Frequently Asked Questions - L-1 Visa

L-1 Blanket petition
I have an L-1 Blanket petition and I traveled to US for one week and used that VISA. Part of my job, I need to work in one of our offices outside USA for a year, but will just have to go to US for one week every 2 months. Will that affect my visa since I would not be fulltime working in US? I have M entries in my L-1.

As long as you work full time and on the job described in your L-1B while you are INSIDE USA, it does not matter how long you stay outside USA.

Green card for L1-B or L1-A holders
I currently have a L1-B visa and I'd like to know if the company where I work(a Brazilian company where I did work for 2 years, one of them in a managerial position before coming to the U.S in 2009) could apply to change my status from L1-B to L1-A at the same time as filing my GC application. The company is a giant in Brazil with 600 employees but we are still starting the operations in the U.S and I'm the only employee here.

Smaller companies can have a tough time getting an L-1A.

L1B - resignation in US
I am currently on L1B in US. Could you please let me know if it is legal to resign on L1B while am in US or is it required by law that I need to return to my home country and resign? Am on US payroll and I believe am governed by US labour laws and they will supersede the Indian laws even if I signed a document mentioning that I will return to India. Could you please confirm?

What you are asking me has nothing to do with US immigration laws. This is a matter for an employment lawyer in the state where you are working. Under US immigration laws, you can resign in USA any time.

L1B to H1
I am working in US with L1B Visa from company A, now I have my H1 petition approved from the same company had applied to me before I had L1B. Now is it possible for me to change my Visa status from L1B to H1, if yes then what are the situations under which I will be able to change as I am planning to change the company.

You will need to apply for an H-1 through the employer you wish to join. You should be able to apply for a change of status as a part of that process.

L1B
In your knowledge, how long does it usually take to obtain a green card (through dual intent)with an L1B visa?

The time taken for L-1B holder who applies through PERM is the same as for anyone else from the country you were born in. No special case here, unless yo convert to L-1A and go through EB-1.

L-1B
I have 3 questions about the L1B visa I hope you can help me with: 1.Is it possible to work part time for another company than your sponsor under an L1B visa? (at the same time) 2.Is there a minimum amount of hours you have to be employed weekly under an L1B? Or can you just work part time for your sponsor company? 3.Lets say I want to apply under the "dual intent" law to permanent residence with an L1B visa, is it possible to do so by working only part time to my sponsor or do I have to be full time employed to be able to apply under the dual intent law ?

1. L-1B visas do not permit part time employment.
2. I think 35 hours each week (full time). Part time is not permitted.
3. Part time is not allowed under L-1B.

Changing Status from Tourist or Business Visa (B1 or B2) Within the United States
Right now I'm in USA on B1 visa. I came last week 1st Oct 2017. Got the stamp for 6 months (i94 expires on Mar 31, 2018). This is the 3rd time I'm traveling to the US on B1. Below are the previous trip details. Aug 02 2014 To Sep 28 2014, May 03 2015 To Jun 15 2015,3) Oct 1 2017 To till date (Nov 11 2017). Now my company wants to file L-1B petition for me. The employer is ready to file an application for L-1B in the USA if it is legitimate. 1) Now I'm already in the US, so Is there a process to get my L-1B without going back to my country (India)? Is B-1 to L-1B is a complex process? Is there any complication(s) if I put my petition in USA? 2) What will be the time frame to get L-1B?
Rules for Counting 6 Years of H-1B
I got H-1B approval in August 2013 valid from Oct 2013 to Sept 2016. After this, I traveled to the US in August 2014 on H-1B & I am here till now. My question is, till what time I can stay in the USA. I know for H-1B we get 6 years. But will this count my earlier stay on L-1B? For more than 2 years, I didn't enter to the US. Will it be until August 2020 or ( August 2020 minus the L1B stay ) ?
L-1A to EB-1
I am on L-1A (been about 4 years) from company A and in closing stages of getting a very good offer from company B. Both A & B are global corporations. For company A, I oversee business across continents (Both North America & Latin America). Company B is very keen on having me on board. 1. What are all the possible options on visa front so that I can join company B? 2. What is the quickest option that can help me get on to company B? 3. If I want GC, can company B file for it when am still on payroll of company A - if so, can it be EB-1?

