What is an L1A Visa?
L1A visas are granted to foreign executives and managers who work at U.S. based offices of a multinational company. It is possible to obtain a green card to stay in the U.S. permanently while maintaining the use of an L1A visa.
It is easier for L1A visa holders to get approved for permanent residence than other nonimmigrant visa holders who are equally eligible for a green card.
How do I Qualify for Adjust Status?
To qualify to Adjust Status rather than return to a country of origin and re-apply for an immigrant visa, one of the following must apply to you:
You entered the U.S. on L1A visa and married a U.S. citizen
You received asylum in the U.S.
Your L1A employer-sponsored you for a green card
You entered the U.S. as a fiance of a U.S. citizen and married before your visa expired
EB-1 Priority Workers
L1A visa holders apply for an employment-based green card under the “priority workers” category, also known as EB1C and E13.
The green card application is a two-part process for L1A visa holders.
Complete Form I-140: Petition for Immigrant Worker
If you’re not in the U.S. yet, your employer must file I-140, along with the required documentation to demonstrate that you are eligible for a green card. Your company must also detail your duties as a manager/executive.
If you’re already in the U.S. you need to have had 1-3 years of experience working outside the U.S. for your company before arriving in the U.S. as a manager/executive.
Complete Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residency or Adjust Status
This form can only be submitted after your Form I-140 petition is approved.
Demonstrate eligibility for a green card
Present evidence of any criminal convictions
Two passport color photos taken within 30 days of submission
Copy of birth certificate with English translation if needed
Copy of nonimmigrant visa page in your passport
Present thorough additional documentation as needed to prove the circumstances of your application.
Application fee, fingerprinting fee
What Happens Next?
After completing the application process, you will hear back after several months or more. When you hear back, you will interview with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Some things to remember:
The dual intent rule doesn’t apply to L1A visa, so you don’t have to prove your intent to return to a country of origin at end of visa. Visa holders can apply for permanent residence after having entered on a nonimmigrant visa.
L1A/green card holders already are listed as employees of an international company through their L1A so they don’t have to go through labor certification again
Your employers need to have been doing business in the U.S. for at least one year by the time they apply on your behalf.
L1A visas are valid for up to 7 years including extensions.
Need Immigration Law Counsel? Call Yekrangi & Associates Today!
Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the issues that could arise for adjusting status. L1A visa issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to deportation or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office and speak with an L1A visa lawyer.
- Adjust Status (Green Card Application): L1B Visa
- Dealing with L-1 Visa Denials
- L-2 Visas for Dependents of L-1 Visa Holders
- Difference Between "Executive" and "Manager" Under L-1A: Nonimmigrant Visa
- How Adjustment of Status Can Save You From Deportation