L-1B Visa Specialized Employee
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The L-1B nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer a specialized employee from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send specialized employees to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
Employer must have a "qualifying relationship" with a foreign company (parent, branch, subsidiary, affiliate), referred to as "qualifying organization, and
Currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the U.S. and at least one other country through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary's stay in the U.S. as an L-1
Employers seeking to establish a new office must show sufficient physical premises, meet employee requirements below, and intend the new office will support an executive and/or managerial position within a year.
"Doing business" means provision of goods and/or services does not mean mere presence of an agent or office in the U.S.
Generally have worked for the organization abroad for one continuous year of the last three, and
Be seeking to enter the U.S. to render services in a specialized employee capacity
Period of stay -- the L-1 is granted for an initial 3 year period, with two possible extensions of 2 years, totaling a 5 year stay altogether (employees entering for a new office are allowed a 1 year stay).
Family of L-1 workers -- A spouse and any unmarried children under 21 may accompany the L-1 recipient under an L-2 visa (generally granted for same period of stay). Spouses have no restriction regarding work.
Certain organizations may establish the required intra-company relationship in advance, called a "Blanket" petition. It allows the employer to transfer with short notice without having to file individually with USCIS. Requirements beyond what is mentioned above:
Have 3 or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, affiliates.
Must have one of the following: 1) at least 10 L-1 approvals in previous 12 months, 2) U.S. subsidiaries with combined annual sales of $25 million, or 3) U.S. workforce of 1,000 employees