L-1B Visa, Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge, is a sub-category of nonimmigrant employment L-1 Visa. It is issued to specialized knowledge individuals sponsored by U.S. employers to be transferred from companies’ foreign offices to U.S. offices to live and work in the United States.
L-1B Visa also allows a foreign company to transfer one of its specialized knowledge employees to the U.S. to establish a U.S. branch of the company.
- The company must have a qualifying relationship with a company doing business outside of the U.S.
- The company must have been or will be doing business in the U.S. and at least one another country via the company or its affiliated organizations for the duration of employees' stay in the U.S.
- The applicant must have been working in the company or one of its affiliated organizations for at least one continuous year within the last 3 years before entering the U.S.
- The applicant must be willing to provide his/her specialized knowledge in the qualifying organization with which s/he was sponsored.
The spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of the L-1B Visa holders can apply for an L-2 (Dependent Visa) for the duration of the L-1B visa.
For L-1B employees establishing new offices in the U.S. are granted a maximum of one year stay. Other transferee employees are granted a maximum of three years.
All L-1B employees can be granted extensions in increments for up to an additional two years. However, your total amount of stay cannot exceed five years.
Spouses of L-1B employees can start working after getting approved on Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Yes. There are two additional requirements for employers establishing new offices in the U.S. via an employee:
- The employer must provide and prove that it has the facility in the U.S. to manage the operations of the new office.
- The employer must secure the livelihood of the employee in the U.S. as well as be able to financially sustain the new office.
Doing business is the regular, systematic, and continuous operation of goods and services managed and overseen by a qualifying organization. Having a mere entity with an office in the U.S. is not recognized as doing business.
Specialized knowledge is the knowledge of the employee about sponsoring and qualified organization’s service, product, research, techniques, management, etc., and its implementation in the related sector, or a progressed level of expertise concerning the organization’s processes and procedures.