L-1B Visa Overview: Transfer of Executive or Manager

May 19, 2021
L1 Visa

What is the L-1B Visa?

L visas allow employers to transfer people between foreign branches of the company. The foreign national must have been employed with the organization outside of the United States for at least one continuous year in the preceding three years at a qualifying foreign entity.


The L-1B allows for the transfer of an employee with specialized knowledge.


Who’s Eligible?

Foreign nationals who’ve worked abroad at a foreign affiliate of the sponsoring company for at least 12 continuous months within the last three years leading up to transfer.

They also must have specialized knowledge based on employment with the foreign employer that will be used in the U.S.

Specialized knowledge means that an individual possesses an advanced level of knowledge or skill relating to the company’s product, services, research, equipment, techniques or management. The knowledge can be company-specific (e.g., not commercially available), and the employee must be one of few employees with the same level of advanced knowledge. It is reserved for truly unique employees within the organization.

There must be a qualifying relationship with a foreign company such as a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.

If the employee’s reason for travel is to open a new office in the United States, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The employer has secured the physical office location
  2. The employer has the financial ability to compensate the employee conducting business in the United States.


Validity Period:

Employees working in the US on L-1B visa may stay for a maximum for 5 years.

  • The maximum initial stay for employees entering the US to establish a new office is 1 year.
  • The maximum initial stay for all other employees is 3 years.
  • The maximum stay with extension is 5 years.

L-1 visa extensions are given 2 years at a time.

Government Fees:

Application Fees: $960

Premium processing: Employers can pay the $2,500 premium processing fee when available and USCIS will adjudicate the L-1B petition, meaning they are required to approve, issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or deny the visa petition within 15 calendar days.



Employees may be accompanied by their spouses and unmarried children 21 years and under with an L-2 nonimmigrant dependent classification. Dependents are allowed to study. Spouses in L-2 status may apply for work authorization once they are in the United States.

If you’re looking to file L-1B Visa Applications or Extensions we can help! 

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