Since A and B are not related, H-1B is the only obvious option to join B. B can start your green card even before you join, but it will not be EB1 (international manager/exec.).

L-1A Visa and Green Card Application
What is the chance for a L-1A visa holder of 9 years experience (2 years in USA) to qualify for a EB-1 category. Catch here is the original company which provided the L-1A visa will not apply for GC. Can I apply for GC myself in EB-1 category?

You or any company not a part of the L-1A employer cannot apply for green card based upon your international manager/executive status.

 

L-1 A to Greencard
I work for company A for the last 7 years. I have been a manager with the same company for 5+ years. I am now in US for past 1 year on L-1 A Blanket visa. My current employer is not agreeing to file my GC. Some one told me that the scenario listed below is possible. Scenario: Identify a new employer who is ready to sponsor my GC. Since GC is about future permanent employment, that employer can directly file my EB1. I can join the new employer once my EAD comes through. Is this possible?

Not entirely true. The GC IS for a future job. An employer CAN, based upon a good faith intention to hire you in the future, file a GC for you even while you are not working for them. But, an EB1 for an international manager/executive can only be filed by a company related to the company you worked for when you were outside USA.

I-94 Extension Time
I have a L1-A VISA through company Blanket. I have visa up to 2013. But my blanket expires in 2011-dec. I got I-94 up to Dec-2011. I have already applied for I-94 extension. How long will it take?

It can take a few months. You can apply for premium processing even when the case is filed and pending.

L-1A holders trying for EB-1
I have 6 years experience with the same company with 4 years experience in US itself. I am on L1A visa and I have only a 4 year Bachelor Computer Science engineering degree. What GC category will I fall under?

L-1A holders should try under EB1. You could be done in a year.

Green card for L1-B or L1-A holders
I currently have a L1-B visa and I'd like to know if the company where I work(a Brazilian company where I did work for 2 years, one of them in a managerial position before coming to the U.S in 2009) could apply to change my status from L1-B to L1-A at the same time as filing my GC application. The company is a giant in Brazil with 600 employees but we are still starting the operations in the U.S and I'm the only employee here.

Smaller companies can have a tough time getting an L-1A.

L1A-Blanket petition
I came to USA before 3 years and 6 months on L1B-Individual visa. I had 2 years of managerial experience before 3.5 years with the same employer, outside U.S.A. Now I got my L1A-Blanket petition approved and waiting for Personal Appearance with U.S.Consulate. My concern is that, I read in the conditions that the experience should be within the preceding three years….but I have managerial experience before 3.5 years. Will affect the chances?

There is an exemption of time for people who come to USA and continue working with the same group of companies in USA. Their 3 years are counted back from the date they enter USA.

L1A to EB1 from outside USA
I have completed 6.5 yrs in L1A in managerial role. Now the same employer wants me to stay outside of USA for few months. 1)Can we apply EB1 while being outside USA? 2)Do we have to apply for L1 A extn for remaining 6 months of 7 yrs while applying for EB1? 3)Can a new employer sponsor L1A and apply for EB1 while entering the country?

EB1 can be applied while you are outside USA. A new employer can sponsor only after you have worked for them for one year outside USA.

Chances of L1A to EB1
What is the chance for a L1A visa holder of 7 years to qualify for a EB1 category. Catch here is the original company which provided the L1A visa will not apply for GC. If the person moves to another company on H1 Visa can the new company file for GC under EB1 based on the previous 7 years of L1A status .

No, sorry. The basis of an International Manager's or Executive's EB-1 filing is that you must have been employed abroad with a related company for one year. Since you will not be able to meet that criterion, I do not see how that type of EB-1 can be filed through a new company.

L1A Extension processing time
I had applied for my L1A extension back in Novemeber 13 2009 and yet the status is showing Initial Review. I am little concerned that would it really take this much time?What is the experience of other, with similar situation. Are L1's getting extended easily.

L-1A extensions are very difficult unless you meet all the criteria.

