L 1B Visa

The L1B is for a foreign worker coming to the U.S. to perform services as an employee applying specialized knowledge for a U.S. branch of a multinational company. It is not enough to have an agent or office in both the U.S. and abroad to meet the definition of “doing business.” Rather, the company petitioning the L1B visa should be actively providing goods and/or services and earning revenue.

In this type of situation, we need to establish:

1.    that the U.S. company is a qualified organization; and

2.    that the occupation requires the application of “specialized knowledge.”

The employee must have worked overseas for one year out of the last three and must be able to show knowledge that is secret or proprietary. Usually, we will look for something unique about the employer’s products, research, equipment, services, or management style to see if you qualify for this visa. An L1B visa is issued initially for three years (unless the employee is entering the U.S. to establish a new office) with one two-year extension for a maximum stay of five years.

The L1B is a very narrowly defined visa, but it can also fit into so many different situations. The best way to analyze an L1B is to first check off the “1 in 3” and the overseas relationship. If you have those aspects well-documented, you should contact an attorney to discuss the specialized knowledge part of the case.