This article will help you plan and strategize in deciding whether to apply for a L-1 Visa over an H-1B Visa, when you are eligible for both. Sometimes people just pursue an H-1B visa because they are more familiar with it. However, they do not realize that it might be more strategic for them to apply for an L-1 visa. This article highlights 6 reasons why it would be better to apply for a L-1 Visa over an H-1B if you are eligible.
1. Longer Duration of Visa
L-1 visa is a temporary visa just like an H-1B. However, they have different durations. An L-1A visa is initially granted for up to 3 years (one year for new office) and extendable up to 7 years. An L-1B visa is initially granted for 3 years and extendable up to 5 years. In contrast, an H-1B Visa is initially granted for 3 years and extendable up to 6 years.
2. No Education Requirement
An H-1B Visa requires the Applicant to have at least a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent, and the occupation must be a speciality occupation that requires a Bachelor’s Degree. However, there is no education requirement for the L-1 visa.
3. A more direct path to a Green Card
Executive and Managers, including Business Owners, who are here under the L-1A visa can then apply later for a EB-1C Visa as an international manager or executive, which is one the most straightforward and direct ways to get an employment based Green Card. In contrast, H-1B Visa holders have to apply for an EB-2 or EB-3 Visa, which is a more complicated process to obtain a Green Card.
4. Do not have to be Paid by an U.S. Company
L-1 Visa workers can be paid by the U.S. branch of the company or the overseas branch of the company. In contrast, H-1B Visa workers have to be paid by the U.S. Company.
5. Employers are not limited by a Wage Requirement
There is no wage requirement for L-1 visa workers. This flexibility increases the employer’s desire to file the petition and also leads to one less requirement that must be met for the visa petition, thus, increasing the chances of an approval. In contrast, H-1B Visa employers must pay the H-1B Visa holder the prevailing wage, the average wage of similarly skilled workers or the same wage the employer pays to similarly skilled workers.
6. There is No Quota to the Number of Visas Available
There are only a total of $85,000 H-1B visas available (65,000 for Bachelor’s Degree and 20,000 for those with Masters Degrees from a U.S. institution) every fiscal year. In contrast, there is no quota to L-1 Visas so there is a chance for everyone who applies to get their application approved.