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L-1 Visa FAQ’s

Q: Can an L-1 Visa holder change their company?

A: An L-1 visa holder can transfer employment or change jobs but only to another location with the same company, or to another affiliated company in the United States. A new petition would have to be filed in such a situation.

However, if you want to work for a completely different company other than the one that sponsored your L-1 visa, you would have to change your status to a different kind of nonimmigrant work visa such as H-1B or TN.

Q: Can an L-1 visa holder apply for a Green Card?

A: Similar to the H-1B Visa the L-1 Visa is actually a “dual intent” visa which does in fact allow an L-1 visa holder and their dependents to apply for permanent residency without jeopardizing their status.

L-1A visa holders may be eligible to apply under the EB-1 Category specifically created for managers and executives who meet the L-1 standards and are interested in becoming lawful permanent residents.

This is a much faster process than the traditional employment based green card process. For more information about the EB-1 category and green card processing times please consult with a qualified immigration lawyer.

Q: I am on L-1A but have filed for H-1B status so that I may switch companies. Can I continue to work with my L-1A employer after my October 1 H-1B start date?

A: No. If the H-1B visa was filed and approved then the Change of Status from L-1A to H-1B is effective as of October 1st. If you do not wish to begin on an H-1B status then it is recommended that you contact an immigration attorney to assist with filing a new change of status or extension.

Q: I am in L-1A which is valid for another 6 months and my EB-1 petition is pending. Do I have to extend my L-1A status?

A: There are many different variables in this situation which I would highly recommend discussion with a qualified business immigration attorney. One factor to consider is the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services processing times.

This is always an important area to look as you want to ensure that the processing time is within the time frame prior to your expiration. Please note however that processing times are not guaranteed times rather are estimates.

In addition another factor to consider is whether your immigration attorney has filed a stand-alone I-140 in the EB-1 category, or whether they filed the I-140 and I-485 Adjustment of Status concurrently.

Finally, it is important to review the stability of the company and position to ensure it meets the criteria for EB-1. It is usually safe to always maintain a non immigrant status but equally important to consult with a qualified business immigration attorney who can provide you with a detailed analysis of your case.

Q: I have been at employed abroad for almost 10 months. Can I file for an L-1 Visa before I complete the 12 months employment? I’m sure by the time I receive an approval I will have completed 12 months…

A: Unfortunately you must meet the L-1 visa requirements at the time of filing and not at the time the petition is approved. As such you will have to wait 2 months before the case can be submitted to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

Q: Is there a minimum rate that I must get paid in L-1 status? Like an H-1B and the prevailing wage?

A: No there is not a specific wage requirement however if your employer wants to page a wage significantly lower than the prevailing wage the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services will most likely look upon that negatively.

Many of these types of cases are for executives, manager, or specialized knowledge employees. As such realistically the wage should match the Beneficiary’s specific skill level. A high level executive employed at a meager rate is more likely to cause further scrutiny by USCIS.

Q: Do I have to hold a degree to qualify for L-1 visa?

A: No. There is no requirement that the L-1 Visa holder posses a degree in order to qualify. This is true for both the L-1A and L-1B visa categories.

Q: I hold an L-1A visa and want to apply for my Green Card. Do I automatically qualify for EB-1 if I hold an L-1A?

A: Unfortunately even if you qualify for L-1A status the I-140 under the EB-1 category is processed as a new and separate case. It is important that you consult with a qualified immigration lawyer who specializes in both L1A visas and EB-1 petitions for Executives and Managers.

Global Law Centers processes L1 visas for various corporations throughout Orange County and Southern California, We have helped thousands of clients in the AnaheimIrvine, Santa Ana, Orange, and Tustin areas. Contact our office for a free consultation for L1 Extension or New Office opening.

As with any situation it is important to consult with a professional immigration lawyer who can guide your organization through the ever-changing arena of Federal Immigration Law. Our expert legal knowledge will provide you and your employees with excellent results.

We proudly serve North Orange County such as Cypress, Anaheim, Buena Park, Santa Ana, and Fullerton. In addition we proudly provide support to South Orange County areas of Mission Viejo, Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, and San Clemente.