The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for intracompany transferees, which allows managers, executives (L-1A), and employees with specialized knowledge (L-1B) to work in the U.S. for their employer’s U.S. affiliate, subsidiary, or parent company.
L-1 visa holders can apply for a Green Card through the employment-based immigrant visa categories. The most common path is the EB-1C category for multinational managers and executives. This category closely aligns with the requirements of the L-1A visa. However, L-1B visa holders may also explore other employment-based Green Card options, such as EB-2 or EB-3, depending on their qualifications and a job offer.
Here are the general steps for applying for a Green Card while on an L-1 visa:
- Determine the appropriate employment-based Green Card category.
- The U.S. employer must file an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, on behalf of the L-1 visa holder. In some cases, a labor certification from the Department of Labor may be required before filing the I-140 petition.
- Wait for the priority date to become current. The priority date is the date the I-140 petition was filed. Visa availability depends on the applicant’s country of birth and the Green Card category. You can check the monthly Visa Bulletin published by the Department of State to track priority dates.
- Once the priority date is current, the L-1 visa holder can file an I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to adjust their status from L-1 to permanent resident (Green Card holder). If the L-1 visa holder is outside the U.S., they will need to go through consular processing to obtain an immigrant visa.
It’s important to note that processing times for Green Card applications can vary depending on the category, the applicant’s country of birth, and the current workload at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It’s recommended to consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your specific situation and ensure that all requirements are met during the application process.