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Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

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Old Sep 22nd 2005, 11:50 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

I'm a Brits and have now been in the US for over a year on a L1-B intra-company transfer visa ("specialized knowledge" visa). I'm enjoying the lifestyle and am already thinking about staying here for a long time. From what I've read, my visa lasts for 3 years and can be extended for another 3 years (so I can stay for a total of 6 years).

What I want to know is whether it's possible to get a Green Card (GC) if I'm currently on a L1-B visa (i.e. to transfer or "swap" to a GC), whether there are time factors involved (i.e do I have to be residing in the US for a certain number of years to qualify) and if there are any other factors that play a part?

I've looked at a load of websites but can't find any that talk about Brits transferring from an L1-B to a Green Card...is it something that is actually possible (or will I be packing my bags in another 5 years....or needing to marry a US resident to stay longer)??!
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Old Sep 23rd 2005, 3:15 am
  #2  
David
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

"neilc" <[email protected]_expats.com> wrote in message
news:[email protected] m...
    > I'm a Brits and have now been in the US for over a year on a L1-B intra-
    > company transfer visa ("specialized knowledge" visa). I'm enjoying the
    > lifestyle and am already thinking about staying here for a long time.
    > From what I've read, my visa lasts for 3 years and can be extended for
    > another 3 years (so I can stay for a total of 6 years).
    > What I want to know is whether it's possible to get a Green Card (GC) if
    > I'm currently on a L1-B visa (i.e. to transfer or "swap" to a GC),
    > whether there are time factors involved (i.e do I have to be residing in
    > the US for a certain number of years to qualify) and if there are any
    > other factors that play a part?
    > I've looked at a load of websites but can't find any that talk about
    > Brits transferring from an L1-B to a Green Card...is it something that
    > is actually possible (or will I be packing my bags in another 5
    > years....or needing to marry a US resident to stay longer)??!
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com

The simple answer is yes you can apply for a green card. If you are applying
of permanent residency based on your employment you will need the support of
your employer, plus you will have be patient (and enjoy the job you are
doing for several more years). I know it involves paying out money, but it
would not hurt to talk to a lawyer that is familiar with the process. I can
give you the name of the lawyer I (and my employer) used.
 
Old Sep 23rd 2005, 6:03 am
  #3  
Kevin Keane
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

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neilc wrote:

    >
    > I'm a Brits and have now been in the US for over a year on a L1-B intra-
    > company transfer visa ("specialized knowledge" visa). I'm enjoying the
    > lifestyle and am already thinking about staying here for a long time.
    > From what I've read, my visa lasts for 3 years and can be extended for
    > another 3 years (so I can stay for a total of 6 years).
    >
    > What I want to know is whether it's possible to get a Green Card (GC) if
    > I'm currently on a L1-B visa (i.e. to transfer or "swap" to a GC),
    > whether there are time factors involved (i.e do I have to be residing in
    > the US for a certain number of years to qualify) and if there are any
    > other factors that play a part?

Yes, it is possible to apply for a GC, and you can start the process
immediately, although some employers have a policy of only starting the GC
process when the employee has been with the company for at least one year
or so.

I would like to point you to my FAQ site at http://www.kkeane.com, which has
a lot of information on the whole process, all the steps, and some of the
side effects.

    > I've looked at a load of websites but can't find any that talk about
    > Brits transferring from an L1-B to a Green Card...is it something that
    > is actually possible (or will I be packing my bags in another 5
    > years....or needing to marry a US resident to stay longer)??!

The reason you didn't find anything may be that the GC is actually
completely independent of the L-1B. You can technically apply for a GC from
(almost) *any* type of non-immigrant classification, or even while outside
the USA. The L-1B is neither helpful nor harmful as far as the law is
concerned.

- --
Please visit my FAQ at http://www.kkeane.com before asking a question here.
It may answer your question. Remember, I am strictly a layperson without
any legal training. I encourage the reader to seek competent legal counsel
rather than relying on usenet newsgroups.
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Old Sep 23rd 2005, 2:07 pm
  #4  
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Smile Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

Thnaks Kevin - great website and lots of helpful answers.

As my visa can last for up to 6 years and I have only been in the US for 1 year, I think I'm best of waiting a couple of years and then asking my company to sponsor my GC application. This will allow plenty of time for the GC application to be processed and, if it's rejected, it will still leave me 2-3yrs on the L1-B visa (plenty of time to prepare for re-entry back to the UK!).

