Here are some of the most common questions that we receive about L-1 visas. For more in-depth and specific information about L-1 visas, please contact us to schedule a consultation or an assessment.
What is an L-1 Visa?
An L-1 visa is designed to allow people, who work in managerial positions or have specialized knowledge, to transfer locations while working for the same company. The L-1 visa is a work visa with a nonimmigrant classification and allows for employees, who have been working abroad for one continuous year within a three-year window to enter the United States, for their transfer. Employees seeking an L-1 visa must also be seeking to enter a high-level position at the same company they were working at overseas.
There are two types of L-1 visas: the L-1A visa, which is for intracompany transferees who work in managerial or executive positions in a company located outside of the US, and the L-1B visa, which is for intracompany transferees, who work in positions requiring specialized knowledge.
Can you gain permanent residency from entering the US on an L-1 visa?
The L-1 is a temporary non-immigrant visa, meaning it does not grant you permanent residency in the U.S., and you will need to apply for extensions if you want to stay longer in the U.S. However, L-1 visa is a dual intent visa. Therefore, L-1 visa holders can apply for Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR) and a Green Card if they are eligible for EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 employment visas.
How long is the process from an L-1 Visa to a Green Card?
The process from an L-1 visa to a Green Card can take anywhere from eight months to two years. It could be slightly quicker if you are on an L-1A visa versus the L-1B visa. The timeframe depends on what visa you are eligible for, how long USCIS is taking at the time you apply, how long it takes you to gather the documents. Additionally, there are various requirements that must be met for each of the Green Card based visas, which could affect the time frame.
How does holding an L-1 visa impact my financial obligations to the US government?
L-1 visa holders are generally not exempt from filing taxes unless you are only present in the United States for less than 31 days of the current year.
Can an L-1 visa be transferred to another company?
An L-1 visa cannot be transferred to another company because it is an intracompany transfer visa. It was specifically intended for people seeking a location transfer while working for the same company. L-1 visa holders are also not allowed to apply for other jobs while on the visa.
If you would like to learn more about the L-1 visa and how you can transfer an employee with managerial or executive capacity, or a specialized knowledge set, please contact us for an in-depth assessment.