New Guidance Clarifies Requirement for L-1 Visa “Specialized Knowledge”

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a final Policy Memorandum which clarifies the definition of “specialized knowledge” requirement for L-1B visas.
L-1B visas are available to intracompany transfers who possess “specialized knowledge.” The USCIS states that a petitioner can demonstrate “specialized knowledge” by establishing either one of two criteria: 1) a special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets; OR 2) an advanced level of knowledge of the processes and procedures of the company. The Memo lays out the updated definitions below:

  • Special knowledge, which is knowledge of the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets that is distinct or uncommon in comparison to that generally found in the particular industry; or


  • Advanced knowledge, which is knowledge of or expertise in the petitioning organization’s specific processes and procedures that is not commonly found in the relevant industry and is greatly developed or further along in progress, complexity and understanding than that generally found within the employer.

The lengthy Memo goes on to list factors that USCIS may consider when determining whether a beneficiary’s knowledge is specialized, as well as types of evidence that a petitioner may submit to demonstrate that individual’s knowledge.
If you have any questions about this Policy Memo, or would like to know more about L visa requirements, please contact Karl Ulrich at | 937.222.2052 or visit the SS+D website at

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