Do you think that this is a practical approach?
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Old Sep 23rd 2005, 3:14 pm
  #5  
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

This was something that my husband and I were wondering about it is so great to find someone who is out there on an L1B as this is exactly what I am going through and would you believe in Naperville Illinois I am still waiting for approval this process has now been ongoing for nearly 6 months would appreciate any comments you have that may give me some help also pleased to see that we can apply if we decide to stay something we are already certain we will want to do as we loved it when went in March to see my office

Elizabeth 2566


Originally Posted by neilc
Thnaks Kevin - great website and lots of helpful answers.

As my visa can last for up to 6 years and I have only been in the US for 1 year, I think I'm best of waiting a couple of years and then asking my company to sponsor my GC application. This will allow plenty of time for the GC application to be processed and, if it's rejected, it will still leave me 2-3yrs on the L1-B visa (plenty of time to prepare for re-entry back to the UK!).

Do you think that this is a practical approach?
Elizabeth2566 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd 2005, 3:58 pm
  #6  
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

Originally Posted by Elizabeth2566
This was something that my husband and I were wondering about it is so great to find someone who is out there on an L1B as this is exactly what I am going through and would you believe in Naperville Illinois I am still waiting for approval this process has now been ongoing for nearly 6 months would appreciate any comments you have that may give me some help also pleased to see that we can apply if we decide to stay something we are already certain we will want to do as we loved it when went in March to see my office

Elizabeth 2566

Approval of what?

6 months in USCIS land is nothing, I'm afraid.

NB: Elizabeth: could you please use punctuation, paragraphs etc - thanks.
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Old Sep 23rd 2005, 5:59 pm
  #7  
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

Originally Posted by neilc
Thnaks Kevin - great website and lots of helpful answers.

As my visa can last for up to 6 years and I have only been in the US for 1 year, I think I'm best of waiting a couple of years and then asking my company to sponsor my GC application. This will allow plenty of time for the GC application to be processed and, if it's rejected, it will still leave me 2-3yrs on the L1-B visa (plenty of time to prepare for re-entry back to the UK!).

Do you think that this is a practical approach?
Unless the rules have changed, the L1B can be extended to a maximum of 5 years, not 6.
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Old Sep 23rd 2005, 6:02 pm
  #8  
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

My mistake - L1-B visa: 3yrs to start with, with one increment of up to 2 yrs (so 5yrs in total).
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Old Sep 23rd 2005, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

Apologies, get carried away with the writing, approval to work in our Naperville Office (I129) could this be longer then?

Caroline1966(also Elizabeth 2566)

Originally Posted by DonnaElvira
Approval of what?

6 months in USCIS land is nothing, I'm afraid.

NB: Elizabeth: could you please use punctuation, paragraphs etc - thanks.
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Old Sep 23rd 2005, 8:06 pm
  #10  
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

Originally Posted by neilc
I'm a Brits and have now been in the US for over a year on a L1-B intra-company transfer visa ("specialized knowledge" visa). I'm enjoying the lifestyle and am already thinking about staying here for a long time. From what I've read, my visa lasts for 3 years and can be extended for another 3 years (so I can stay for a total of 6 years).

What I want to know is whether it's possible to get a Green Card (GC) if I'm currently on a L1-B visa (i.e. to transfer or "swap" to a GC), whether there are time factors involved (i.e do I have to be residing in the US for a certain number of years to qualify) and if there are any other factors that play a part?

I've looked at a load of websites but can't find any that talk about Brits transferring from an L1-B to a Green Card...is it something that is actually possible (or will I be packing my bags in another 5 years....or needing to marry a US resident to stay longer)??!

You can also try what my company did and transfered me to an L1A (a more managerial/executive visa) and then go for GC. The process from L1A to GC does not (at my time at least) require labor certification and a great deal of wait. Once I was on an L1A it only took about 12 months or so from application to getting the GC.

It also helped greatly that my company had a lot of experience in handling L1 type issues and had a good relationship with an excellent immigration law office.

