Q:Do I need to live in the U.S. to petition for an L-1?
A:No. If the beneficiary is already in the U.S. under another valid status, the petitioner should indicate that it is seeking a change of status on the Form I-129 petition. Such changes of status are not valid if changing from a visa waiver or C, D, K-1, K-2, S, TWOV, WT, or WB status. If the beneficiary is not already in the U.S. under another valid status or is not eligible to change status, the beneficiary must obtain his or her visa through consular processing upon approval of Form I-129.
Q:What is the maximum period of stay under an L-1 visa?
A:L-1A visas are granted initially for 3 years for existing companies and 1 year for U.S. new companies. With extensions, the maximum stay of L-1A visa is seven years. The maximum stay of L-1B visa is five years.
Q: Do L-1 visa holders need to work full-time?
A: L-1 visa holders need to work full-time for the company, but not necessarily in the United States. Although the holder is employed by an American company, the L-1 visa holder can go to the United States for short-term work as long as the holder has a reasonable allocation of work to companies both inside and outside the United States. However, L-1 visa holders can only work for one employer.
Q: Can L-1 visa holders change employment to work for another qualifying U.S. organization of the same foreign company?
A: No. If you change employment to work for another qualifying U.S. company,the other qualifying company must file another L-1 petition on your behalf, even though the qualifying company is of the same foreign company.
Q:What are the differences between L-1 and EB-1C?
A: L-1A is a non-immigrant work visa, while EB-1C is an immigrant visa for Manager or Executive Transferee.You can obtain green card through EB-1C. For the requirements of American companies, new companies or companies operating for more than one year can apply for L-1. To be eligible for an EB-1C petition, the U.S. company must have been continuously doing business for more than one year and should demonstrate a decent volume of business and number of employees. See the difference between L-1A and EB-1C.
Q: Can L-1 visa holders apply for EB-1C later?
A: The L-1A visa holders can apply for EB-1C later. To be eligible for an EB-1C petition, the U.S. company must have been continuously doing business for more than one year and should demonstrate a decent volume of business and number of employees.L-1B visa holders cannot apply for EB-1C.
Q:Can I apply for EB-1C directly?
A: Yes. To be eligible for an EB-1C petition, the U.S. company must have been continuously doing business for more than one year and should demonstrate a decent volume of business and number of employees It’s best to have more than 10 employees with operating income of more than $1 million.
Q: If I am fired by an L-1 employer, will I leave the United States immediately?
A: Yes, you lost your L-1 status after your dismissal. If you can’t find an employer willing to help you with your H-1B visa, you can’t continue to work in the United States and need to leave the United States. Or, if you have a B1/B2 visa, you can change your status in the United States, but you can’t work with B1/B2 visa.
Q: How many employees must the U.S. new company have to secure an L-1 visa?
There is no specific requirement for the number of employees that the U.S. new company must have.It does not necessarily need employees. Of course, it is better to have employees. The overseas affiliated company of the new company can invest at least 200,000 US dollars, and then increase the amount of investment according to the development of the company.
Q:Can I change from an L-1B to an L-1A?
A:Yes. The petitioner can change a beneficiary’s status from L-1B to L-1A by filling I-129 after the beneficiary has been promoted to an executive or manager position for a period of at least 6 months.
Q: If I can’t change my status from L-1B to L-1A, how can I apply for a green card?
A: You can apply for EB-2/EB-3 PERM. If you are outstanding, you can also apply for EB-1A or NIW.
Q: Does the business of domestic and foreign companies in the United States have to be the same or relevant?
A: The law does not stipulate that businesses must be the same or similar, but it stipulates that companies both inside and outside the United States need qualified corporate relationships. According to experience, it is better for companies both at home and abroad to have the same or relevant business, which is helpful to apply for visas. The experience and skills of L-1 visa applicants are more suitable for companies with relevant business.
Q: Can the employer of L-1 applicant change the working address of employees?
A: Yes, the employer only needs to fill in AR-11 to modify the address.
Q: Do L-1 beneficiaries have to speak English or highly educated?
A: Not necessarily. If you can’t speak English, you can ask for a full-time translator; if you don’t have enough education, but you are experienced , you can still get L-1 visas.
Q: As an L-1 employer, do you have to pay employees salaries that meet prevailing wage?
A: There is no provision for this in law, but the salary paid by the employer must be in line with the size of the company, the nature of the company’s business and the company’s ability to pay.
Q:I’m currently in L-1A status, but I recently filed an I-485 adjustment of status petition based on an approved EB-1C visa application. Can I travel abroad while my application for adjustment of status is pending without jeopardizing my L status?
A: Yes. If your L visa is still valid, you may use it to re-enter the U.S. You will remain in L status when you return.
If your L visa expires while you are traveling, you can apply for a new L visa at a consular office overseas and use it to re-enter the U.S. in L status, provided you return to work for the same L visa petitioning employer.
If you use advance parole to re-enter, however, you will no longer be in L status; rather, you will be in parolee status.
Q: The validity of the L-1 visa sponsored by the new company is about to expire. The L-1 employer needs to extend the visa for the L-1 beneficiaries, but the performance of the American company may not be enough to apply for the L-1 extension. What should we do?
A :1) It can be said that the company has not been operating for more than a year. 2) American companies can buy other companies of a certain size to increase their income and meet personnel requirements. 3) If the L-1A visa holder meets the requirements of the L-1B visa, American companies can also submit new L-1B applications for employees. For details, please consult the experienced Attorney Owen Gu’s team.