L-1B Visa: Intracompany Transferee
- L-1B visa is for persons employed for at least one of the previous three years at a non-U.S. firm, corporation, or other legal entity, who will come to the U.S. to work at its related entity in the United States as an employee who has specialized knowledge.
- An L-1B visa application must meet the three requirements: The petitioning United States company must be affiliated with the company abroad, as a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
- This relationship is demonstrated either by one entity having control over the other, or by both entities being controlled by the same person or entity;
- The L-1B visa applicant must be employed at the company abroad for at least one of the previous three years before the L-1B visa application is filed with the CIS. Time spent in the United States on temporary assignment or as a trainee of the foreign firm does not count toward the one year of employment with the company abroad; and,
- The employee must be coming to work at the United States company to utilize specialized knowledge. An employee with "specialized knowledge" has either of the following: A special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets or has an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company; or, an advanced level of professional or technical expertise, and proprietary knowledge of the organization’s services, products, technology, strategies, or any other corporate function that is essential to the United States company’s successful operation.
- The U.S. and foreign companies must be related. The companies may qualify for L-1B visa if either company controls the other. Control can be either direct or indirect ownership. "Ownership" can be any of the following: One company owns more than fifty percent of the other affiliated entity; or, Both U.S. and non-U.S. entities are controlled by the same person or entity.
Validity of an L-1B Visa
If the applicant is coming to the United States to work at a new U.S. office, an L-1B visa is good for one year initially. If the applicant is coming to the United States to work at an established company, in existence for more than one year, an L-1B visa holder will be admitted for three years initially An L-1B visa may be extended for a total of five years.