Covid Coronavirus Question from Employers about Payroll for H-1B and others L-1, E, etc. employees
We are looking at various measures of safety and expense control. First and foremost everyone is working from home for their on safety and wellness. For expense control one idea that we were discussing was a potential pay rate reduction for a short period of time.
Time of stay and definition of a manager/executive employee for L-1A and EB-1C
I'm currently on H1B Visa with I-140 Approved. My Employer is sending to Canadian branch to work for 2 years. I have 1 person reporting the work to me (Offshore India). I'm not designated as a Manager. Upon return to US branch after 2 years completion in Canada. Does my application qualify for EB-1C category?
Effect of L-1A Denial on Approved I-140 Green Card
I am currently on H-1B , which expires on 20 Jan 2018 , Instead of filing H-1B extension my employer filed for my COS on L-1A , As i meet all the eligibility criteria. I also have my EB-1C I-140 approved , but we cannot file 485 as the dates are not current. My L-1A COS is rejected (Denied) . Will this impact my already approved I-140 ?
Effect of Salary Variations During L-1A Visa
I came here on L1A. At the time of petition, my offer letter from my employer had a salary of $120K annually. This is $10,000 monthly. I want to know if running my payroll for less money will affect my GC process which I am planning to apply next year. Considering following situations, Will it affect my GC process which I am planning to apply after 1 year from my arrival date? 1) If my payroll is run for lesser salary e.g. in the range of $6000 to $8000? 2) If my payroll is run with (salary + bonus) to make it a total of $10,000/month (120K annually). For example salary = $6000/month and bonus = $4000/month
Current Immigration/Visa Options for Entrepreneurs
What are the requirements to get a visa and green card as an international entrepreneur? Is the start-up visa effective?
Extension of Investor Visas, Religious Visas, Conrad 30 for Physicians
We are being informed that EB-5 investments in regional centers are now possible until December. The date has been extended. 1) Is this true? 2) Given that a green card is available years after the initial investment, in the current volatile immigration climate, how safe is an EB-5 ?

True. The EB-5, the religious visa programs and Conrad 30 waives for foreign physicians have been extended until 8 December 2017 pursuant to H.R. 601 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017.

Rules for Counting 6 Years of H-1B
I got H-1B approval in August 2013 valid from Oct 2013 to Sept 2016. After this, I traveled to the US in August 2014 on H-1B & I am here till now. My question is, till what time I can stay in the USA. I know for H-1B we get 6 years. But will this count my earlier stay on L-1B? For more than 2 years, I didn't enter to the US. Will it be until August 2020 or ( August 2020 minus the L1B stay ) ?
Dual Intent Visas and Filing green Card in Multiple Categories Simultaneously
My sister is a naturalized US citizen and she is planning on applying for my GC. I have 2 questions: 1. If my company decides to sponsor my L1-A visa (after my GC application is submitted) will my L1-A be denied because of my GC application?. I have a multiple entry 10 year tourist visa that will expire in 2017. If I apply for a new tourist visa in 2017, will that be denied? 2. Furthermore, my father's GC (consular processing) is being processed currently. Once he becomes a GC holder, can he apply for my GC (I am single over 21 years of age) in such cases Processing time is also much less. If my father can sponsor my GC, what happens to my application in the unfortunate event of my father's demise during this period?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://youtu.be/R4-_pic6TzY?t=103

FAQ Transcript

Can I postpone H-1 status
Currently I'm on L-1A status and it expires in *** hence my employer is planning to file new H-1B this April not change of status. Here are my questions… 1) If I get H-1B this April, is it mandatory to work on H-1B from Oct 01, 2015? 2) Shall I continue with L-1A status until it expires and then can I change to H-1B?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S.

GC in L1-A Visa
I have 14 years of overall IT experience and performing Manager, Service delivery role for past 3 years. Planning to enter USA in L-1A visa. I have a team of 30 resources, working in Chennai, Shanghai and San Jose. They all report to me. My Questions: 1. How long I need to wait to initiate the GC process? 2. Do I have a choice of selecting the type - EB-1 vs EB-2? 3. I don't have bachelors or masters degree. Will that be a barrier for applying GC? 4. Should I apply ONLY through my employer or can I apply myself

1. You can apply for green card without any wait.
2.

Resigning Under L-1 Visa
1. I am currently on an L-1 visa but I am thinking of resigning my job. I have an Australian passport, so if I do so could I just change my status to the Visa Waiver Program or would I need to physically exit and re-enter the country? 2. If I subsequently wish to stay longer than 90 days under the visa waiver program, am I able to simply exit and re-enter the country to restart the 90 day period?

