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L-1B INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREE SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE

The L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge allows employers to transfer foreign employees with specialized knowledge relating to the company’s operations, products, or services to one of the affiliates or subsidiaries in the United States. It is best for those with a unique command of specialized knowledge that is of significant interest to the company.

A perfect example of an L-1B application would be a software engineer of Samsung in Seoul being transferred to the company’s office in Los Angeles to develop a new smartphone app.

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LEGAL FEE

Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the above steps/services.

Our typical fee for a standard L-1B filing is $7,500, not including governmental fee and third-party extensions. We are happy to customize a proposal for you during a consultation and walk you through what a standard L-1B case looks like. Please see below for more information. 

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CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW

Step 1: Strategy Session for L-1B Visa

This is the most crucial step for your entire L-1B Visa. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 2: Prepare and Submit L-1B to USCIS

Our attorneys will craft your L-1B arguments and complete all forms, organize supporting documents, and assemble the crafted arguments into the proper application formats. After a thorough review, we will then submit the application to USCIS.

Step 3: Respond to Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)

In the event, USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), our attorneys will craft a response in a timely manner to fight for the approval of your H-1B application.

Step 4: Prepare Client for Interview in the US or at the Consulate

It all comes down to this after USCIS approved the L-1A. We help guide the client in his/her preparation for the interview at a U.S. consulate by simulating the interview and ensuring the client is well-versed in the application material.  Our services include a comprehensive strategy for answering inquiries posed, practice questions, thorough feedback, and other tools to help clients succeed during the interviews.

Step 5: Responding to Consulate Requests / Administrative Processing / Status Checks / Fraud Alerts

After the interview, we will help formulate possible responses from the U.S. Consulate, from additional document requests, to revised applications, to fraud alerts. It is about keeping close tabs with the consulate processing.

    Step 6: Arrival is Only The Beginning

    Our services do not end when you receive your L-1B Approval — this is only the beginning.  To help accommodate this reality, our team will continue to provide guidance and support to you and your dependent family members post-approval with the following:

    • Consular processing (“visa stamping”)
    • CBP – Airport Arrival
    • Dependent Visas/Work Permits
    • Reentry Permits
    • and more!
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    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    Checklist of Required Evidence

    Did you provide the following?

    • The L Classification Supplement to Form I-129
    • Evidence the beneficiary has maintained lawful status (if applicable)
    • Evidence of the qualifying relationship between the U.S. and foreign employer based on ownership and control
    • A description of the proposed job duties and qualifications
    • Evidence the proposed employment is in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity
    • Evidence that the beneficiary’s employment for the required one year abroad is in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity (as applicable)
    • Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing (if applicable)
    • For new office petitions where the beneficiary will be employed in a specialized knowledge capacity (L-1B):
      • A description of the proposed job duties and qualifications.
      • Evidence the petitioner has rented, leased, purchased, or otherwise acquired a physical location that is appropriate for the type of work 
      • Evidence the petitioner has the financial ability to pay the beneficiary and to start doing business in the United States

    Filing Fee

    The updated filing fee for form L-1B can be found here.

    When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request.

    Eligibility for L-1B Visa

    Requirements:

    1. Applicant must generally have been working abroad for a qualifying organization for one continuous year within the three preceding years of his/her admission to the U.S.;
    2. Applicant must be seeking to enter the U.S. to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations;
    3. Applicant must possess specialized knowledge of the company, its product or service, and its application in international markets, or to have an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.

    Limitations:

    1. Employers must possess a qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. company, such as parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate;
    2. Employers must be doing business currently or in the future in the U.S. and in at least one other country during the duration of the L-1B visa;
    3. Qualifying applicants seeking to establish a new office in the U.S. can stay for a maximum initial period of one year, all other qualifying individuals can stay for a maximum initial period of three years;
    4. Requests for extensions to duration of stay can be granted for an additional two years until the applicant has reached the maximum limit of five years.

    Relevant Law

    OI 214.2 (I)

    (2) Basic requirements for L classification. The following requirements apply to all petitions filed for L classification:

    (i) There must be a qualifying relationship between the business entity in the United States and the foreign operation which employs the alien abroad;

    (ii) For the duration of the alien’s stay in the United States as an intracompany transferee, the petitioner must continue to do business both in the United States and in at least one other country, either directly or through a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.

    (iii) The alien must have been employed abroad continuously by the foreign operation for the immediate prior year. Although authorized periods of stay in the United States for the foreign employer are not interruptive of the immediate prior year of employment, such periods may not be counted towards the qualifying year of employment abroad.

    (iv) The alien’s prior year of employment abroad must have been in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity. The prospective employment in the United States must also be in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity. However, the alien does not have to be transferred to the United States in the same capacity in which he or she was employed abroad. For example, a manager abroad could be transferred to the United States in a specialized knowledge capacity or vice versa.

    (v) The petitioner and the alien must have the intent for the alien to come to the United States for a temporary period and return abroad at the end of the authorized stay, unless the alien becomes a permanent resident of the United States during the authorized stay. The L classification may not be used for the principal purpose of circumventing the wait for a preference visa number.

