Can an L1 visa holder change jobs?

L-1 Visa

The US work and US nonimmigrant visas also include the L-1 visa. The L-1 entry permit is also called an internal transfer visa. With this visa, an employee can move from company headquarters abroad to an affiliated company in the USA. The applicant must have a managerial or managerial position or be a specialist in order to obtain the L-1 visa. Since the transfer takes place within the same company, it is called an internal transfer visa.

The L-1 entry permit is not only made for a specific type of company or a specific country. All companies, from large and medium-sized companies to small start-ups, are entitled to send their employees to the USA, provided they have an affiliated company there. In addition, all foreign nationals are entitled to apply for this type of visa, provided they meet the requirements. The L-1 visa has no numerical cap; it can be granted to anyone who is eligible and going through the application process.

The L-1 visa is issued upon job change or promotion for employment in the United States. If it is just a matter of attending meetings, conferences, or similar work, the applicant should apply for the B-1 visa or business visa instead. These activities do not qualify for an L-1 entry permit.

What types of L-1 visas are there?

Since there are many different ways of in-house transfers to the United States, immigration authorities have divided the L-1 visa into two appropriate categories:

  • L-1A Visa (Executives and Directors) - The visa is intended for in-house transfers of employees who will work in managerial or managerial positions in the United States.
  • L-1B Visa (Specialized Skills) - The visa is designed for in-house transfers of employees going to the US because they have specialized expertise that is beneficial for business development.

What are the requirements for the L-1 visa?

To be eligible for the L-1 visa, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • have been employed in a non-US country for at least one year in the past three years.
  • The company the applicant works for must have an office, subsidiary, sister company or parent company in the United States.
  • The applicant must have special specialist knowledge or a managerial or managerial position.
  • The applicant must have a transfer offer to the USA, either as an executive, managing director or as a specialist
  • The applicant must be registered as a full-time employee; however, he may work part-time in the United States and use the remainder of his working hours to work in his home country.

Applying for the L-1 visa

The application process for the L-1 visa is very different from the application process for the H-1B visa. While H-1-B visa applicants must apply to the U.S. Department of Labor, have a minimum wage certificate, and prove that no U.S. worker is available to take the job, L-1 visa applicants need all of these Not.

The following steps are necessary to apply for an L-1 visa:

Get a transfer offer

This is the obvious and logical premise. The entrepreneur who has a branch, subsidiary, sister company or parent company in the USA gives the applicant an internal transfer offer for a managerial or managerial position or as a specialist. Then the application process can begin.

Submitting the formI.-129

There are two ways to submit this form:

  1. Single application

The entrepreneur must submit an application to the US to transfer the employee to the country. The individual application ensures that exactly one employee applies for an L-1 visa. For this purpose, the Form I-129 Application for a Nonimmigrant Worker must be submitted to the Immigration Service (USCIS - US Citizenship and Immigration Services), as well as Appendix L. The USCIS must approve the application so that the application process can begin. If the application is approved, the employee receives form I-797.

  1. The L-1 flat-rate application

The flat-rate application was created to enable large companies to get a permit for many employees who can be transferred to the United States on an L-1 visa. The company will submit Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Application Based on the L-1 Flat Rate Application, to Immigration Services. After the application is approved, the entrepreneur also receives the I-797 form for the employee.

The flat-rate application is valid for three years and can be extended as often as is necessary for the entrepreneur. However, if the application expires, the entrepreneur cannot submit a new flat-rate application for the next three years, but he can submit individual applications.

In addition to these two differences in the application process, all other steps are exactly the same for all applicants in order to receive the L-1 entry permit.

