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L Visa Eligibility and Green Card Alignment

October 13, 2014

An L-1 visa is available to an individual who was been employed by a company abroad for one continuous year during the past three years and is coming to the United States to work for a related company.  They must have worked abroad as an manager, executive, or specialized knowledge employee and must fill one of these three types of positions in the United States.  For example, a foreign manager can come to fill an L-1A managerial or executive position or an L-1B specialized knowledge position in the United States, as can a foreign executive or specialized knowledge employee. On the green card side, however, the multinational route that leads to green card issuance requires that the person (1) worked abroad as a manager or executive and (2) will work in the United States as a manager or executive.  In other words, a specialized knowledge position on either side will not succeed.   It is possible, however, for an individual who worked abroad as a manager or executive to obtain an L-1B visa to serve in the United States and, later, to be promoted in the United States to an executive or managerial position that qualifies them for the faster green card route.   The promotion, however, must have been accompanied by an L-1A petition approved by the USCIS at the time of the promotion. Other timing considerations apply as well.