The L-1 Visa allows companies that do business in both the United State and a foreign country to transfer certain categories of workers to the American office of the corporation. One requisite is that the Visa beneficiary must have worked for at least 1 of the 3 preceding years for the company.
The L-1A Visa is designed for Managers and Executives of the Companies. It is granted for an initial period of 3 years, and an L-1 Visa extension can be granted in 2-year increments for a maximum period of 7 years.
The L1 Visa Green Card process of managerial and executive positions can be accomplished by filing a Petition for Alien Worker on Form I-140 with USCIS. L1A Visa workers are exempt from the Labor Certification requirement, and can qualify for the EB1-C Green Card.
The L1B Visa is for employees with specialized knowledge. USCIS adopts stringent requirements when it comes to determining specialized knowledge, and many petitions receive Request For Evidence (RFE) or Visa denials.
The L1B Visa is granted for an initial period of 3 years, and can only be renewed for another 2-year period. The L1B Visa does not create a path to permanent residency, so the L1 Visa Green Card process for a specialized employee is generally lengthy and more burdensome. L1B Visa workers generally fall into the Eb-3 Visa category.
In some cases it is possible to switch directly from L-1B to EB-1 Green Card as Multinational Manager. You should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer. The prior classification as a specialized employee has not bearing on the EB1 petition if the beneficiary was previously employed for the company abroad in a managerial or executive capacity.
The Labor Certification process is designed to protect American employees, and requires an employer to prove that no U.S. worker was qualified for the position offered to the foreign worker. The employer will be required to post job advertisements on 2 Sunday newspapers, and also some additional recruitment steps in case of professional positions.
In sum, the L1 Visa Green Card process can get complicated. Any mistake in the petitioning process can result in serious delays or even Visa denials. However, if your case was denied, you can file an L-1 Visa Appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office or with a Federal District Court. The assistance of a good immigration and corporate attorney is always recommended.