The HMA Law FirM



The L-1 visa is an employment non-immigrant temporary visa. Like the H-1B, it still offers “dual intent”, which means that a holder of an L-1 visa and his or her dependents can apply to become permanent residents without compromising their L visa or any visa applications made through a U.S. consular office overseas.

An employment-based preference immigrant category called the EB-1C is available for executives and managers who match the L-1 requirements and who wish to become U.S. permanent residents. This EB-1 category is an employment-centered petition for access to permanent residency and is reserved for applicants who rank as the most accomplished and able in their specialized fields within the areas of sports, the arts, the sciences, business, and education. This first preference division has an annual quota of 40,000 visas.

The EB-1C petition prerequisites are nearly the same as the non-immigrant L-1A petition which include the following: 

  • The candidate has to accrue a minimum of a year’s employment in the last 3 years with the affiliate overseas, subsidiary, branch or parent of the U.S.A. employer and the work in the U.S. has to have been in an executive or managerial position.
  • The company is required to carry out business in the U.S. and overseas country by regularly, systematically and continuously providing goods and services.
  • The business is required to have been operating in the U. S. for no less than one year.

L-1 status is not necessary for immigrant advantages in this category, however, it offers a good case if the beneficiary has held L-1 status before. Many holders of L-1A visas can smoothly transit into becoming an EB-1C which is a permanent resident. The most significant benefit of gaining eligibility for a green card using the EB-1 visa is that the petitioner does not require labor certification. This is when the pool of U.S. labor for the job is assessed before the granting of a visa. There are also nearly always places available using the EB-1.

The process for accessing a green card is as follows:

  1. The employer must file Form I-140, with USCIS which is a petition for an Alien Worker.
  2. When the I-140 is approved, the foreign beneficiary files an application on Form I-485 for Adjustment of Status, if currently in the U.S. If the foreigner is not in the U.S., it will be necessary to use consular processing overseas to get an immigrant visa. 

There are other ways of obtaining a Green Card for a foreigner on an L-1 status visa including immigration based on family ties.