Hello and welcome to workpermit.com’s L1 visa update for January 2020. I’m Sanwar Ali
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L1 visa is for business owners and employees
The United States L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows overseas companies to transfer employees under two types of L1 visa schemes. Unlike the H1B visa there is no quota. For L1 visa transfers of executives and managers including business owners for up to seven years there is the L1A visa, and for specialized knowledge employees the L1B visa allows entry for up to five years to a new or existing US office. To qualify for an L1 visa the employee, which can include business owners, must have worked for the overseas office outside of the US for at least one year out of the last three years.
Please note that unless the employer is a very large company that can come under blanket filing there is very extensive documentation that needs to be provided for the application. Time spent physically in the US in the three years preceding the L1 visa application will not usually count towards the requirement that you spend one year in the last three years outside the US working for the overseas business.
L1 Visa and Employment Based EB1C Green Card
This may be a good option for managers and executives who wish to obtain a Green Card without the need for Labor Certification. The requirements for employment based immigration (permanent residence) under the EB1C immigrant scheme are similar to the requirements for the L1A Executive and Manager visa category. Many overseas executives and managers including business owners come under the L1A visa scheme first and then apply at a later date for EB1C as an international manager or executive which is one of the best ways of gaining an employment based immigrant visa (green card).
As you need to show that you have worked for the business outside the US for at least one year in the last three years, you will in practice need to apply for the EB1C immigrant visa within two years of entry to the US on an L1 visa. The business needs to have been established in the US for at least one year before you can apply under this green card scheme.
US H1B visa and other alternatives
There is also the H1B visa scheme. However, because of the quota there is very limited availability of H1B visas. There is usually a lottery in April for available H1B visas to start in October in the same year. Not only is the likelihood of obtaining an H1B visa low but you must also wait six months before you can start work.
Other US visas which may be appropriate for those considering the L1 and H1B include the E1 Treaty Trader visa and the E2 Treaty Investor visa. Only certain nationalities can apply. Applicants may also consider applying for a
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