• If you have been working at least for a year within 3 year period as a manager, executive, or a specialized knowledge position, for a multinational company in a foreign country that has a branch in United States, this is your opportunity to render your services in the United States and bringing your family with a visa that allows them to work and study legally in United States with the choice of being in the country temporarily but with the possibility of becoming a permanent resident in the future.

  • Also, if you are a company that has good will in your country, but desires to expand your business by opening new branch in the United States, you can take advantage of L visa by bringing your best employees capable to grow your business in the country of the opportunities, contributing to the economy as well.

These are some of the benefits of L Visa:

  • There is no degree or educational requirement for an L1 visa and the specialized knowledge does not need to be in a specific field as is in H1B non-immigrant visa.


  • Only multinational companies qualify for L1 visas. Thus, if applicant work for a multinational, a L1 visa petition can be filed by the parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch of the foreign company where the alien has worked for at least 1 year in preceding 3 years in the capacity of manager, executive or special knowledge work. All employers do not have such choice as not all companies have foreign presence or are multinational.


  • For the companies, it does not require for majority ownership or control from a specific country as long as qualifying organization criteria is met.


  • L-1A has a maximum duration of 7 years while L-1B visa has a maximum duration of 5 years that is more than H1B that has a period of three years extended to maximum 6 years.


  • One of the benefits of the L-1 visa program is that it allows companies the opportunity to re-locate employees to the United States to expand their business and open up new offices.


  • Spouse and minor unmarried children under the age of 21 years can accompany L-1 visa holder and L-2 spouse can get work permit and work in the U.S. Both (spouse and children) also can study and travel within and outside the U.S. on short trips and return.


  • It allows dual intent. So, a L visa holder does not need to prove intent to not abandon a foreign country in order to get approved.


  • Another benefit of the L-1A visa is that it can provide a stepping stone to lawful permanent resident status. A specific employment-based immigrant preference category (EB-1C) was created for managers and executives who meet the L-1 standards and are interested in becoming lawful permanent residents. If you qualify for a L-1B visa you may qualify for E-B1 or E-B2 as well.

Comparison and Differences between other non-immigrant visas:

VISA  L E B-1 H-1B
Need a treaty between U.S and foreign country to bring owners or employees to the United States Not need of a treaty. Required N/A N/A
Maximum period to stay in U.S. L-1A – 7 years


L-1B – 5 years

2 years initially extended to 2 years. There is no limit on how many times an E visa holder can extend their stay 6 months extended to 6 months more 6 years
Ability to change employer NO NO N/A YES
Dual Intent. Can file petition to immigrant visa without proving intent to abandon foreign country. YES NO NO YES
Minimum Educational requirement or specialized knowledge in a specific field No degree is required N/A N/A Required Degree or equivalent experience.
Prevailing wage Not required Required.

Must be paid at least the prevailing wages

Spouse benefits Spouse can get work permit Spouse cannot get work permit.
Dept. of Labor Approval Not required N/A N/A Required
Blanket Petition Available Not Available. Individual petition must be filed for each proposed H1B Worker.


Green Card L-1A visa holders can apply for E-B1C, without PERM labor certification and usually get green card within less than one year.


L-1B visa holders would need PERM labor certification approval to get them green card.

Employers of most H-1B visa holders would need PERM labor certification approval to get them green card.