L-1B Visa to Green Card
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Once I Get the L1B Visa, How Long Do I Need to Wait to Apply for the Green Card?
Many business professionals seeking to enter the United States, and ultimately achieve green card status, begin by applying for a non-immigrant visa. The most common non-immigrant visa allowing an individual to pursue career prospects within the country and later pursue a green card is the L-1B visa. This visa is known as a “dual-intent visa”. It allows the L-1B holder to actively seek permanent residence status while on L-1B status.
In this article, we discuss how the L-1B visa program works and how to transition from visa to a green card.
The L-1B Visa
The L-1B allows multi-national companies to transfer company employees to a branch, subsidiary, office, or affiliate in the United States. L-1A allow for transfer of managers and executives of the company. The L-1B allows for transfer of employees with specialized knowledge necessary for the company operations. The employee’s specialized knowledge must make her indispensable to company operations within the US. The employee must also have been working for the company for 12 straight months during the three years prior to application for the visa.
Which Green Cards are Available?
There are a number of scenarios in which an L-1B visa holder would be able to convert that visa into a work-based green card. Once the L-2B visa is granted, the holder can begin the process of transitioning to green card status. Each step is discussed below:
EB-1 - green card for international award winners, outstanding researchers, professors, managers, and executives.
EB-2 - This green care is available for individuals who possession exception ability or hold and advance degree in their field.
EB-3 - This green card is for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree, skilled or experienced workers, and unskilled workers.
EB-4 - This greed card is for religious workers, translators, military members, and certain individuals from Iraq.
EB-5 - This green card is for individuals making significant financial investment in a US business.
Steps to Apply for Green Card as L-1B Visa Holder
Below are the various steps necessary to transition from a L-1B to any of the above-referenced green cards.
• Employer Sponsorship - The visa holder’s employer must sponsor the green card. (Note: EB-1C and EB-2 allow for national interest waivers for sponsorship.)
• PERM Labor Certification - The employer must obtain a labor certification on your behalf. They have to make certain there are no qualified US workers available for the position at the prevailing wage. This application generally takes around 6 months to process (up to 2 years if the employer is subject to supervised recruitment or audit process). In addition, there is a 30-day job order requirement and a 30-day waiting period after the job order.
• I-140 Petition - The employer files the petition, which becomes your “priority date”. The priority dates are published by the Department of State in the monthly visa bulletin. The visa bulletin can be found here. When the priority date becomes current will depend upon the kind of green card and the country of origin of the applicant. There is no waiting period for EB-1 and EB-2 to become current. All other visas can take from a few months to several years. It generally takes 6 months to process the I-140, but this can be shorted to 15 calendar days by paying a $1,225 fee.
• I-485 - Once the priority date is current, the applicant submits form I-485 requesting to adjust your status to lawful permanent resident. If outside of the US, you will have to go to a US consulate or embassy for processing and an interview. This normally takes about 6-12 months.