The publication of the Final Guidance on
L-1B Adjudications Policy Memorandum provides “consolidated and authoritative guidance on the L-1B program”
and will serve as guide for adjudication of all L-1B petitions pending
or filed with the USCIS as of August 31, 2015.
It is expected that the processing of L-1B visas will be substantially
eased as a result and allow for greater flexibility in the adjudication
of such cases.
The final version of the L-1B memorandum reiterates some salient aspects
of the L-1B visa program and the interpretation of specialized knowledge
- Specialized knowledge is knowledge that is not easily obtained or imparted
to other individuals
- Specialized knowledge “need not be proprietary” or “narrowly
held within the Petitioning organization”
- Specialized knowledge need not command a high wage or managerial position
within the Petitioning organization
- A test of the US labor market is not required for the L-1B visa program
The memorandum also establishes that one of two statutory criteria must
be met by Petitioners looking to demonstrate specialized knowledge and
that favorable comparisons are the way in which Petitioners can meet these criteria:
Criteria 1: Specialized Knowledge – The Beneficiary must have special knowledge of the Petitioner’s
products and/or services and their application in the international market.
In this case, the Petitioner must demonstrate that the Beneficiary has
knowledge in their products and services that is “distinct or uncommon
in comparison” to the knowledge of similarly situated workers in
the particular industry.
Criteria 2: Advanced Knowledge – The Beneficiary must have advanced knowledge of or expertise in
the Petitioner’s processes and procedures. The Petitioner must demonstrate
that the Beneficiary has knowledge in their processes and procedures that
is “greatly developed or further along in progress, complexity,
and understanding in comparison” to other workers employed by the
With regards to L-1B extensions, the L-1B memorandum establishes that the
USCIS will make a decision on an L-1B extension petition based on the
record before it, consistent with the new policy provided in the final
memorandum. The USCIS will give deference to the prior determinations
whereby the USCIS approved the L-1B petition, as long as the circumstances
of the extension petition are largely the same as the circumstances of
the original petition.
Please feel free to contact USILaw with any questions or issues that you
may have. You may reach us via telephone at +1 (202) 618 4540 or via email at