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Demonstrating Specialized Knowledge For L-1B Intracompany Transferees

Standard Definition

Specialized knowledge means special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization's processes and procedures.

Additional Guidance from the CIS

"An alien would possess specialized knowledge if it was shown that the knowledge is different from that generally found in the particular industry. The knowledge need not be proprietary or unique, but it must be different or uncommon."

"...the test for specialized knowledge involves only an examination of the knowledge possessed by the alien, not whether there are similarly employed U.S. workers."

"There is no requirement in current legislation that the alien's knowledge be unique, proprietary, or not commonly found in the U.S. labor market."

"The common theme which runs through these examples is that the knowledge which the beneficiary possesses, whether it is knowledge of a process or a product, would be difficult to impart to another individual without significant economic inconvenience to the U.S. or foreign firm. The knowledge is not generally known and is of some complexity."

Ways To Demonstrate Specialized Knowledge

The following examples illustrate several ways that employers can demonstrate the Specialized Knowledge of a foreign national employee. While not necessary, combining several of these suggestions may strengthen a company's Specialized Knowledge Petition.

Specific Examples

Either of how the employee used their Specialized Knowledge in the past or how employees in similar positions have or would use their Specialized Knowledge in the offered position.

  • Demonstrating foreign nationals possession of proprietary knowledge through a copy of Employee Confidentiality Agreement, licensing agreements, patents, etc.
  • Excerpts of Company Training Manual or Program to illustrate complexity of position.
  • A limited number of people within the Company who have this level of knowledge.
  • Illustrations from company brochures of the specific products with which the foreign national works/or will work.
  • Evidence of increased sales, decreased costs, or other tangible benefit attributable to the foreign national's specialized knowledge.
  • Letters from experts in the field commenting on the distinctive or unusual nature of the foreign national employee's knowledge.
  • Letters from former employers confirming foreign national's progressive accumulation of the Specialized Knowledge.
  • Evidence of the foreign national's education and training in the area of such knowledge in the industry.
  • Newspaper or trade journal articles which detail the unusual nature and/or value of such knowledge in the industry.
  • Evidence that the foreign national is a member of a professional association in the area of Specialized Knowledge.
 

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