L-1B For Malaysian Engineer
- Petitioner: LCD Electronics manufacturing
- Industry: Electronics
- Beneficiary: Mr. Mamat
- Case Type: L-1B Intracompany Transfer (Specialized Skill Workers)
- Position: Field Applications Engineer
- Nationality: Malaysian
- Age: 26
- Because of political considerations, the new Administration had increased the L-1B denial rate.
- Client was only 26 years old and had graduated college only three years previously.
- Had limited work experience of only about two years, with all of his work history at the petitioning company.
- Regulations require that the Beneficiary was filling a position that an American citizen could not easily fill. However, his work experience was similar to that of a standard engineer.
An Electronics Company enthusiastically sought to bring Mr. Mamat* to their American branch office through an intracompany transfer for an L-1B visa, specifically a worker with “specialized knowledge”. New Trump administration policies had brought increased challenges to the L-1B category, with a significantly higher standard to meet in order to prove the beneficiary possesses specialized knowledge. Indeed, the standard for L-1B had always been high, and cases were now being denied that were otherwise quite strong. Recognizing the difficulty and growing denial rate of L-1B petitions, especially after the policy changes implemented by the new administration, the petitioner came to Tsang & Associates for assistance in putting together a winning application on behalf of Mr. Mamat.
This case was not particularly straightforward, as Mr. Mamat was only 26 years old and had graduated from college no more than three years previously. With such a short resume it would be difficult to demonstrate that he possessed specialized knowledge. Additionally, his training and proposed job duties were merely in line with that of a standard engineer. However, it is critical to demonstrate that an L-1 beneficiary is filling a position that a US citizen could not fill on their own. We filed the L-1B application in July 2017 with a persuasive presentation of his credentials as an intracompany transferee of specialized knowledge. Our challenge here was to prove that Mr. Mamat possessed specialized engineering knowledge that was essential to the company. In order to overcome these challenges, we needed to show that what he had learned in his position at the overseas company was vital to the success of the US subsidiary petitioning him.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
In order to ensure success, it was important for Tsang & Associates to be as detailed as possible. It was especially important to demonstrate Mr. Mamat’s qualifications, especially in respect to his importance to the company. This was critical because the regulations require demonstrating why his work could not easily be performed by an American citizen. This entailed meeting two goals. The first is to explain Mr. Mamat’s work history and value to the company, the second was to explain why only he could perform this job in the United States. Mr. Mamat has been with the foreign entity in Hong Kong for six years, joining the Hong Kong office in July of 2011 in the Department of LCM Design and Development as an Engineer, before being promoted to Senior Engineer with the RFQ Engineering Department. In order to prove that he held specialized knowledge, we produced and explained documents demonstrating that Mr. Mamat worked extensively on many large-scale projects, with tasks ranging from preparing the important Bill of Materials for quotation, to managing projects on the factory floor to ensure the product’s strict adherence to the client’s needs. We assisted in the drafting of company letters from both the Hong Kong and US companies detailing that Mr. Mamat had been tasked with handling a large number of important European and American automotive clients, working closely with both the client and the company engineers to design solutions for client demands. Accordingly, we were able to argue that his transfer came as a natural progression of his steady and expanding range of responsibilities and expertise, and that as a talented engineer for the company he had attained an unrivaled familiarity with the company product line.
We used company documents to demonstrate that any adjustments to be made to the products in the United States needed to adhere to US quality standards, while maintaining industry low costs, and that Mr. Mamat was the only person who was in a position to oversee this for the company. We were able to demonstrate this for two reasons; first was that his special knowledge could only be attained through prior experience in the company, that it was of a highly technical nature, that it could not be easily transferred or taught without significant inconvenience, and that he had been employed in a capacity involving assignments that had significantly enhanced the employers competitiveness, and that he had knowledge of a foreign operating conditions that was of significant value to US operations. We broke down each one of these categories and painstakingly demonstrated how he met each one. Just as importantly, it was important to argue why his knowledge and skill was not readily available in the job market. We were able to establish this by drafting letters from the company arguing that his knowledge was company-specific, and therefore was not available outside the company. Additionally, in order to strengthen the point, we argued that Mr. Mamat’s work period at the foreign company was necessary for attaining his specialized knowledge of the company products, and that to hire another person for the US position would take another year of training. We argued and demonstrated that obviously, this would be a massive burden to the US corporation.
Lastly, we had to prove that the company structure qualified for the transfer, and that there was a qualifying relationship between the US company and the Hong Kong company. We produced documents, and developed a new organizational chart and company letters, that detailed that each of the two entities were in turn owned by septate entities which were in turn owned by one common owner, therefore establishing that Mr. Mamat qualified for the transfer.
The USCIS deemed our submission to be beyond satisfactory and approved the case within a month. Today, Mr. Mamat happily works in the US as an engineer of specialized knowledge. We filed the petition in December 2017, and we received an approval about a month later after answering a request for evidence. Mr. Mamat and his employer were ecstatic at the approval of his case. They felt that the challenges in this case may have been insurmountable. With the approval, they have decided to retain Tsang and Associates for all future immigration petitions.
*Name has been changed to protect client identity.