Determining which visa you qualify for can be a challenge, especially in business- and employment-based application types. Not all employment visas are the same, and if a foreign national is intending to work at a branch of a company they already work for internationally, the L visa category is the most appropriate means of entering the United States. However, in order to qualify for an L-1B visa, workers will need to demonstrate an abstract concept called “specialized knowledge”.
L-1B Visa Employer Qualifications
An employer can transfer an employee to a US branch of the company (or send a worker to open a US branch) under an L-1B visa, but some requirements must be followed first. The petitioning employer must have a valid relationship with the foreign branch or subsidiary where the worker is going, and the company must actually provide a product or service within the US. A company that simply exists in the US does not meet the requirements for L-1B visas.
L-1B Visa Employee Qualifications
Similarly, employees have their own set of requirements to qualify for an L-1B. The worker who is applying to be covered by the L-1B visa must have worked for the petitioning company or organization for at least one year of the previous three years; this means that a worker who has left a company for some time may not qualify for an L-1B from a company they worked for years ago, even if that company is starting a new US branch or suddenly requires that employee’s expertise.
Most importantly, however, the employee must possess specialized knowledge. Government definitions of this concept vary, so providing extensive proof of significant expertise with the assistance of an experienced legal team is recommended.
Section 214(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) indicates that “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 and processes and procedures of the company.” The concept of specialized knowledge for the purposes of an L-1B can be challenging to prove, but in general, any documentation that indicates that an employee understands proprietary processes or skills unique to the company is valuable.
Specialized knowledge for an L-1B goes above and beyond standard industry knowledge in a field, and for this reason, it can be one of the most challenging aspects of the visa petition. While the skill that the employee possesses does not need to be unique, it must be demonstrably uncommon within the profession.
Reach Out To Kermit A. Monge Today
Because the pieces of an L-1B visa can be challenging to put together, foreign nationals would benefit from the experience and knowledge of immigration professionals. The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge can assist you in proving your specialized knowledge and set you up for success in being approved for an L-1B visa. Reach out to discuss your situation.