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L-1B Visas : Specialized knowledge Professionals/ Transferees.

L-1B visas are available to employees of a multinational company, who have “specialized knowledge” of their company’s methods and procedures. The Foreigner must have worked for the foreign company for at least 1 of the past 3 years, and be coming to the U.S. to work for a related company in a similar capacity.

L-1B status may be granted for a total of 5 years. However, if the US business is less than 1 year old when the petition is filed, the Foreigner will only be granted 1 year of L status, after which the petition may be extended. Documentation must include evidence that the employee worked in a position in which he used “specialized knowledge” of the company for the requisite period of time with the foreign employer; how he/she obtained that “specialized knowledge”; the connection between the two companies; the duties of the proffered position, and documentation that both companies actively ‘do business’.

L-1B visa holders may intend to immigrate. For purposes of green card applications, L-1A is far-easier to obtain U.S. permanent residence, as there is an EB-1 visa category for green cards for “multinational executives”. L-1B visa holders typically go through the PERM process to obtain U.S. permanent residence but, in some instances may qualify for EB-2 National Interest Waivers or other green card categories, including EB-1.

Spouses of L-1 visa holders obtain L-2 visa status and are eligible to apply for work authorization.

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