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L-1B Visa/Status – Specialized Knowledge Transferee

Basis Requirements:

The L-1B visa/status is available to individuals who possess a specialized knowledge and who wish to transfer from a foreign company to an affiliate, subsidiary, or parent of a company in the United States. To be eligible, transferees must have worked for the eligible foreign company for one continuous year within the three years of the application date. Additionally, the foreign and U.S. companies must be and continue to be doing business with one another.

Duration of L-1B Visa/Status:

While the L-1B visa/status may be granted for up to three years, employees of newly established companies will typically only be granted one year by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, the L-1B visa/status may be extended to a maximum total period of five years (in two- or three-year increments) so long as both the foreign and U.S. companies continue to be affiliated, and so long as the employee remains employed for his or her specialized knowledge.

Family Members:

The spouse and children (who are not married and are under the age of 21) of the primary beneficiary will be eligible for the derivative L-2 status, thereby allowing eligible family members to enter the United States. Additionally, the primary beneficiary’s spouse will be eligible to apply for employment authorization and anyone with L-2 status will be allowed to attend U.S. schools.

Fees:

When filed from within the United States and at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (please read the disclaimer at the top of this page), the Austin immigration attorneys at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC charge the following in attorney’s fees and for the filing fees currently charged by the USCIS:

  • $5,000 in attorney’s fees to file the petition belonging to the principal beneficiary
  • $500 in attorney’s fees when filing for principle beneficiary’s family (if applicable)
  • $460 for the USCIS filing fee in regards to the principle beneficiary’s petition
  • $370 for the USCIS filing fee for the principle beneficiary’s family + $85 for each family member (if applicable)
  • $500 for the USCIS Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee (as part of the initial petition)
  • $1,440 for the filing fee charged by the USCIS for premium processing (optional)
  • $410 for the USCIS filing fee for authorization of spousal employment (optional)

Experience:

At Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our Austin immigration attorneys are prepared to represent you as you apply for the L-1B visa/status. To speak with one of our Austin immigration attorneys about the particulars of your situation, please call our Austin offices at (512) 323-2333 today.

What will be required for me to begin?

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that you may have many questions about the process of attaining an L-1B visa. Below, we have provided answers to some of our most frequently asked questions on this topic.

What qualifies as “specialized knowledge” to earn L-1B status?

“Specialized knowledge” can include a wide range of knowledge and/or skills that an L-1B visa applicant may possess. According to the USCIS, this can mean knowledge of “the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets.” It can also mean “an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.”

Essentially, an L-1B visa holder might hold specialized “how-to” knowledge used in the organization’s work, or more high-level familiarity with its internal procedures (or both). As long as an L-1B applicant has been with an eligible company for at least one year in the past three, many forms of knowledge will likely qualify for consideration.

Does my U.S. employer have to do anything for me to earn L-1B status?

In order for you to qualify for an L-1B visa, your U.S. employer will need to have a valid relationship with the company you’ve worked for in the past. A qualifying company could be an affiliate, subsidiary, parent company, or branch of your past employer.

Your new employer in the U.S. will also have to complete and file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on your behalf. There is a $460 fee to file this form (Form I-129) with the federal government.

What is an L-2 visa, and how does it work?

L-2 status is a nonimmigrant classification for the spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of an L-1 visa holder. Other family members – such as elderly grandparents or children older than 21 – are not eligible for L-2 status, even if the L-1 applicant acts as their caretaker.

L-2 status is dependent upon L-1 status. In other words, it can only be granted when L-1 status has been granted. Furthermore, L-2 status remains valid for the same time period as the related L-1 visa. Under this status, family members of L-1 holders can attend U.S. schools or apply for employment authorization to go to work.

How is the L-1B visa/status extended beyond the initial period?

To extend your L-1B visa, both you and your employer will need to file new forms with USCIS. You will also be asked to present other documents for verification, such as your existing visa and pay stubs from your employer. To ensure that your status remains secure, it is important to begin this process well before your current visa is set to expire.

Law Office of William Jang, PLLC can help you with the complicated process of applying for an L-1B extension. In addition to the USCIS filing fees, our attorney fee for an extension application is $3,000.

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