L-1B Visa for Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge Workers
Are you a U.S. employer looking to transfer an employee from one of your foreign offices to the U.S.? Or are you a foreign employer looking to open an office in the U.S.? Either way, Alcorn Immigration Law can help you make that happen.
The L-1B visa enables a U.S. employer to transfer professional employee with specialized knowledge from one of its foreign offices to an existing office in the U.S. An L-1B also enables a foreign employer to send an employee with specialized knowledge to set up an office in the U.S.
The employer of the L-1B candidate must:
- Have a relationship with a foreign company, either parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
- Be or will be doing business as an employer in the U.S. and in at least one other country for the duration of the employee’s stay in the U.S. under the L-1B visa.
- Be a continuous, viable business providing goods or services in the U.S.
- Show it has secured real estate if the employee will be opening an office in the U.S., and that the employer is financially able to compensate the employee and do business in the U.S.
- Demonstrate that if the employee will be primarily at the worksite of another employer, then the employee will not be controlled or supervised by that employer and that the work is not considered labor for hire.
The L-1B candidate must:
- Have worked for the employer abroad for one continuous year within the past three years.
- Have a position with the employer or one of its affiliates in the U.S. that requires advanced, specialized knowledge or expertise of the organization’s processes or procedures.
An employer must apply for an L-1B visa on behalf of the employee. To apply, the employer must:
- File Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) and pay the filing fee to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Provide evidence and supporting documents that it and the employee meet the eligibility requirements above.
Eligibility for Family
An employee transferring to the U.S. may be accompanied or followed by her or his spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. These family members are eligible for L-2 visas, and if approved by USCIS, will be granted the same period of stay as the L-1 holder.
If family members are already in the U.S., they may apply for L-2 visas using Form I-539, (Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status).
The spouses of L-1 visa holders may apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Organizations may be eligible for blanket L certification before filing for any individual L-1B petitions. An employer’s blanket L certification does not guarantee an employee will be granted an L-1B visa. However, a blanket L enables the employer to transfer employees to the U.S. quickly on short notice.
To qualify, an organization must:
- Be engaged in commercial trade or services.
- Have an office in the U.S. that has been doing business for one or more years.
- Have three or more U.S. and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates.
- Meet at least one of the following:
- Have at least 10 L-1A or L-1B approvals during the past 12 months.
- Have U.S. subsidiaries with combined annual sales of at least $25 million.
- Have at least 1,000 employees in the U.S.
To file a blanket L petition, an organization must submit a statement signed by a company official describing the ownership and control of the organizations included in the blanket petition and supporting evidence.
If approved, the employer will receive an approval notice, which must be presented with the employee’s L-1B application. Once a blanket petition has been approved, the employer needs to complete Form I-129S (Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition). Usually, the employee may come to the U.S. one week after Form I-129S is filed.
We Can Help
At Alcorn Immigration Law, we assist companies in the U.S. and abroad in finding solutions, whether a company is looking to open a new office in Silicon Valley or bring a foreign national to Silicon Valley or wants to streamline the process. If you have any questions, contact us.
- $460 for Form I-129
- $500 for Fraud Protection and Detection Fee
- $4,500 if the employer employs 50 or more in the U.S., more than 50% of those employees are H-1B, L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant visa holders, and if the petition is filed before Oct. 1, 2025.
- Related Forms
- Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker)
- Form I-129S (Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition)
- Employer must file Form I-129 on behalf of employee—or Form I-129S if the employer has an approved blanket L petition.
- Employee must have a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate
- Initial petition for 1 year for an employee establishing a new office, or 3 years for all others.
- Extension every 2 years up to a maximum of 5 years.
- Immigrant Intent
- None. At the airport, border, or other port of entry, you will need to satisfy the U.S. government officer that you have a residence in your home country and do not intend to abandon it. You must demonstrate that you are a nonimmigrant—that your visit to the U.S. will end after a specific amount of time.
- Who Qualifies
- Specialized Workers
- Period of Stay
- Initial stay for employees establishing a new office: 1 year
- Initial stay for all other qualified employees: 3 years
- Extensions: Increments of up to two years until a maximum of 5 years