1. You will have to exit and reenter OR apply for a change of status to 

L-1 to GC
I am on L-1 visa until 2015, according to my employer's attorney the I-140 form was already approved, now my employer does not want to continue with the I-485 form process (because they don't want to pay attorney's fees) and will not release any information related to my case, do I have any chance to continue with the GC process by myself? Or will I be facing deportation at the L-1 visa expiration date?

There is no problem with you paying the I-485 fees. But the employer must be involved to the extent that they need to provide a (truthful) letter evidencing continuity of your employment.

Fresh H-1B After 6 Years
I possess a US Master's Degree in Computer Science and also worked in the US for 7 yrs, 6 of them on H-1 which expired on May 31, 2012. I have since been in India and will complete 12 months of physical presence outside the US in early June 2013. I do have an employer ready to petition on my behalf on April 1st but could you please help shed some light on: 1. Given my past H-1 stay in US, am I subject to either cap of 65,000 or 20,000? If neither, can petition be filed anytime of year after 4/1? Since 12 mos. of physical stay in India will complete in June, can petition be filed on April 1st? 2. Does 12 month rule of physical stay outside the US apply if my current employer were to petition an L-1?

1. You will be subject to quota and USCIS will not accept the filing until one year is over.

2. Being outside for one year does give a fresh start on the L-1 times as well. And, L-1 are not subject to quota.

Blanket L visas and I-129S
With the new guidance for L visas to be issued for the maximum reciprocity period, Blanket L visas have been issued for five years when an I-129S is certified for less time. How will beneficiaries be able to get a new I-129S approved by a consular officer if a visa application will not be required?

Upon expiration of the initial validity of the approved I-129S, a beneficiary may apply for an extension of his or her status with USCIS. If approved, the alien can continue to utilize his and her still valid visas for travel to the U.S. The approved extension of status application, not the initial I-129S, is proof to CBP of his or her eligibility for admission.

Have valid L-1 Visa, but I-94 expires
I have valid visa till 2013. Last year when I came to US, my passport was about to expire in Dec'2011 and hence I got my I-94 till Dec'2011. Now I have renewed my passport. At the time of entry, the officials said I can apply for extension once I renew my passport. I saw your previous comments "legality of stay in USA is governed by your I-94, not the visa." So my question is how to do L-1 extension?
British citizen on L-1 visa
I am a British citizen on L1 visa. My boyfriend is a US citizen and we intend to marry. If we seek the fiancé visa, will I have to go back to the UK for any time? And if I intend to relocate within the US to collocate with him (and therefore will need to find a new employer) what kind of working visa could I obtain?

You can just get married and apply for a green card directly while you are still in USA. You can continue working on L-1. In 90 days or so, you should also receive your EAD, if you apply.

L-1 visa from an affiliate
I worked as Dept. Director at a Spanish Hotel from Jan 08-Jul 09. My employment was in the Hotel full-time, but was hired/paid through a consulting firm they employed (and still employ) to manage the operations of that department. I have now been offered a position (Dec 2010) in a similar Managerial/Director job within the Hotel's parent company in the USA but I have not got a US work permit, (I am Spanish). Can I qualify for the L1-blanket visa of the Company, based on my history with their consultant? Do I need to be employed by Hotel in Spain again prior to applying for the L1 visa?

Interesting situation. Not having researched this issue, I am guessing, the only way you can qualify for the L-1 is if you can establish that the hotel in Spain was your "true" employer in that they controlled you, even though your salary was paid by the consulting company.

L1A-Blanket petition
I came to USA before 3 years and 6 months on L1B-Individual visa. I had 2 years of managerial experience before 3.5 years with the same employer, outside U.S.A. Now I got my L1A-Blanket petition approved and waiting for Personal Appearance with U.S.Consulate. My concern is that, I read in the conditions that the experience should be within the preceding three years….but I have managerial experience before 3.5 years. Will affect the chances?

