- 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:
|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.|