Entrepreneur has to pay the fees

For eligibility for an L-1 visa, the entrepreneur must pay certain fees to the USCIS. These fees are as follows:

  • Form I-129 filing fee - $ 460
  • Entrepreneurs with 25 or fewer employees in the United States under the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act 1998 (ACWIA) pay - $ 750
  • Fraud Detection and Defense Fee - $ 500
  • Fee for companies transferring 50+ employees to the United States on H-1B or L-1 visas - $ 4,000
  • Premium processing through USCIS - $ 1,225

Submit Form DS-160

The DS-160 form is required for most visa applications, including the L-1 visa. The form is available online and the applicant must provide all necessary information about their intentions to go to the US, the purpose of their travel and other details that will help the US embassy make a decision. After Form DS-160 is submitted, the system issues a confirmation page and number for the applicant to keep on file.

Pay application fee

The L-1 visa application fee is $ 190. For the further processing of the application it is necessary to pay this fee. In addition, additional fees may apply, depending on your home country or on mutual agreements with the USA. The applicant receives evidence of all fees paid, which must be added to the documents.

Arrange an interview

To obtain the L-1 entry permit, the applicant who is over 13 and under 79 must have an interview with an official from the U.S. embassy where the application was made. Appointments should be made as soon as possible, as the embassies are busy and it can take a while to get an appointment. With the appointment, the applicant receives a letter with the interview date.

submit documents

Applicants must submit the following documents in order for the embassy to consider the application:

  • a passport that is valid for 6 months beyond the visa period
  • a photo according to the requirements for photographs
  • the DS-160 confirmation page and code
  • the cover letter with the appointment for the visa interview
  • for individual applications:
    • Form I-129 and a copy
    • Form I-797
  • for flat rate applications
    • Form I-129S and a copy
    • three copies of Form I-797
  • Letter from the entrepreneur confirming the transfer and job description
  • Proof that the applicant has worked for the company for at least one year in the past three years
  • Letters from previous employers and contact information from supervisors
  • Contact information for two co-workers from current and previous jobs
  • Photos from the inside and outside of the workplace
  • CV or application documents

Participate in the visa interview

The visa interview is an essential part of the application. An official from the U.S. Embassy assigned to the applicant will conduct the interview. He will try to assess travel intentions. He wants to prove that the transfer is real and that the applicant is coming to the US to work. If the conversation goes well, the visa will be processed and the applicant will get the stamp in their passport.

How long is the processing time for an L-1 visa?

The processing time for an L-1 visa is not very long. However, individual applications can take a little longer than flat-rate applications, but the time difference is very small. In general, an L-1 travel authorization will take about three to four months to process from the time of application.

If the employer pays the preferential processing fee to USCIS, the processing time is one to three weeks.

How long is the L-1 visa valid?

If the employer submits Form I-129, also include the contract period. If the visa is granted, this is the length of time the applicant is allowed to work in the USA. This length of time is also noted on Form I-94 that is given upon entry into the United States.

Shortly before this period expires, the employer can apply for an extension. If the extension is granted, the employee may stay in the United States longer.

However, there is a maximum length of time that someone with an L-1 visa can stay in the United States. That depends on the type of L-1 visa. The L-1A visa allows a stay in the United States for a maximum of seven years, while an L-1B visa allows a stay of up to five years. When the maximum residence time has been reached, the visa holder can look for other options that also allow him to stay in the USA permanently.

From the L-1 visa to the green card

Fortunately, much like the H-1B visa, the L-1 visa has a dual purpose.This means L-1 visa applicants do not necessarily need to show that they will return to their home country when the contract ends. You do not have to show any ties to your home, and you are allowed to apply for a green card.

Applications for a green card can be submitted by submitting Form I-40, adjusting status through employment, family association, or other methods. Since some L-1 visa holders have special expertise, they can also apply for the green card as a specialist. You can receive this within a year.

L-1 visa for family members

L-1 visa holders are allowed to take their relatives with them to the USA as an escort. Relatives include spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. These dependents must have an L-2 visa to come to the United States with the person holding the L-1 visa.

The L-2 Entry Permit allows loved ones to get a driver's license, open a bank account, or engage in activities such as enrolling at university for a degree or employment with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) record.