What is it? Who qualifies?
L-1B is a nonimmigrant visa for foreigners transferred by their current employer to manage a branch of the company located in the U.S. The applicant must 1) be working for a qualified organization, 2) in an occupation that requires specialized knowledge.
A “qualified organization” is a parent, subsidiary, branch or affiliate of a U.S. company, as defined by USCIS.
The applicant must have been working overseas for the petitioning company for at least 1 of the last 3 years, in a role requiring specialized knowledge. “Specialized knowledge” for the purposes of L-1B generally means proprietary knowledge. The purpose of his/her stay in the U.S. should be to provide specialized in-house training to U.S. employees.
Evidence showing beneficiary has worked for the petitioning company in a role requiring specialized knowledge for the requisite time period may include but is not limited to:
- Company support letters verifying applicant’s specialized knowledge
- Past employment experience letters and resume
The petitioning company must show that they are a qualified organization. Necessary documents may include but is not limited to:
- Articles of incorporation
- Statement of ownership and control by an authorized company official
- Corporate bylaws
- Corporate income tax returns
- Lease of business locations
- Evidence of relationship with affiliated foreign company
L-1 visas allows companies that do not currently have an established U.S. office to send an employee with specialized knowledge to the U.S. for the purpose of setting up an office. “New office” applications require additional documentation including business plans and proof of a business premise.
L-1A visas have a 7-year extension limit, while L-1B visas have a limit of 5 years.
To present a persuasive L-1B application, it is crucial to establish that the applicant and company qualify under the legal definitions set by USCIS. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help ensure the L-1B application has all the elements necessary to satisfy the requirements of the immigration authorities.
To discuss L-1B petitions and other types of employment based petitions with an experienced immigration attorney from the American Visa Law Group, feel free click the contact us tab and fill out the inquiry form or call us at 510-500-1155.