On paper, the criteria for an L-1A and EB-1C are similar. In both cases, the following must exist:
- a qualifying relationship must exist between the entity abroad and the U.S. entity
- the beneficiary must have worked for the foreign entity for at least one year
- the beneficiary must have a management or executive role
You can find out more about the L-1 visa by clicking here.
You can find out more about the EB-1C Green Card by clicking here.
While on paper the qualifications for L-1 and EB-1C are similar, there are significant differences. Some of these differences are outlined below:
|How long is the visa issued for?||1 Year for new office and 3 years if the business in the U.S. already exists.||Unlimited as a Green Card|
|Will the visa be issued for a new entity in the U.S.?||Yes – The L-1 has a special category for New Office||NO. A track record in the U.S. will normally be required.|
|How Long does it take to get?||Premium processing normally exists for this category so an applicant could have this visa in a couple of months.||Green cards usually take over a year to process.|
|How long can you stay out of the country?||An L visa does not have any U.S. residency requirement associated with it. As such, an applicant could be out of the country for over a year without an issue.||Green card holders must adhere to all of the requirements of a green card that are outlined here.|
|Does the category apply to specialists?||Yes||No. Only managers and executives.|
|What is the Number of employees required? Are employees required initially?||No employees initially required for a New Office L, but 3-5 would be required for the renewal in 1 year.||Normally over 30 employees. EB-1Cs are more popular with large multinational companies.|
|How Large does the company have to be?||Can be a start up for a new office L.||Usually large companies with over 50 employees and significant operations and a track record.|
|Can the visa be issued in the U.S.?||A change of status can be done in the U.S. but the visa must be obtained at a Consulate.||The green card can be processed in the U.S. or at a Consulate.|
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