In order to qualify for an L-1B visa, both the employer and the employee must meet certain requirements.
The L-1B visa requires the employer applicant to have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company. Some examples of a qualifying relationship include:
- Parent company
The employer must also currently, or will in the future, be doing business as an employer in the United States in at least one other country. This must be done through a qualifying organization for the duration of the L-1B visa holder’s stay in the United States. The business must be viable, but need not be engaged in international trade.
In order for an employer to qualify as “doing business” in the United States, it must participate in the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization. The mere presence of an agent or office of the employer in the United States and abroad is insufficient to qualify as doing business.
New United States Office
Employers that seek to send an executive or managerial employee to the United States to establish a new office must show:
- The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office; and
- The intended United States office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the visa petition
Employee Qualifications for the L-1B visa
To qualify as an L-1B visa holder, an employee must:
- Have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately prior to the employee’s admission to the United States; and
- Be seeking entrance to the United States to provide service in a specialized knowledge capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
An employee has specialized knowledge when he or she possesses special knowledge of the petitioning organization’s product, service, equipment, research, management, techniques, or other interests and its application in international markets. Specialized knowledge may also refer to an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.
L-1B visa holders at different worksites
L-1B employees who will be primarily stationed at a worksite of an employer that is different from the petitioning employer or its affiliate, subsidiary, or parent must show additional qualifications:
- The employee will not be principally controlled or supervised by the unaffiliated employer; and
- The work being provided by the employee is not considered to be labor for hire by the unaffiliated employer.