There is an exemption of time for people who come to USA and continue working with the same group of companies in USA. Their 3 years are counted back from the date they enter USA.

Request Info for L1 visa to do business
My parents are in Kenya and do business there. I want to have them shift to the states and do business here. Can my parents start a subway franschise on an L1 visa? My father owns supermarkets and a mall in kenya. I was wondering if he could get an L1 visa and start business here. What options does he have? Can we start a fast food joint based on an L1 visa as well? Also, I would like to mention that my parents would like to keep the business in Kenya to continue and they would want to travel between the US and Kenya.

L-1 visas have progressively become more difficult for smaller companies. But I think it my be worth a try.

Covid Coronavirus Question from Employers about Payroll for H-1B and others L-1, E, etc. employees
We are looking at various measures of safety and expense control. First and foremost everyone is working from home for their on safety and wellness. For expense control one idea that we were discussing was a potential pay rate reduction for a short period of time.
Loss of job/laid off during Covid/Coronavirus times
I lost job and my last date of employment with the employer is March 20, 2020. This employer sponsored H1B and also had ported GC AOS in 2018.: 1. After my last date of employment (March 20, 2020), how much time do I have to transfer H1B and I-487 to a new employer? 2. Will losing the job affect the EAD renewal in processing? 3. How would it affect I-487 application, which can become current any time soon?
What to do after an H-1B (or L-1) denial
I got my H-1B denial on 02/20/2020. H1B expired date : 1/31/2020. I-94 expired date: 2/10/2020. H1B extension denial date: 02/20/2020. H1B filed date: 12/07/2019. H1B RFE date: 12/27/2019. H1B RFE replied date: 02/02/2020. How long can I stay ?
Must we maintain H-1 or L-1 status while I-485 is pending?
Is it mandatory to maintain non-immigrant status (H1B) until the I-485 application is approved (a green card is issued)? I am not sure whether USCIS will send an RFE and/or call for an interview when my PD becomes current.
The Impact of the NTA Memo
Under new deportation and denial policy 2018, I have following questions if I want to renew green card after 10 years. Can green card renewal I 90 be denied because of some common errors like forgot to submit copy of old green card, or any court document ( removal proceedings canceled without prejudice). Will I get deported if GC is denied due to minor administrative error?
Travel Outside The USA When A Case Is Pending
1. I moved from client A to client B in June. My employer filed an amendment for me now. I have my current H-1B till September 2020 when I'm with client A but my visa stamping expired last year. Can I travel while my H-1B amendment is pending? 2. As my visa got expired, I have to get it stamped again. For that, should I have to go for interview again or can I do it by Dropbox? 3. What will be the case if my amendment is still pending. What will be the case If my amendment is approved by then​.

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Travel outside the USA when a case is pending

Video Transcript

1. Yes, you can travel.

2. I don't know the exact local rules, but you have to go for visa stamping.

3. You should not go until the amendment is actually approved. More...

 

Effect of Salary Variations During L-1A Visa
I came here on L1A. At the time of petition, my offer letter from my employer had a salary of $120K annually. This is $10,000 monthly. I want to know if running my payroll for less money will affect my GC process which I am planning to apply next year. Considering following situations, Will it affect my GC process which I am planning to apply after 1 year from my arrival date? 1) If my payroll is run for lesser salary e.g. in the range of $6000 to $8000? 2) If my payroll is run with (salary + bonus) to make it a total of $10,000/month (120K annually). For example salary = $6000/month and bonus = $4000/month
Filing EB-1C, International Managers or Executives Green Card
I entered the US in 2014 on L1A, then changed employer mid-2015 on H1(previously held petition). In 2017 again changed employer in a role equivalent to International Manager. Can my current employer file my Green Card under EB1 category?
Current Immigration/Visa Options for Entrepreneurs
What are the requirements to get a visa and green card as an international entrepreneur? Is the start-up visa effective?
Rules for Counting 6 Years of H-1B
I got H-1B approval in August 2013 valid from Oct 2013 to Sept 2016. After this, I traveled to the US in August 2014 on H-1B & I am here till now. My question is, till what time I can stay in the USA. I know for H-1B we get 6 years. But will this count my earlier stay on L-1B? For more than 2 years, I didn't enter to the US. Will it be until August 2020 or ( August 2020 minus the L1B stay ) ?
The Proposed I-140 EAD Rule - FAQ's

Question 1: Redo the PERM or just the I-140. If redoing the PERM again then what's new in this regulation? 

