What is an L-1B Visa?

Comprehending the entire Visa process and the many layers involved before approval can be mind-boggling for many. Correctly completing the application process can be tedious and tiring, but if all documents are not properly completed and submitted the application could be denied, creating a seemingly endless cycle confusion. Thoroughly knowing the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the petition can move the approval process along more smoothly.

An L-1B Visa is simply a work visa that allows alien employees the opportunity to legally enter the United States solely for the purpose of work. The Visa allows major global businesses to transfer employees to the US as well as for smaller businesses abroad to develop start-up companies in the US. It is not an immigrant visa, therefore; the window of validity spans a short time. Depending on the type of visa, this window can last anywhere from three months to a maximum of seven years when extensions are applied. All L-1 Visa holders agree and intend to depart the United States at the end of the authorized stay.

Types of L Visas

There are two types of L1 Visas:

  • L-1A Visa – petitions for managers and executives
  • L-1B Visa – petitions for specialized knowledge employees

Specialized knowledge means expertise in various realms such as research, techniques, equipment or services. Professionals with these levels of experience include doctors, teachers, surgeons, lawyers, engineers and others. Since the maximum stay for an L-1A Visa is seven years and for an L-1B Visa is five years, it is not uncommon to complete a conversion from L-1B to L-1A Visa if the beneficiary qualifies.

How to File For an L-1B Visa

The employer(petitioner) initiates the petition on behalf of the employee. Firstly, the employee must have been employed for one continuous year within the past three-year window. This establishes the qualifying relationship between the company in the US and the country of the alien abroad. This relationship may be in the form of a parent company, affiliate or subsidiary of the foreign company. The employer must continuously demonstrate to be doing business regularly as an employer in the US and abroad for the length of the employee’s stay in the US. Documents to support these details will be submitted with the petition.

The employee(beneficiary) must have worked for the company overseas for a continual one year period within three years of transferring to the United States. The employee seeks to enter the US to serve in a specialized skills capacity designed to work in a more expert field. The employee must exemplify an expertise of policies or procedures beyond entry level abilities.

Where to Mail L Visa Applications

Applications may be mailed to one of the two service centers that process L-1 Visa Applications: California and Vermont. E-filed applications with the proper documentation will be routed to the appropriate service center.

  • USCIS California Service Center ATTN: I-129L PO Box 10129 Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1012
  • USCIS Vermont Service Center ATTN: I-129L 75 Lower Welden Street St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

How we can help you

Contact us today for help getting an L-1B Visa properly petition initiated. A courteous, qualified consultant is only a phone call away and eagerly waiting to assist you. Call 703 539-8093 or contact us online for a consultation.


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