L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Old Apr 14th 2014, 1:49 pm
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Default L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

My husband is on an L1A, which expires in 2018, we've been resident just over a year and now ready to start greencard application.

However my husbands HR dept has said that its better to switch to a H1B visa, as you can't renew the L1A visa (yet everything I've ready points to L1A being sorted within a year)

Are there benefits to applying via a H1B in preference to an L1A (I would have thought it was the other way round)?

Is maybe North Carolina a state that takes a long time to process L1A visas to greencards?

I'm just trying to find some useful information to put together and if L1A is the better route, try and make the case for it

Any help / experiences would be appreciated
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Originally Posted by Bendex View Post
However my husbands HR dept has said that its better to switch to a H1B visa, as you can't renew the L1A visa...
If the visa is valid until 2018, why would it matter if you can renew or not? It's usually faster to go from L-1A to GC than from H-1B to GC. In my experience, HR people only do what they know... not what's necessarily possible. Most HR people aren't lawyers... so why aren't the company lawyers getting involved?

It's probably not better to switch to an H-1B visa... and worse - if you're working, you can kiss your job goodbye!

I'm just trying to find some useful information to put together and if L1A is the better route, try and make the case for it
L-1A is the better route, IMHO.

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Old Apr 14th 2014, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Immigration is handled at a Federal level, so the timescales for permanent residency applications (green cards) are the same regardless of where you live.

Note that the green card application is independent of whatever visa you currently have.

You can check the current processing times by using this link:
https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do

How long it takes will depend on which category you fall under. If it's the EB-1C category, you can expect it to be done within 6 months at present. (Mine took 5 months).
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

I wonder if there is some fact or facts that change the equation here? I can think of a few off the top of my head that can make the continued viability of the L-1A for the next year to be problematical and therefore cause problems in future status.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Thanks for all the replies

I think its a case of the person in HR not even discussing it with their immigration attorney because "this is the way we've always done it"

I'm hoping to compile some information that husbands boss will then use to "strongly encourage" the HR person to actually let the expert (ie attorney) make that judgement call. I was just curious if there was something we were missing, but does seem that general consensus is L1A best way forward to GC
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Originally Posted by Bendex View Post
.... that general consensus is L1A best way forward to GC
It's more that the H1-A is likely an unnecessary step, when it is perfectly possible and completely normal to go from L-1A to GC.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 14th 2014 at 4:06 pm.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Originally Posted by Bendex View Post
Thanks for all the replies

I think its a case of the person in HR not even discussing it with their immigration attorney because "this is the way we've always done it"

I'm hoping to compile some information that husbands boss will then use to "strongly encourage" the HR person to actually let the expert (ie attorney) make that judgement call. I was just curious if there was something we were missing, but does seem that general consensus is L1A best way forward to GC
OP is engaging in speculation.

With what little facts are here, I doubt that it is "we have always done it that way" is in play. There may very well be facts in play that OP and her husband will not know about. It is possible that even the HR people don't know but have their marching orders.

Side comment: OP said the "visa" is good until 2018. She did not provide the expiry of the PETITION which is the relevant time frame in question.

Further general comment -- was an H-1b petition put in at the beginning of the month and did OP's husband "win the lottery?"

My professional antennae are twitching a tad on this. But not my case.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

BTW, when I was in practice, there were occasional facts provided by the employer which they desired NOT be disclosed to the employee.

General comment: the lawyer works for the employer in employment based petitions.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Not really speculation, as that was a direct quote from the HR person dealing with it (that's they way we've always done it), which is exactly why the need for information to force the issue.

The conversation was only last week, so no H1B petition. We have been resident for 14 months

I am curious though - what are the sorts of issues that could be at play in the background?
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Originally Posted by Bendex View Post
Not really speculation, as that was a direct quote from the HR person dealing with it (that's they way we've always done it), which is exactly why the need for information to force the issue.

The conversation was only last week, so no H1B petition. We have been resident for 14 months

I am curious though - what are the sorts of issues that could be at play in the background?
I think S Folinsky is saying there may be things afoot in the company that they are not sharing with you.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
I think S Folinsky is saying there may be things afoot in the company that they are not sharing with you.
Wouldn't sale of the US business (or the UK business if the holding company is American) void an L-1A, but an H-1A would persist?
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Wouldn't sale of the US business (or the UK business if the holding company is American) void an L-1A, but an H-1A would persist?
Or they're shutting down the operation on one side.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Wouldn't sale of the US business (or the UK business if the holding company is American) void an L-1A, but an H-1A would persist?
As I understand it, only if there is no other foreign part of the company that the L1 visa-holder could still transfer to.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

I must admit that I don't understand, if the L1A is not expiring until 2018, why they would be advised to go the H1B route since getting a green card via the L1A is relatively straight forward and usually takes under 12 months to complete. (There is usually no Department of Employment criteria to go through for managers/executives, which one does have to fulfill if going the H1B route)

The dates she are quoting are somewhat confusing.

An initial L1A is usually issued for three years (myself and my colleagues all had this initial period). If so, then, since she arrived around Feb 2013 I would have thought the expiry date would be 2016. Following the first initial period it can be renewed in 2 yearly stints up to the 7 year limit.

I think the poster needs to have a good discussion with the HR department.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: L1A or H1B to apply for greencard

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
I must admit that I don't understand, if the L1A is not expiring until 2018, why they would be advised to go the H1B route since getting a green card via the L1A is relatively straight forward and usually takes under 12 months to complete. (There is usually no Department of Employment criteria to go through for managers/executives, which one does have to fulfill if going the H1B route)

The dates she are quoting are somewhat confusing.

An initial L1A is usually issued for three years (myself and my colleagues all had this initial period). If so, then, since she arrived around Feb 2013 I would have thought the expiry date would be 2016. Following the first initial period it can be renewed in 2 yearly stints up to the 7 year limit.

I think the poster needs to have a good discussion with the HR department.
General comment: The "reciprocity table" for the UK allows issuance of an L visa valid for 60 months. Quite often, consulate will make the visa match the petition validity, but not always. So, it is possible to have a petition valid for three years but a visa facially valid for five. That said, if one appears at the POE in years four or five, you better be prepared to show the extension on the underlying petition.

I do agree that there is a lot missing in OP's descriptions. As a negotiating tool, it might be premature to kick ass with HR.

I recall a thread a while back where the strategy changed from L-1 to doing an E visa and the accompanying wife was upset. I recall that several posters jumped in how the employer was trying to screw them. It turned out to be something else. MORAL: don't jump to conclusion without enough facts and a thorough knowledge of the law. [Even immigration lawyers kibbitz on what are the right paths. But we often know how to pose the question.].
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