Answer: After 180 days, you can extend H-1 even if 140 is withdrawn.

Question 2: It seems that there is no easy provision for EAD/AP for approved 140 applicants. So is there any point in waiting for this rule or Should I consider Visa stamping is only option for traveling outside US? Please suggest as I waited for a year or long thought they are going to give AP.

Correcting dates on I-94
My current visa H-4 VISA is valid till Nov 25 2016. - I had applied for an change of status/extension of stay (I539) for H-4 status to July 4 2018 (through underlying H-1 extension). - I had to travel to India while it was pending. USCIS issued an I-797 - Approval for the extension of stay without abandoning it. - At the port of entry, the I-94 expiry was marked as Dec 25 2016. - The expiry date does not jive with the original VISA expiry date Nov 25, 2016 that was presented at the time of arrival. Nor does it reflect the I-539 extended date of July 4 2018 (that was not presented at port of entry). Please advise - a) What action would I required to correct I-94 expiry date? Who do I contact to correct it? b) I am filing for a I-485 adjustment as a spouse of EB-3, The forms require to put the status expiry date. Is it OK to use the more conservative Nov 25 2016 date even though I-539 has been erroneously approved till July 4 2018?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/ZvUVIGTM-Kk?t=705

Dual Intent Visas and Filing green Card in Multiple Categories Simultaneously
My sister is a naturalized US citizen and she is planning on applying for my GC. I have 2 questions: 1. If my company decides to sponsor my L1-A visa (after my GC application is submitted) will my L1-A be denied because of my GC application?. I have a multiple entry 10 year tourist visa that will expire in 2017. If I apply for a new tourist visa in 2017, will that be denied? 2. Furthermore, my father's GC (consular processing) is being processed currently. Once he becomes a GC holder, can he apply for my GC (I am single over 21 years of age) in such cases Processing time is also much less. If my father can sponsor my GC, what happens to my application in the unfortunate event of my father's demise during this period?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://youtu.be/R4-_pic6TzY?t=103

FAQ Transcript

Can I postpone H-1 status
Currently I'm on L-1A status and it expires in *** hence my employer is planning to file new H-1B this April not change of status. Here are my questions… 1) If I get H-1B this April, is it mandatory to work on H-1B from Oct 01, 2015? 2) Shall I continue with L-1A status until it expires and then can I change to H-1B?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S.

Traveling on a TN or L-1 Visa From Canada?
1. What are TN and L nonimmigrant classifications? 2. How can Canadian citizens obtain TN and L-1 classifications? 3. I am a first time TN and L-1 applicant – am I required to go to a designated port of entry? 4. Which ports of entry are designated for optimized processing?

1. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. The L-1 nonimmigrant classification - Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager – enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States.  This classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the U.S.

Sister Filed Petition
My sister filed petition for me last year maybe I-130. I am an Indian and my wife is Italian, I am in California nowadays since last week. Can we stay here permanently under I-485 or AOS whatever?

That category takes 13-14 years. During the time you are waiting for your priority date to be current, you cannot stay in the USA just because your green card is pending. You can, however, stay or come to the USA under a visa independent of the green card such as L-1, H-1. You can also apply for a green card in several categories simultaneously.

How to Enter The USA to Start A Business And Then Continue
I am planning to start an IT company in USA which is registered in India. Currently I am planning to travel on B1/B2 visa for my company set up. Can I transfer my visa status from B1/B2 to L1 if required within USA? What are the possible chances of success? Kindly you please suggest me the best way.

There are several issues that should be examined before you can make an informed decision.

1.  B visa or ESTA does not allow you to “work:”