Green cards for
L-1 visa holders
major advantage to the L-1 visa is that certain applicants qualifying for
this visa may also qualify for faster green card processing. L-1 foreign
nationals who are managers and executives are eligible for the “priority
workers” category. Foreign nationals falling into this category may
apply for permanent residency without having to undergo the time consuming
labor certification process.
Labor certification is a laborious procedure requiring that the employer
prove that there are no minimally qualified U.S. workers to fill the
foreign national’s position. The procedure is complicated, expensive,
and there is no guarantee that it will eventually lead to a green card.
Thus, avoiding this procedure is a prudent course to take when examining
routes to permanent residency.
In addition, immigrant visas are usually available in this category.
For most permanent residency categories, a limited number of
immigrant visas are available. Consequently, even if an immigrant petition
demonstrating the foreign national’s eligibility is approved, an
applicant may not be able to immediately apply for permanent residency.
Rather, the applicant will have to wait until an immigrant visa becomes
available at which time she may apply to enter the U.S. on an immigrant
visa or apply to adjust her status.
Complications can arise when the applicant is in the U.S. on a temporary
visa, has proven that she qualifies for a permanent residency category,
but must wait for years because an immigrant visa is not available. If her
temporary visa runs out, she may have to return home and wait overseas
until an immigrant visa becomes available. Since the supply of immigrant
visas for the priority worker category usually exceeds the demand,
typically, an immigrant visa is available so that this is not an
L-1 executives and managers interested in pursuing permanent residency in
the priority worker category will have to meet the same basic elements
required for their L-1 status. Therefore, the petition would have to show
that the company that the applicant works for is a “qualifying
organization” where it is doing business at least in the U.S. and in
another country. It would also show that in the past three years, the
applicant must have worked abroad for at least one year in the past three
in a manager or executive capacity. Other elements address for the L-1
temporary visa status would also have to be discussed in this petition as