An L-1 Visa can certainly lead to a green card and US permanent residence, but the paths are different for L-1A and L-1B holders.
L-1A Visas to Green Cards
One of the best available avenues to US permanent residence is through employment as an L-1A manager executive transferee. L-1A Visa holders can apply directly for an EB-1C green card, which bypasses the US labor certification process.
L-1A transferees are labeled as priority workers and are given first preference for US permanent residence. A major benefit of being a priority worker is the exemption from the lengthy, costly, and cumbersome PERM recruitment process. This means that employers filing for their L-1A managers and executives do not have to test the labor market and complete the US Department of Labor recruitment requirements. US Citizenship & Immigration Services acknowledges the importance of L-1A managers and executives and has streamlined the process for them to obtain permanent resident status.
Following are the requirements to adjust from an L-1A manager or executive to a US permanent residence (green card):
- The employee is now either:
- Employed outside the United States, and the employee has been employed outside the United States for at least one (1) year in the past three (3) years in an executive or managerial capacity by the petitioner or by its parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, OR
- If the employee is already employed in the United States, the employee was employed outside the United States for at least one (1) year in the three (3) years preceding admission as a nonimmigrant in an executive or managerial capacity by the petitioner or by its parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate
- The employer in the United States is the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate of the firm or corporation or other legal entity by which the alien was employed abroad
- The employer has been doing business for at least 1 year
- The employee is to be employed in the United States in a managerial or executive capacity
L-1B Visas to Green Cards
The path to US permanent residence through the L-1B Visa is certainly possible, but not as easy. L-1B Visa holders may apply for the EB-3 green card (Bachelor’s Degree holders) or the EB-2 green card (advanced degrees). Along with their application, they have to go through the PERM Labor Certification. The whole process for L-1B holders to get a green card may take several years.
We Can Help!
Don’t know where to start? Contact Richards and Jurusik for help with your L-1 Visas.