    8 USC 1101(a)(15)(L)

    (L) subject to section 1184(c)(2) of this title, an alien who, within 3 years preceding the time of his application for admission into the United States, has been employed continuously for one year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to continue to render his services to the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that is managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge, and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if accompanying him or following to join him;

    INA 1184(c)

    c)         Petition of importing employer

    (1) The question of importing any alien as a nonimmigrant under subparagraph (H), (L), (O), or (P)(i) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title (excluding nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title) in any specific case or specific cases shall be determined by the Attorney General, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the Government, upon petition of the importing employer. Such petition, shall be made and approved before the visa is granted. The petition shall be in such form and contain such information as the Attorney General shall prescribe. The approval of such a petition shall not, of itself, be construed as establishing that the alien is a nonimmigrant. For purposes of this subsection with respect to nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of this title, the term “appropriate agencies of Government” means the Department of Labor and includes the Department of Agriculture. The provisions of section 1188 of this title shall apply to the question of importing any alien as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of this title.

    (2)(A) The Attorney General shall provide for a procedure under which an importing employer which meets requirements established by the Attorney General may file a blanket petition to import aliens as nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title instead of filing individual petitions under paragraph (1) to import such aliens. Such procedure shall permit the expedited processing of visas for admission of aliens covered under such a petition.

    (B) For purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title, an alien is considered to be serving in a capacity involving specialized knowledge with respect to a company if the alien has 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.

    (C) The Attorney General shall provide a process for reviewing and acting upon petitions under this subsection with respect to nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title within 30 days after the date a completed petition has been filed.

    (D) The period of authorized admission for-

    (i) a nonimmigrant admitted to render services in a managerial or executive capacity under section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title shall not exceed 7 years, or

    (ii) a nonimmigrant admitted to render services in a capacity that involves specialized knowledge under section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title shall not exceed 5 years.

    L-1A Visa Reform Act of 2004

    The L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004 applies to all petitions filed on or after June 6, 2005, and is directed particularly to those filed on behalf of L-1B employees who will be stationed primarily at the worksite of an of an employer other than the petitioning employer or its affiliate, subsidiary, or parent.  In order for the employee to qualify for L-1B classification in this situation, the petitioning employer must show that:

    • The employee will not be principally controlled or supervised by such an unaffiliated employer; and 
    • The work being provided by the employee is not considered to be labor for hire by such an unaffiliated employer.

    See INA 214(c)(2)(F) and Chapter 32.3(c) of the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual, available in the “Laws” section of the website.

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    SAMPLE & TEMPLATES

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    Attorney Brief:  [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the L-1B petition.

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    Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the L-1B petition.

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    Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.

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    Forms: Here is a list of the forms that are needed by USCIS

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    Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.

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    USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate how much the filing fee will be.

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    USCIS Mailing Address: This address is where it is mailed to USCIS.

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    USCIS Processing Timetable: This will help you figure out how long it will take to process.

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    ASC Field Offices: Listed are the addresses of the field offices for the bio-metrics.

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    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    How long can I stay in the U.S. under L-1B Visa?

    Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year.  All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years.  For all L-1B employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of five years.

    What if I send an employee to establish a new office in the U.S.?

    For foreign employers seeking to send an employee with specialized knowledge to the United States to be employed in a qualifying new office, the employer must show that:

    • The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office ; and
    • The employer has the financial ability to compensate the employee and begin doing business in the United States

    See 8 CFR 214.2(l)(3)(vi) for details.

    Can I bring my family as an L-1B worker?

    The transferring employee may be accompanied or followed by their spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.  Such family members may seek admission in L-2 nonimmigrant classification and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee. 

    If these family members are already in the United States and seeking change of status to or extension of stay in L-2 classification, they may apply collectively, with fee, using Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Status

    Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with fee.  If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the L-2 spouse may work.

    What is a blanket petition?

    Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions by filing a blanket petition.  Eligibility for blanket L certification may be established if:

    • The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services;
    • The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been doing business for one year or more;
    • The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates; and
    • The petitioner along with the other qualifying organizations meet one of the following criteria:
      • Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period;  
      • Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or
      • Have a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.

    The approval of a blanket L petition does not guarantee that an employee will be granted L-1A classification.  It does, however, provide the employer with the flexibility to transfer eligible employees to the United States quickly and with short notice without having to file an individual petition with USCIS.

    Where is an L-1B visa required?

    In most cases, once the blanket petition has been approved, the employer need only complete Form, I-129S,Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, and send it to the employee along with a copy of the blanket petition Approval Notice and other required evidence, so that the employee may present it to a consular officer in connection with an application for an L-1 visa. 

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    SCHEDULE A SESSION

    Call or email us to set up your 1-hour consultation. Easily pay the $250 consultation fee over the phone or through our email link. If you would like to have a quick chat with our team before setting up the consultation, feel free to use the calendar on the right to book your 10 minute call.

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