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Do I Need to Apply for L-1A Visa? What Are the Advantages to Have L-1A Visa?

Hi William:

As a manager in a multinational company, I will soon be transferred to work in the United States. Do I need to apply for L-1A visa or H-1B visa to work in U.S.? What are the requirements and advantages to have L-1A visa over H-1B visa? Can I apply for U.S. Green Card directly?


One of the main requirements for the L-1A visa is that an employee of the foreign company must have also worked as an executive or managerial capacity for the foreign entity for at least one continuous year in the past three years before coming to United States. The alien employee then must be sponsored to work in the same capacity for the U.S. entity. An executive or manager with L-1A visa may work in the United States for up to seven years, while the 'specialized knowledge' employee with L-1B visa has up to five years.

The L-1A visa holder may qualify for EB1-Executive or Manager (EB-1C) immigrant category to apply for U.S. Green Card. The L-1A visa is also being increasingly used by international entrepreneurs, because it is extremely flexible as well as the fact that currently there is no quota or cap.

Also, the spouse and children of L-1 visa holders can work in the United States with L-2 visas, and can obtain a work permit (EAD). One of the other advantages that a L-1A visa has over H1-B is that it allows the holder to work in the U.S. for seven years instead of six and, furthermore, the L-1 visa regulation does not require the alien employee to have a college or university degree.

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