Although the L-1 visa is a temporary, employment based non-immigrant visa, it is also a “dual intent” visa, meaning that an L-1 visa holder and their dependents may apply for permanent residency without jeopardizing their L visa status or visa applications from a US consular office abroad. A specific employment-based immigrant preference category (EB-1C) was created for managers and executives who meet the L-1 standards and are interested in becoming lawful permanent residents. The EB-1 category, or first preference immigration petition, is an employment-based petition for permanent residence reserved for those who are among the most able and accomplished in their respective fields within the arts, sciences, education, business, or sports. The first preference category is allotted 40,000 annual visas. For more information on the different types of EB-1 visas, click here or visit the USCIS web page.
The EB-1C immigrant petition requirements are almost identical to those of the L-1A non-immigrant petition requirements:
For more information on EB-1C requirements, please click here.
Although L-1 status is not a prerequisite for immigrant benefits in this category, it provides a stronger case when the beneficiary was in an L visa category previously. Many L-1A holders are able to smoothly transition into an EB-1C permanent resident status. The most notable advantage of seeking a green card through the EB-1 category is that labor certification is not necessary for the petitioner. Obtaining a labor certification is a time-consuming and expensive process that seeks to determine whether a qualified U.S. worker is available to fill the position sought by the petitioning employer on behalf of their alien employee. For more information on the labor certification process, please click here. Moreover, the immigrant visa numbers are always available for EB-1 category.
Briefly, the procedure for obtaining a green card through the EB-1C category is as follows:
The employer files Form I-140, the Petition for an Alien Worker with USCIS.
Upon approval of the I-140, the alien beneficiary files for Adjustment of Status, Form I-485, if they are already in the U.S. For more information about Adjustment of Status, please click here. If the alien is outside of the U.S., they will need to go through consular processing to get their immigrant visa. For more information on consular processing, click here.
For an alien in L-1B status, he/she may apply for a Green Card as a skilled worker, which requires an approved labor certification. If circumstances allow, he/she may apply under the EB-1(a), EB-1(b), or NIW categories, for which a labor certification is not required.
Of course, other channels for obtaining a green card, such as family based immigration, are also available to alien in L-1 status. For more information on gaining permanent residency, commonly known as getting a green card, please click Road to a Green Card.
(Updated 10/9/2012 by AG)
For more information on L visa, please refer to the following links: