What You Need to Know about L1A vs L1B Visas

USA visa in a passport

Are you in need of a visa but don’t know what kind you need? Have you heard of L1A and L1B visas and don’t know what the differences are between them? How can you know if one is better than the other for your needs?

These are all important questions to ask if you need to get a work visa. These two visas have different requirements, and they offer other things. Keep reading and learn more about the differences between these two visas below.

What You Need to Know About L1A Visas

Both visas are necessary for temporary intracompany transferees. These transferees need to work in management positions but may also get these visas if they have special knowledge. These work visas are far more specific compared to ordinary work visas.

They also have more specific eligibility requirements and offer different benefits. The L1A visa is necessary for transferees who want to work outside the United States. These transferees may also work in executive positions rather than management positions.

This means that you have special authority over other workers in a company. You may have the power to hire and fire other employees. Or you may be in charge of managing a team of employees.

You may be in charge of promoting employees or making decisions for the company. The L1A visa is important if you need to move to another branch of the company that is not in the United States. This is known as an intracompany transfer.

Since you are working within the same company when you move, you need a specific visa to specify this. An L1A visa will help you with this. It is considered a nonimmigrant visa.

This is because there is no need to become an immigrant when staying within your company while working in another country.

The Details

This visa is also best for temporary workers. A lawyer can help you understand the law of this concept.

This visa can also work for companies that are not based in the US. Suppose you work for a company that is based in Germany. There is another company branch in the United States that you need to work at.

You can use the L1A visa for temporary work in the United States. You need to meet a few important requirements before applying for this visa and getting accepted. You need to have worked at your company for at least a year before applying.

The organization you work for also needs to qualify for this visa. You need to prove that you will work as an executive or in a management role. There are also general qualifications that do not involve you but instead your employer.

If your employer or organization does not meet these requirements, you may not be eligible for this visa. But if so, you’ll be in luck, and you can transfer to your next work location with this visa.

What You Need to Know About L1B Visas

The main difference with this visa is that you don’t have to be an executive or a manager. But this does not mean that any working professional can get this visa. You need to be a professional with special knowledge within an organization.

This knowledge needs to relate to the way the organization works. You also need to be a professional from one of the organization’s foreign offices who needs to bring that knowledge to a branch in the US. If the organization does not yet have a US branch, this visa may still be a good idea.

The organization may send an employee to the US to help set up a US branch. This employee would need specialized knowledge to set this up and help the organization. You cannot apply for this visa on your own as an employee.

Your employer has to do it for you. They will have to fill out Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. This application comes with a fee, but you will not have to pay it.

This is the responsibility of your employer.

How It Works

You need to meet certain qualifications to get accepted for this visa. You need to have been working for your organization for at least a year.

This year needs to be continuous, and your work needs to have been done abroad. You also need to show that you need this visa to use your specialized knowledge to benefit your organization in the United States. The concept of specialized knowledge is very flexible.

It may apply to a new product that the organization plans on producing. It may involve a plan to grow the company and build new branches. It may involve a particular service, new technology, and so on.

As long as this knowledge is related to the organization’s interests, you’ll be fine. Your employer also needs to take care to fit certain qualifications as well. Once you get this visa, it will be easy for you to work temporarily in the United States on behalf of your organization.

All About L1A and L1B Visas

While the L1A and L1B visas are similar, they have some important differences. The L1A visa is best for executives and management professionals. The L1B visa is best for professionals who have special knowledge relating to the organization they work for.

If you’re interested in talking with a lawyer, send us a message using our online contact form, or get in touch at (904)236-5317.