The L-1 intra-company transferee non-immigrant visa is used by multinational companies that must transfer high-level managers, executives, and employees with specialized knowledge from overseas to provide similar services in United States. There are two kinds of L-1 visas: an L-1A visa for managers and executives, and an L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.
L-1 Visa Challenges
Commercial Tools and Methodologies
The HR specialist and the L-1B candidate must not emphasize the many commercially available tools and methodologies which the L-1B candidate has mastered. While common tools such as software applications are excellent for job applications, they are deadly to any L-1B case. If using commercially available tools is the main knowledge required to perform the U.S.-based job, then an L-1B petition should not be filed.
Explaining Proprietary Tools
Both the HR specialist and L-1B candidate must focus the petition on the proprietary company tool (e.g., a software or methodology that the company itself has developed) of which the candidate has attained advanced or “specialized” knowledge. (This usually requires at least one year of experience with the proprietary tool). Once the candidate has applied her or his knowledge of the proprietary tool to project work outside the United States for a full uninterrupted year, they have met the basic requirements for the L-1B.
Proposed U.S. Duties
The HR specialist and L-1B candidate must focus on the proposed U.S. duties – if they can be accomplished without applying advanced knowledge of the company’s proprietary tools or methodologies, the case will not generally be approved.