The L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa is a valuable tool for US companies with offices located abroad or eligible foreign companies seeking to establish a new office in the United States. Only qualified employees may classify for L-1A or L-1B status, depending on their professional background and skills.
Is it possible to switch from L-1B to L-1A status? Keep reading to find out.
L-1A Visa vs. L-1B Visa – Eligibility Requirements
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows eligible employers to file an L-1 petition on behalf of qualified employees seeking authorization to live and work in the United State temporarily.
The L-1A visa is applied for intracompany transferees who occupy managerial or executive options in a company outside the United States, while the L-1B visa applies for intracompany transferees who occupy positions that require specialized knowledge.
Under L-1A status, a qualified executive or manager may enter the United States on its employer’s behalf to work on one of its affiliated offices or establish a new US office.
L-1B status permits qualified employees with specialized knowledge relating to the employer’s interests to work in one of its offices in the United States or help in the establishment of a new US office.
Not only US employers are authorized to file for L-1 nonimmigrant status on an employee’s behalf, but USCIS has specific eligibility requirements for foreign companies seeking to send a manager, an executive, or specialized employee to the United States.
To qualify for L-1A status, the employee must have executive and managerial capacity. As described by USCIS, the term “executive capacity” refers to the ability to make a wide range of decisions without oversight.
Similarly, the term “managerial capacity” refers to a person’s ability to supervise and control the work of others and manage a department, subdivision, function, or component of a business organization.
Can You Switch from L-1B to L-1A? – Taking a Closer Look
While other temporary worker visas may not permit an adjustment of status, the L-1 visa category permits visa holders to apply to adjust their status with USCIS. Until USCIS approves the change of status, L-1 visa holders have no authorization to engage in services or activities under the request classification.
As long as the applicant meets the established requirements, L-1B visa holders can adjust their status to the L-1A nonimmigrant classification. For example, if an L-1B employee is promoted to a position of manager or executive, it is possible to apply for an adjustment of status.
Please note that the petition must be submitted six months or more before the expiration date of the L-1B visa.
After receiving USCIS approval, the new L-1A manager or executive is entitled to renew his or her status in two-year increments for a maximum period of stay of seven years. Under L-1B status, the maximum period of stay varies between one to five years.
Another benefit for L-1A visa holders is to apply for EB-1C status (green card) with the possibility to waive the permanent labor classification process (PERM) with the US Department of Labor.
Do You Want to Switch from L-1B to L-1A Status? – Contact Attorney Romy B. Jurado Today
Switching from L-1B to L-1A status requires a strategic approach. Get in touch with Immigration Attorney Romy B. Jurado by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com for an individual assessment.