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L-1B


Intracompany Transferee/Specialized Knowledge


Introduction

The L-1B is a type of visa that allows a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge from an affiliated foreign office to work in the United States. It can also be used by a foreign company without a U.S. office to send a specialized knowledge employee to help set up a new U.S. entity. This visa is commonly used by international companies for transferring employees who have unique skills or expertise to the United States.

Requirements

To qualify for L-1B visa, the employer and the employee must meet certain requirements:

Employer Requirements

  • Qualifying Relationship: The U.S. employer must have a connection with a foreign company, such as a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
  • Active Business Operations: The business activity must be consistent and ongoing.
  • New U.S. offices (if available): In the case of establishing a new U.S. office, the foreign company must have secured sufficient physical premises to house the new U.S. office; and must have the financial ability to compensate the employee and begin doing business in the United States.

Employee Requirements

  • Previous Work Duration: The employee must have worked for a foreign company for at least 1 continuous year in the last 3 years.
  • Specialized Knowledge: The employee must be seeking to enter the U.S. to provide service in a specialized knowledge capacity.

Period of Stay

  • New Office Setup: If the employee is entering the United States to set up a new office, the maximum initial stay is 1 year.
  • Existing Office Work: For other qualified employees, the maximum initial stay is 3 years.

Extensions

  • Extension Requests: After the initial period, L-1A employees can apply to extend their stay in increments of up to 2 years.
  • Maximum Limit: The total maximum stay allowed for L-1A employees is 7 years.