A Boutique Immigration Law Firm Serving the Bay Area

Missed out on an H-1b Visa? Consider the L-1 Visa

The H1B visa has long been the US work visa choice for companies seeking to hire a foreign national. It is one of the most common and sought after visas to work in the U.S. However, when the H-1B cap has been met, what other options do U.S. employers have to hire professional foreign nationals?

For international companies, on e feasible alternative is the L1 visa (commonly known as the “intra-company transfer” visa). This US work visa allows an international company to temporarily transfer an employee to its U.S. office. To qualify, the employee must be an executive or manager, or a “specialized knowledge” worker. In addition, the employee must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year out of the last three years.

The L1 visa is like the H1B visa in that they both require a certain level of skill and are dual-intent visas (meaning that permanent residency can be pursued while holding the visa). However, the L1 visa has some advantages over the H1B visa. For example, unlike H1B visas, L1 visas have no cap, no minimum education, prevailing wage or Labor Condition Application requirements, and also spouses of L1 visa holders are permitted to work in the U.S. For these reasons, the L1 visa may actually be the better choice for many companies and foreign nationals.

Other alternatives to the H1B visa may also include the O1 visa (for foreign nationals of “extraordinary ability”), TN visa (for Mexican or Canadian citizens), and the E3 visa (for Australian citizens). Or, the best alternative may simply be to wait for the next FY H1B quota.

Please contact the Alagiri Immigration Law Firm for assistance with your H1B or L1 visa matter.