Some Interesting L-1 Visa Facts that May Help You:
L-1 Filing fees
For a new L-1 petition, the filing fees are as follows: $460 for the I-129 petition and $500 for the fraud fee. An L-1 extension only entails the $460 I-129 petition fee. If premium processing is desired — adjudication within 15 calendar days — there is an additional fee of $1,225.
Full-time or Part-time for L-1 Status
It is anticipated that the employee will work on a full-time basis while in the United States, although the employee does not have to be in the United States on a full-time basis. An employee can work part-time for more than one subsidiary of the same corporation, but they would need to have two approved petitions for each subsidiary in order to qualify. Part-time employment is recognized in the context of vacation, medical leave, or maternity leave.
Max L-1 time in the United States
As mentioned above, an L-1A is valid for a total period of 7 years and an L-1B is valid for a total period of 5 years. If you have spent time in the United States in the H1B visa status and you haven’t been outside of the United States for 1 year or more after being in the H1B status, then your time in the H1B status will be counted towards your max period in the L-1 status. If you are outside of the United States for 1 year or more you will be eligible for a whole new 5 or 7 years of L-1 status.
Transfer to H1B
Inidividuals who are in the United States in the L-1 status may wish to transfer to a new employer and work in the H1b status. Just like any other applicant who has never been subject to the H1B visa quota, an individual who wishes to work for another employer in the H1B status will need to apply for an H1B status. The individual must be aware of all the rules and timing issues related to an H1B visa. For more info on the H1B visa process, please see the following link on our website: H1B Visa Lawyer.
Alternatives to the L-1 Visa
In some circumstances, the L-1 visa may not be appropriate. As a result, you may want to consider some of the following common alternatives: TN Visa for Canadian and Mexican nationals; the H1B visa for specialty occupation workers; the O-1 visa for extraordinary individuals; or the E-3 visa for Australians. Other visas that may be suitable, depending on the nature of the situation, are the J-1 visa, the E-1 treaty trader visa, or the E-2 treaty investor visa.
L-1 visa & Canadian citizens
Under NAFTA, Canadian citizens can apply for an L-1 directly at a port of entry. In this scenario, an approval is instantaneous and the applicant will receive an I-94 for entry and a filing receipt. A formal I-797 approval notice will arrive in the mail from the service center approximately one month later.
L-1 visa and Green Card
Due to the fact that the L-1 visa is a “dual intent” visa status, just like the H1B visa, it can provide a good pathway to a green card, either through employment or through family, such as the green card through marriage process. When navigating the green card process through employment, the marriage green card process, or any other avenue, it’s important to understand issues such as advance parole travel authorization, work authorization, green card processing time, green card documents, the affidavit of support, the conditional green card, and immigrant visa processing versus the adjustment of status process.