Tag Archives: L1 visa specialized knowledge

Specialized Knowledge USA L1B and Canada


Specialized knowledge means that the individual holds special knowledge of the products, service, research, equipment, techniques, processes, procedures, management or other interests of the organization. The employee must have more than the simple skilled knowledge of the employer’s business. It must be beyond the ordinary knowledge that any other worker would have of the company. The person has to have expert knowledge of the company’s interests to be considered under this category. This requirement is to target the main key personnel in order to distinguish them from normal personnel. These key individuals carry much more knowledge than any other ordinary person. The visa requires evidence of how the individual holds specialized knowledge which distinguishes him/her from others.

L1B visa is a category for individuals who hold socialized knowledge of the organization’s business looking to enter USA under the intra company transfer program.

L1B visa is similar to Canadian intra company transfer visa. The USA L1 visa is a non immigrant visa that allows companies with branch in America and foreign countries to transfer employees with specialized knowledge of the company’s business from its foreign location to the location in USA. The time limit on this visa is for total of five years. The employee must have worked as a specialized knowledge staff. The employee must have had worked in the transferring company for at least one year out of the last three years.

For Canada

For specialized knowledge holders, the workers must possess knowledge at an advanced level of expertise and propriety knowledge of the company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques or management.

In order to qualify for specialized knowledge and applicant is required to show a high degree of propriety and advanced expertise. Propriety knowledge refers to expertise that are specifically related to the company’s product or services. In order to show advanced knowledge the applicant must show that he/she hold uncommon knowledge of the company’s products or services and its application in international markets. This advanced knowledge can be through the research for the company, or its equipments, techniques or management.

Advanced expertise are required through significant and recent experience within the last 5 years which contributed greatly to the company. In order to consider specialized knowledge officers consider the following:

  • Abilities that are different from others in the same industry and are not easily transferable
  • The knowledge or the expertise has to be highly unusual
  • It must be critical to the company’s business of the Canadian branch and without it there would be disruption in the business
  • The applicant’s proprietary knowledge of the business must be unusual and not widespread

The evidence that an applicant can provide to show his/her specialized knowledge can be through a resume, references, letters of verification from company, years of experience, degrees or certifications related to the company’s work, list of awards or accomplishments, and the work required to perform in the company in Canada.

The officers assess all the information provided and make a decision based on that information. If the officer is not satisfied by the information provided then the application would be rejected. Usually specialized knowledge applicants are exempt from LMIA however if the officer finds the applicant ineligible for LMIA exemption then the application would be rejected.

Specialized knowledge workers can renew their work permits for up to a maximum of 5 years. After the maximum period is over the worker must leave Canada and the Canadian labour market for at least one year before re-applying and begin the cycle again.

L1 Visa Qualifications

busines relationship

What does it mean “Qualifying Relationship”?

Before starting the process of applying for an Intra-Company work permit there are qualifications you should determine that match your current situation.

There are a few qualification that you must have such as you must be a citizen of North America (Canada, the United States, and Mexico). You must hold the position of either a manager or an executive or have proven that you have specialized knowledge. The position must have been held for at least one continuous year. Your plans in Canada do not go outside the time frame of how long your work permit is valid for.

One of the most important qualifications is that the company you current work for must have a relationship with the company you are transferring into. It must be a qualifying relationship. This means that both companies have a connect somewhere in the ways of doing business with each other. There are a few different ways that both companies can have a qualifying relationship.

Both your company and the Canadian company must be legal businesses and be in connect by way of either one company is Parent, Subsidiary, Branch or Affiliate. To be considered as two companies doing business with each other both your company and the Canadian company must have evidence of business transactions, such as offices with actual employees, supplies being transferred, and tax returns. All communications between both companies must on regular and continuous.

In better detail the following types of business are considered to be qualifying:


One of the companies own more than one company. They have multiple subsidiaries.


means that one of the companies is owned by the parent company either directly, 50-50, or less than half but still has control over the other company.


both are the same company just with different offices in different locations


companies are own and operated under the same parent company or own by multiple individuals who each have about the same amount of control and ownership in the business.

If the relationship changes between your company and the one in Canada it may change in regards to whether it remains qualifying.

Qualifying relationships are focused most with the Intra-Company work permit. There are other options available if this particular work permit does not work. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement there are three other work permits you may qualify. There is the Professional work permit, Trader Status, and Investors permit. Take note, that both the Trader Status and the Investor work permits are complicated, are limited in their use, and are complex.


Contact us here at Akrami and Associates today and we will assist you in finding out which option is best for you.