Multinational Specialty Worker
What is L-1B visa?
The L-1B visa is for international companies to transfer their employees with specialized knowledge to a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary company in the U.S. Specialized knowledge means a person who has special knowledge of the company’s product, service, research, equipment, technical information, management or other areas and its application in international markets or has an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.
Who can apply for L-1B visa?
• A U.S. company which is a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or joint venture partner of an international company can file L-1B petition to have employees with specialized knowledge to be transferred from a foreign company to work for the U.S. company.
• An employee with specialized knowledge of a foreign company may seek L-1B visa to come to the U.S. to work for a U.S. company which is a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or joint venture partner of the foreign company.
Benefits and Limitations of L-1B visa:
• L-1B holders do not have one major advantage as L-1A holders that L-1A holder may seek permanent residency based on the international executive or manager category in the Employment Immigration (EB1). L-1B holders however may still seek to become permanent residents via EB2 or EB3 programs.
• The L-1B visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa. The maximum stay in the U.S. as an employee with specialized knowledge under L-1B visa is 5 years.
• The L-1B applicant must have continuously worked for the foreign parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary company of the U.S. company for at least one year within the past three years.
• The spouse of A L-1 holder can apply for a Employment Authorization Card and engage in employment.
• A L-1B holder only work for the U.S. employer who petitioned for his or her L-1B.
How to apply for L-1B visa?
• If the L-1B applicant is not in the United States at this time, the U.S. company should use form I-129 to file L-1B petition with the USCIS. Upon approval, the L-1B visa applicant should use forms DS-156 and DS-157 to apply L-1B visa at a U.S. Consulate office.
• If the L-1B applicant is currently in the United States and in a status other than L-1B, the U.S. company should use form I-129 to file L-1B petition with the USCIS to change the non-immigrant status to L-1B. The L-1B applicant’s spouse and children should use form I-539 to apply for L-2 status.
• If you are already in the United States and in the L-1B status and wish to extend the period of stay, the U.S. employer should use form I-129 to petition for the L-1A extension. The L-1B holder’s spouse and children should use form I-539 to apply for L-2 status extension.