Primarily aimed at temporary transfer of employees by a foreign company to work in the U.S., L1 visa provides a facility to a foreign worker possessing managerial or executive capability (For L1 A category) and specialized knowledge (For L1 B category) to stay and work in the U.S.
Therefore, the L1 visa is temporary in nature and for the non-immigrant category.
What is L1B Visa?
L1 B visa comes under the category of the employment-based non-immigrant work visa for the U.S.
The umbrella category is L1 visa which is a dual intent visa with two significant categories, namely L1 A (Managers / Executives) and L1 B (Specialised Knowledge) visas along with other types.
What is a Green Card?
Permanent Resident Card, or usually called Green Card, is provided for the non-US citizens who wish to get a permanent authority to work and live in the U.S. An employment-based Green Card allows an individual to stay and work for any employer in the U.S.
You can even carry out any legal business with such a green card. Employment-based Green Cards consist of many different categories such as EB1, EB2 and others.
Different Categories of Green Card (Permanent Resident Card)
- Diversity Lottery
- Political Asylum
How difficult is it to Obtain an L1 Visa?
Usually, the rules to obtain the L1 visa in the U.S. are little stringent. The most crucial factor seen by the U.S. officials is your permanent employability in the U.S.
However, it is possible to obtain a Green Card without a sponsoring employer from the U.S. in specific categories.
Future permanent employability in a job is the prime factor defining your applicability. Even if, you may not be working presently for your employer who is sponsoring you, still if convinced with the future permanent employability in a job, the U.S. officials may grant you the requisite Green Card.
Who is Eligible for L1 B Visa?
If you form part of the category of professionals with specialized knowledge, you are eligible for L1 B visa.
Usually, such individuals include researchers, engineers, architects, lawyers, teachers, surgeons, physicians and such others.
Specialized knowledge means beyond ordinary and above the simple skilled category. Your specialized knowledge should exclusively relate to the petitioner’s organizational business.
For example, specialists chefs and cooks though possessing specialized knowledge in their field, are excluded from the category to get L1 B visa.
Therefore, the Petitioner submits proof and evidence that the individual’s knowledge is advanced, extraordinary and distinguished.
What are the Timing Rules for L1 B Visa?
The maximum stay for L1 B visa is capped at five years which is lesser than as compared to L1 A visa for which it is seven years.
However, there exists a provision for conversion from L1 B to L1 A category following specific rules and regulations.
One may please note that the initial approval is only for three years for L1 B visa. However, one can receive a renewal extension of two years, thus, making it to a total of five years.
This renewal is only granted once. For the new office petition, the initial approval is for one year alone.
Also, as a requirement, the individual must have been employed for a minimum one year in the past three years as an executive or manager or with specialized knowledge.
The organization files the petition for L1 visa, which is of three types.
- Individual L1 Petition
- L1 blanket Petition
- Opening a new office
L1 B visa is the non-immigrant temporary visa for non-US citizens to stay and work in the U.S. L1 B visa is applicable for the professionals with specialized knowledge.
It would be ideal for one to get an L1 B visa and later convert the L1 B into L1 A category as the validity for L1 A (seven years) is higher than that of L1 B visa.