L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge

What is the L-1B visa?

The L-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge from one of its foreign offices to one of its U.S. offices.

What are the requirements for an L-1B visa?

  • The U.S. employer must be the parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch of the foreign business where you were employed.
  • As the employee, you must have been employed with the foreign business for at least one year during the three years prior to admission to the U.S.
  • As the employee, you must be seeking to enter the U.S. to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer.

What strategic considerations should I keep in mind?

  • If you’re coming to the U.S. to set up a new office, you can stay for one year. If you’re coming to the U.S. as a transferee from the foreign office, you can stay for three years.
  • You may extend your stay in increments of up to two years until you have reached the maximum total limit of five years.
  • Your spouse may work anywhere in the U.S. if he or she has employment authorization.
  • There is no annual quota (limit) on the number of L-1B visas granted, and there are no wage minimums for the employee.

L-1B visa is granted to professional employees with specialized knowledge about a company’s products, services, techniques, or equipment for the purpose of transferring the specialized skill to new employees and/or establish an office in the United States.

Can I apply for a Green Card while on this visa?

L-1B visa holders are allowed to apply for a Green Card because of employment-based immigrant preference category (EB-1C). EB-1C grants 40,000 immigrant visas annually and does not consider L visa a prerequisite (although L visa provides a stronger case for the immigrant petitioner).

How long can I stay in the US on this visa?

L-1B employees can stay initially for three years with extensions in increments of two years until the employee has reached the maximum limit of five years.

Can I apply for a Green Card while on this visa?

Yes, L-1B visa holders may apply for permanent residency.