L1 TO GREEN CARD

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Phoenix L1 Visa to Green Card Attorney

There is a strong similarity between L1 visas and employment-based visas (EB1, EB2, and EB3). For example, the EB-1c visa is for multinational executives and managers. Beneficiaries of the EB-1C visa must have qualifications similar to those of L-1A applicants. In this blog post, we’ll discuss these types of visas and how they can lead to permanent residency for foreign nationals.

An L1 visa is a document that allows a holder to enter the United States to work. It is a non-immigrant visa. This means it is only valid for a relatively short period of time. The amount of time it grants non-immigrants depends on where they come from. For Iran nationals, L1 visas tend to be around three months. For India, Japan, and Germany nationals, the period might range up to five years. It is based on reciprocity. L1 Visa holders may file for extensions that may grant them a maximum of seven years.

You may not apply for an L1 visa yourself. The United States company must file L1 visa petitions on the employee’s behalf. The United States company is considered the petitioner. The L1 visa recipient is the beneficiary.

Within the group of L1 visas, there are specific types you can apply for. 

  1. L1a visas are for executives and managers. They are valid for up to seven years.
  2. L1b visas are for workers with specialized talent and knowledge. They are valid for up to five years. 

Both types of L1 visas are dual intent visas. This means beneficiaries can apply for a Green Card after obtaining an L1 visa.

In addition to the two types of L1 visas, there are two procedures associated with L1 visas:

  • Regular L1 visas. These must be applied for and approved for each individual by USCIS
  • Blanket L1 visas. These are available to employers that meet specific requirements
    • The company must have an office in the US. It must have been in business for at least one year.
    • It must have at least three domestic and foreign branches, affiliates, or subsidiaries.
    • In addition, it must meet one of the following three criteria:
      • The company must have already obtained 10 or more L1 visas in the past year
      • It has sales of at least $25 million
      • Employ at least 1,000 employees in the US

 

In some cases, additional time beyond the five or seven year cap may be granted. This is for beneficiaries that reside abroad and commute to the United States for work. Beneficiaries who work seasonally or intermittently may also be eligible for longer term visas. For this, the total time spent in the United States for work must be a total of six months or less per year. Applications must include extensive evidence of travel and time spent in the United States. 

Employers may file for L1 visas for individuals that worked full-time continuously for one year in the past three years before filing. The individual must have a managerial or executive position (L1a), or provide specialized skills or knowledge (L1b).

The position must be full-time. This means at least 35 hours per week. The only exception to the full time requirement is if the beneficiary works for multiple affiliated companies.

“Specialized skills or knowledge,” means that an individual has an understanding of the company’s product, techniques, research, service, or equipment that makes him or her irreplaceable to the company’s dealings in the United States. It does not mean simply experience in the field.

Children of L1 visa holders may attend United States schools. If you are a spouse of an L1 visa holder, you may also work in the United States without restriction after being granted an Form I-766 employment authorization document (EAD). The type of visa you would require is an L2 visa.

The EB1 visa is an employment-based permanent residency. Permanent residency is also known as a Green Card. It is granted to foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors or researchers, as well as some executives and managers of foreign companies that transfer to the United States.

There are three main types of EB Visas:

  • Eb1, first preference. These types of workers get first priority in the application process. They are foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, business, education, or athletics. It also includes multinational managers and executives
  • Eb2, second preference. This includes foreign nationals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities
  • Eb3, third preference. This type of visa is granted to skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.

Those that hold an L1 visa may be eligible for an EB visa. This means they can get a green card, which grants permanent residence.

First, your employer must file an I-140 petition on your behalf. You must have a job offer in the United States in order to petition. Next, once USCIS receives the I-140 petition, you will know your priority date. The visa bulletin released monthly by the Department of State will verify if your priority date is current. As soon as your petition is approved, you can file for an adjustment of status. 

Keep checking the visa bulletin. Make sure your priority date is current. Sometimes there is a backlog which will delay your application. Once your dat

The EB visa category comes with many benefits. It’s definitely favorable to transfer from an L1 visa to an EB1 visa. The three main benefits include:

  • Unlike an EB-5 visa, you are not required to invest $500,000-$1 million in new commercial enterprises
  • There is no “conditional” green card period.
  • The employer provides the documents and covers the filing fees
  • The chances of getting approval are higher if you already had an L1 visa. 

The cost of changing from an L1 to an EB visa depends on how you do it. The choices are either adjustment of status, or consular processing. Keep in mind that traditionally, employers cover the costs of filing.

 

Adjustment of Status

  • I-140 filing fee: $700
  • I-485 filing fee: depending on your age, it could be anywhere from $750-$1,140. 
  • Biometrics fee (sometimes not applicable): $85

 

Consular Processing

  • I-140 filing fee: $700
  • DS-260 immigrant application fee: $230
  • Biometrics fee (not always applicable): $85
  • Affidavit of Support fee (not always applicable): $88

Contact Phoenix Immigration Attorney for a Confidential L1 to Green Card Consultation

Going from an L1 to Green Card or EB visa can be time consuming and tedious. Consult a Phoenix immigration attorney to learn about opportunities for L1a to green card applications. The attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group know exactly how to help foreign nationals with their visa and green card petitions.

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