--John
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Old Sep 24th 2005, 9:02 am
  #11  
Kevin Keane
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

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Hash: SHA1

neilc wrote:

    >
    > Thnaks Kevin - great website and lots of helpful answers.
    >
    > As my visa can last for up to 6 years and I have only been in the US for
    > 1 year, I think I'm best of waiting a couple of years and then asking my
    > company to sponsor my GC application. This will allow plenty of time for
    > the GC application to be processed and, if it's rejected, it will still
    > leave me 2-3yrs on the L1-B visa (plenty of time to prepare for re-entry
    > back to the UK!).
    >
    > Do you think that this is a practical approach?

I think this would be an exceptionally poor decision. Instead, you should
push to get this done as quickly as you possibly can.

The problem is that the GC process is likely to take much longer than you
estimate. While some of the processing has sped up tremendously recently,
all that has done is cause a backlog in the quota system. Dept. of State
already announced that the quota numbers for October 2005 are likely not
going to move much throughout the whole fiscal year, and I would not be
surprised to see a meltdown in the priority dates similar to what we have
seen in the family categories for years already.

Bottom line, you would be lucky if you got your GC before the regular time
on your L-1B runs out.

- --
Please visit my FAQ at http://www.kkeane.com before asking a question here.
It may answer your question. Remember, I am strictly a layperson without
any legal training. I encourage the reader to seek competent legal counsel
rather than relying on usenet newsgroups.
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Old Sep 24th 2005, 9:07 am
  #12  
Kevin Keane
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

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1jwalker wrote:

    >
    >> I'm a Brits and have now been in the US for over a year on a L1-B intra-
    >> company transfer visa ("specialized knowledge" visa). I'm enjoying the
    >> lifestyle and am already thinking about staying here for a long time.
    >> From what I've read, my visa lasts for 3 years and can be extended for
    >> another 3 years (so I can stay for a total of 6 years).
    >> What I want to know is whether it's possible to get a Green Card (GC)
    >> if I'm currently on a L1-B visa (i.e. to transfer or "swap" to a GC),
    >> whether there are time factors involved (i.e do I have to be residing
    >> in the US for a certain number of years to qualify) and if there are
    >> any other factors that play a part?
    >> I've looked at a load of websites but can't find any that talk about
    >> Brits transferring from an L1-B to a Green Card...is it something that
    >> is actually possible (or will I be packing my bags in another 5
    >> years....or needing to marry a US resident to stay longer)??!
    >
    > You can also try what my company did and transfered me to an L1A (a more
    > managerial/executive visa) and then go for GC. The process from L1A to
    > GC does not (at my time at least) require labor certification and a
    > great deal of wait. Once I was on an L1A it only took about 12 months or
    > so from application to getting the GC.

There are a few pitfalls here. As a matter of fact, this "L-1A is a
prerequisite for a no-LC Green Card" is actually a myth.

First, it is important to understand that the waiver of the LC has nothing
to do with you being on L-1A. Rather, it is waived for *all* GC applicants
based on a job as international manager and executive. It just happens to
be nearly the same requirement as what you'd need for an L-1A - but you
still qualify even without the L-1A.

Second, there is one critical difference between the requirement for the
L-1A and the GC: in order to qualify for the no-LC Green Card, you must
have worked for that employer for one year *as an executive or manager*
before coming to the USA. So somebody who came with an L-1B, and then got
promoted and got an L-1A, would usually not qualify.

- --
Please visit my FAQ at http://www.kkeane.com before asking a question here.
It may answer your question. Remember, I am strictly a layperson without
any legal training. I encourage the reader to seek competent legal counsel
rather than relying on usenet newsgroups.
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Old Sep 25th 2005, 3:05 am
  #13  
David
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Default Re: Can you convert an L1-B visa to a GC (Greencard)?

    > Thnaks Kevin - great website and lots of helpful answers.
    > As my visa can last for up to 6 years and I have only been in the US for
    > 1 year, I think I'm best of waiting a couple of years and then asking my
    > company to sponsor my GC application. This will allow plenty of time for
    > the GC application to be processed and, if it's rejected, it will still
    > leave me 2-3yrs on the L1-B visa (plenty of time to prepare for re-entry
    > back to the UK!).
    > Do you think that this is a practical approach?
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com

Don't wait. If I had continued with the process of obtaining my GC through
employment it would have taken about 4 years. You should also bear in mind
that you will have to stay in the same job while your application is being
processed and then for a further year (and a day) after the GC has been
granted.
 

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