L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Old Jan 19th 2021, 11:31 am
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Default L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Hi all,

I am applying for a L1B visa through my company that I have been with for over 2 years to move from our London office to LA. However I don't have a university degree (Currently studying part time) and my attorney has said that I wouldnt be able to get a visa through our companies blanket system and would have to go through an individual process. Has anyone had any experience with getting an L1B without a degree and any tips that can help with? I have over 10 years experience and feel that I would be able to prove my specialisim to the US consulate through the blanket process but the legal advice I have been given seems to want to go down a different route.

Any advice or help would really mean a lot!
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

This may be of interest. If you search the forum, you will probably find other relevant posts.

https://britishexpats.com/forum/us-i...ements-936214/
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 1:51 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

thanks! That definitely is the information that I am aware of, that a degree is more favourable but not a necessity. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with going through the L1 process without a degree, would give me some real hope during this quarantined times!
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Originally Posted by noname2021 View Post
Hi all,

I am applying for a L1B visa through my company that I have been with for over 2 years to move from our London office to LA. However I don't have a university degree (Currently studying part time) and my attorney has said that I wouldnt be able to get a visa through our companies blanket system and would have to go through an individual process. Has anyone had any experience with getting an L1B without a degree and any tips that can help with? I have over 10 years experience and feel that I would be able to prove my specialisim to the US consulate through the blanket process but the legal advice I have been given seems to want to go down a different route.

Any advice or help would really mean a lot!
FYI you can’t apply for the visa “foil” in your passport until your employer has applied for a received an approval on the I-129 they file.

The fact you have also engaged your own attorney is less normal. Do you have non standard issues like a criminal record or another reason you decided to get your own in addition to the one your employer has engaged ?
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 2:38 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Originally Posted by noname2021 View Post
I'm wondering if anyone has experience with going through the L1 process without a degree
Not personally, but I work alongside people that have gone this route.

The company's attorney had to file an individual I-129 petition for the employees, and they were required to provide documentation demonstrating that they had the Specialized Knowledge AND the work experience equivalent to a degree (there is an equivalency formula for this).

Your company's attorney should be able to guide you through this process, and they will advise you on what documentation you will need to provide for your own unique circumstances.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Originally Posted by tht View Post
The fact you have also engaged your own attorney is less normal.
I took that to be a slip of the tongue in that many people don't realize that the company's attorney is not actually "their" attorney, and that it is the company rather than the beneficiary who is the client.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Originally Posted by TexanScot View Post
Not personally, but I work alongside people that have gone this route.

The company's attorney had to file an individual I-129 petition for the employees, and they were required to provide documentation demonstrating that they had the Specialized Knowledge AND the work experience equivalent to a degree (there is an equivalency formula for this).

Your company's attorney should be able to guide you through this process, and they will advise you on what documentation you will need to provide for your own unique circumstances.
For the “individual” vs. blanked there is also significant information on the firm required. Accounts and/or tax returns, org charts etc.. I have no experience with a blanket, but it seems strange that an approved firm would not be able to use the blanked based on some “soft requirement”.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Thank you this is helpful. I realise I didn't really specify but yes "my attorney" is the company attorney. I am only using the one attorneys that my company has offered. My company has a blank petition already (its a large social media company) so I really wanted to see if I have a good chance of getting through the visa requirement with no degree. The legal advice being given is that the individual L1B would have less resistance but I feel that in an L1B blanket situation I would be able to present my work and nuances better than on a document. Hope that makes sense!
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Originally Posted by noname2021 View Post
Thank you this is helpful. I realise I didn't really specify but yes "my attorney" is the company attorney. I am only using the one attorneys that my company has offered. My company has a blank petition already (its a large social media company) so I really wanted to see if I have a good chance of getting through the visa requirement with no degree. The legal advice being given is that the individual L1B would have less resistance but I feel that in an L1B blanket situation I would be able to present my work and nuances better than on a document. Hope that makes sense!
make sure you remember it’s your employers lawyer and not yours, while most of the time your interests are aligned... when they are not... they will be obliged to act in the best interest of your employer, and not you...

aside from the company information that you don’t need to submit with a blanked petition I don’t understand why you can’t present the same information.... the forms are very generic and pretty much the only thing that mattered on my L1a was the cover letter.. that had all the details. I assume you have read the USCIS requirements here... we have seen similar posts about lawyers saying a degree is required recently... so it must be some sort of “soft requirement”....

https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the...ized-knowledge

Last edited by tht; Jan 19th 2021 at 9:51 pm.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 9:31 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Yea I think what they said is that if you go through a blanket visa you need to show you are a "professional" which normally means a degree in a specialised field. But as someone mentioned you can show it through work experience and education. So I am hoping that I can do it this way, but wanted to see if anyone had a similar path and succeeded.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Originally Posted by noname2021 View Post
Yea I think what they said is that if you go through a blanket visa you need to show you are a "professional" which normally means a degree in a specialised field. But as someone mentioned you can show it through work experience and education. So I am hoping that I can do it this way, but wanted to see if anyone had a similar path and succeeded.
You likely won’t be “doing it”.. in my experience both as an employee getting a visa later as an employer they ask for lots of documents and information via the employer’s HR. Then they may have some follow up questions... you may not even see what they submitted unless it’s approved and they send “the pack”’for the visa interview... I had to push pretty hard to review mine prior submission and that was as an Exec. In always like to check the ones I approve for employees... for some reason they always edit from old forms and I mostly had to point out really lazy work like reverting to old phone numbers or addresses...
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 10:01 am
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Thanks that is good advice! I have also found some discrepancies with what they have wrote so will keep on top of that.
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Old Jan 21st 2021, 5:20 am
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

I posted on the thread linked above; I moved over without a degree on an L1B a few years ago. Like the advice you got, the lawyers said the blanket approach wasn't possible so an individual petition was required. I got some letters from senior directors and the likes to say I had specialized knowledge, and there was some high level outlines of the projects I've worked on, and the ones I would be working on after I moved. It was pretty painless, didn't get any RFE's, and my company stumped for premium processing, so the longest wait was for an appointment at the embassy once it all got approved or whatever term they use at that stage.

No one asked about a degree or anything like that during the interviews. I've since renewed the visa, and later got a green card – never brought up.
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 3:30 am
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

I moved without a degree , which was perceived to be an issue, but has never been brought up over the last four years which has included a visa renew and recent Perm Residence approval. If you have a comprehensive proof of your special skills which is well documented then that should be fine. I spent a lot time charting my experience, the team I was leading and the authority I had within the company as well as key projects I had managed . Include any papers written and achievements in your professional word. My prep for Green Card was the same, although I had to include a lot of detail to enhance what I achieved here in the USA. Not one question or even an interview. Best of Luck!
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: L1B Visa - No Degree Help!

Originally Posted by noname2021 View Post
thanks! That definitely is the information that I am aware of, that a degree is more favourable but not a necessity. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with going through the L1 process without a degree, would give me some real hope during this quarantined times!
yes, L1B no degree, person of specialized knowledge, industry experience in a rare industry, etc. I am sure what qualifications I had before degree level where partially relevant :ONC/OND technical apprenticeship, Industry experience, specialized knowledge of a product or a process being key, I had 20 years.

Last edited by hutchison; Feb 2nd 2021 at 7:00 pm.
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