucial steps for applying, you can seek the help of our immigration professionals for one-on-one consultation.

The L-1B Visa Interview

The visa interview is an avenue for the specialized knowledge employee to further prove their qualification for the L-1B visa. The consular officer will evaluate the submitted documents and answers to questions, to assess the eligibility and intent of the applicant.

It’s important to adequately prepare for the visa interview, and here are a few tips:

  • Ensure all the required documents are well organized and readily accessible.
  • The specialized knowledge worker should have and display a clear understanding of their job role, responsibilities, and importance to the company’s operations.
  • Have sound knowledge of the company’s business model, recent achievements, and international operations.
  • Practice well to ensure the answers to every question are clear, displaying great communication skills.

The interviewer’s questions will revolve around the employer’s specialized knowledge, the multinational company, the transferee’s job role, intentions after entering the United States, etc.

Our immigration experts know how best to help you ensure you are well-prepared for the visa interview. You can reach us via a quick WhatsApp chat.

Maintaining L-1B Status as a Specialized Knowledge Employee

After acquiring the L-1B visa, the specialized knowledge employee and the multinational corporation need to continue to adhere to the visa regulations. This is the only way to ensure the visa holder maintains the L-1B Status.

  • The terms and conditions outlined on the L-1B visa approval notice must be adhered to.
  • Also, the general U.S. immigration laws and regulations must be complied with.
  • The transferred employee should continue employment with the same U.S. entity that facilitated the transfer.
  • If there is any change of employer, role, organization structure, or job location, the USCIS must be duly informed.
  • The transferee should only stay and work in the U.S. within the authorized duration stipulated in the I-94 arrival/departure record. However, if the duration needs to be extended, they can apply for an extension.
  • Be mindful of the impact of international travel on their L-1B status.

It is key to consult with immigration attorneys for advice on maintaining L-1B visa compliance. This will help you stay informed about any changes in immigration laws or policies that may impact your L-1B status.

Benefits of L-1B Visa for Employees and Employers

For Specialized Knowledge Employees

The list below is not exhaustive but covers the major benefits a specialized knowledge worker can have as an L-1B visa holder in the United States.

  • Access to a global network of professionals in the same field and industry.
  • Dependents (spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age) of an L-1B visa holder can follow the visa holder to the U.S.
  • The experience is good for career advancement.
  • Exposure to diverse cultures and work environments
  • Working in a foreign environment is a good avenue for professional and personal growth.
  • Transferring on the L-1B visa proves the value of the employee to the company.

For Multinational Corporation Employers

The list below is not exhaustive but covers major benefits a multinational corporation employer can benefit from transferring employees to the United States on the L-1B visa.

  • Hiring and training new staff members for specialized knowledge roles may be costly and time-consuming. Transferring them from foreign locations can help save time and other resources.
  • The transferee can help foster better communication between the U.S. and other foreign entities.
  • Help to build an agile and flexible global workforce.
  • It promotes collaboration, knowledge transfer, and results replication across different locations.
  • It is a good way to ensure continuity in specialized projects regardless of happenings.

Learn how to switch jobs while on L-1 visas or Journey from an L-1B visa to a Green Card.

Contact CFUIS – L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge Visa Lawyer

Understanding the requirements, application process, and every necessary detail is vital to successful L-1B visa applications. Our immigration attorneys will help ensure that a specialized knowledge foreign worker or multinational corporation gets guidance on the entire process.

You can call us today at 813-298-7222, chat on WhatsApp, email us, fill out our contact form, or schedule an appointment. In cases where the foreign worker or company does not meet the requirements, we can even help decide other U.S. immigration options.

Related Articles: Converting L-1B Visa to H-1B Visa – A pathway to Permanent Residency (Green Card)