L1 Visa Greencard

Permanent Resident Card (Commonly known as Green Card) has many benefits and the most prominent one is that it allows to you stay in the U.S. permanently and work for any employer or do any kind of legal business.

As L-1 visa is a dual intent visa, filing of green card does not cause the issues in the L-1 nonimmigrant status. Employment Based Greencard has many categories such as EB1, EB2, EB3 etc. based on the job requirements of the employer and the qualifications and/or experience of the alien.

Green card process is different for L1A: Managers/Executives and for L1B: Specialized Knowledge.

General procedure for employment based green card.

Category specific:
  • L1A: Managers/Executives
    Eligibility requirements for the green card application in EB1C category are so similar to the eligibility requirements to qualify in L1A visa that you can say that EB1C category for employment based green card was created especially for L1A visa holders. However, it is not required that the alien be an L1A visa holder in order to qualify for EB1C category.

    The major advantage of applying in EB1C category is the you don't have to go through the labor certification process that essentially takes the permission from the U.S. Department of Labor that the employer has tried enough and there are no minimally qualified candidates available in the U.S. market. Labor certification is an expensive and time consuming process and there are no guarantees of success.

    In EB1C category, the employer directly files for Form I-140, petition for immigrant worker. As the priority date is almost always current in EB1 category, the employer can concurrently file for Form I-485, Adjustment of Status. However, if the alien is outside the U.S., he/she can get Immigrant Visa once I-140 is approved.

    The entire process typically would take less than one year.

    As long as you were employed in managerial or executive position for one continuous year in the preceding three years (in U.S. or outside the U.S.), you can apply for green card in EB1C category immediately. Therefore, if you were already appropriately employed before entering the U.S., you can apply for green card immediately. Otherwise, you will have to be on L1A visa status for one year before applying for green card in EB1C category. The later would be the case if the alien is currently on L1A visa but was employed abroad as specialized knowledge processional.

  • L1B: Specialized Knowledge
    There is nothing special about this category for filing the green card. Therefore, the alien would have to through the PERM labor certification and rest of the green card process as usual, just like other employment based greencard beneficiaries.

    This process may take several years as most applicants are subject to the annual quotas, that are limited by the category and further limited by the country of birth.

    However, as the green card is for the employment in future after the alien gets the green card, if such alien who is currently on L1B who was in managerial or executive position for one continuous year in the preceding three years prior to admission into the U.S., and is offered the position in managerial or executive position (which the alien will work on after getting the green card) can apply for green card in EB1C category even while on L1B visa.

In both cases above, the alien is eligible to get the green card for his/her dependents, that is spouse and minor unmarried children under the age of 21 years, who would usually (but not necessarily) be on L2 Visa.

Of course, L1 visa holder is also eligible to get the green card through other means such family based green card. e.g., if he/she gets married to a U.S. citizen.
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