US & WorldUS immigrationUS work-permitJune 30, 2022by Prominent Overseas Career2L1 vs H1B Visa: Differences, Advantages, Interesting Facts, and Recent Updates!

As of 2020, the United States is home to approximately 90 million immigrants, making it not just the largest economy, but also the largest destination for immigrants from all over the world.

Obtaining a visa to the United States is without a doubt the most difficult stage in establishing and working in the nation. So, which visa would make things a little easier? Let us investigate.


What exactly is an L1 Visa?

The L1 Visa is an entrance visa to the United States intended primarily for high-level management and executive positions in a US-based firm who are eligible for transfer to the United States from within the same organisation. An L1 Visa can also be obtained if you wish to establish a foreign company’s operations branch in the United States.

Your L1 Visa is valid for up to 5 years, with an extension granted based on your employer’s needs.


Who qualifies for an L1 Visa?

If you have spent at least one year in the previous three years as a member of the parent or sister organisation.

If you work in your company’s management, executive, or research and development (R&D) departments.

L1 visas are classified into two types: L1A & L1B

Managers and executives can apply for an L1A visa.

L1B visas are available for persons with particular skills, such as scientists and researchers.

The majority of the requirements and processes for the L1 visa are the same for both categories. There are, however, some significant variations between the L1A and L1B visas. These distinctions pertain to the period of stay permitted for the visa and the process for applying for a green card later on.

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What exactly is an H1B visa?

The H1B Visa is a one-way ticket to obtaining a Green Card in the United States. It is regarded as one of the most coveted visas in the world, allowing foreign citizens to live and work in the United States for up to six years via a points-based system. You must have at least 12 points to be qualified to apply for an H1B visa.

An H1B Visa is issued to foreign nationals recruited in the United States to work in the country and contribute to its economy.


To be qualified for an H1B visa, you must:
  • At least one Bachelor’s Degree is required.
  • Your US company must demonstrate the lack of eligible native professionals for the position.
  • You must have in-depth and wide understanding of the selected area.


The main distinctions between the L1A and L1B visas

The main distinction between these two visa categories is that an L1A visa allows you to stay in the United States for up to 5 years, whilst an L1B visa allows you to stay for up to 7 years. Aside from that, there are no significant distinctions between the two.


Comparison between L1 and H1B Visas
Factors to Consider L1 Visa H1B Visa
Purpose  To work via internal transfer in the existing post in the same  company in the US. To get hired in a US-based company by a US employer to fill a new job vacancy.
Key Requirement The parent company needs to sponsor the clients that the candidate acquires. Needs to be sponsored by the US company that has hired the candidate.
Cost $ 825 $ 555
Employer Type The employer must be US-based or a green card holder within the parent organization. The employer must be from the US. However, the candidate being hired can be from any foreign country.
Wages Is paid as in par with the foreign country’s standards as the employee is working on behalf of a foreign country. Eligible for the minimum wage in the region in addition to the prevailing wage of the state for the job.
Spouse Permit Spouses can travel along if the primary candidate can show proof of funds to sustain their living. However, if the spouse intends to work in the US temporarily, he/she will need to apply for an L2 Visa. Spouses of H1B Visa holders can accompany them in living in the US. However, they will need to apply for an EAD (employment authorization document) to work there temporarily.
Approval from DL ( Dept. of Labour)  Not required. To get approval from the DL, the employer must submit a Labour Condition Application (LCA) electronically using the iCERT Portal System.
Blanket Petition: A blanked petition reduces the processing time of receiving the visa The applicant can apply for the Blanket Petition and skip the rest of the procedures. Not eligible for the Blanket Petition.
Minimum Educational Qualification No minimum qualification is required. Bachelor’s degree in the field chosen and specialized knowledge about the occupation field.
Visa Duration 5 years for L1A and 7 years for L1b holders 6 years
Green Card Eligibility Eligible for green card permanent residence via PERM labour certification or EB1C. Eligible for green card permanent residence via PERM labour certification.


What is the PERM Labour Certification? 

PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management. It is a skills assessment of your professional qualifications performed by your employer in par with the U.S. Department of Labour standards. With the help of this certification, your employer can demonstrate the lack of domestic workers to fulfil your job position and in turn fast track your settling in the U.S.


To obtain a PERM Labour Certificate, follow these steps:
  • Your employer must submit the completed I-140 form to the United States Department of Labor.
  • Once granted, you may proceed with the permanent residency or Green Card application, Form I-485.

L1 Visa employers are excluded from obtaining PERM Labor Certification in order to obtain a Green Card. They can instantly fill out Form I-485.

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What are the advantages of the L1 and H1b visas?

Both visas have their own set of benefits. However, because of the faster processing period, the L1 Visa is a better alternative for international employees.


L1 Visa Advantages
  • Fewer qualifying requirements: The sole qualification is that you have a management or executive position in your organisation.
  • Job offer is not required: Because L1 visas are only available for internal business transfers, you do not need to have a job offer to be eligible for the visa.
  • Annual Cap: There is no minimum or maximum number of applications allowed here. There is no yearly immigration quota.
  • Longer validity: An L1 visa allows you to stay in the United States for at least 5 years and up to 7 years.
  • No educational credentials are required: You do not need to demonstrate your academic credentials to obtain this visa because your company will recommend you.
  • Work privileges for spouse: With this visa, your spouse can travel with you and even work temporarily in the United States.


H1B Visa Advantages
  • Complete work rights: The capacity to work in the United States by proving exceptional professional abilities.
  • 6 year residence permit: Once accepted, an H1B holder can stay in the United States for up to 6 years without having to renew their visa.
  • Flexibility to work numerous jobs: To maintain your lifestyle in the United States, you can transfer occupations or work two jobs at the same time. It is entirely acceptable and encouraged.
  • Dual Intent: You can apply for a Green Card or Permanent Residency while continuing to work as an immigrant.
  • Spouse Work Rights: Spouses of H1B visa holders may work in the nation for up to 6 years with an H4 visa.


7 Steps to Obtaining an L1 Visa
  • It is important to note that your L1 Visa application is filed by your company.


Step 1:  is to obtain a transfer offer.
  • Your employer must provide an official document indicating your move to the United States as well as the length of your stay.


Step 2: Complete Form I-129.
  • Your employer must complete and sign Form I-129 with accurate information regarding your name, age, and work status.
  • The form must be mailed at least 45 days before the trip date.


Pay the application fee in step three.

Your employer must pay a processing charge of USD 325.


Step 4: Fill out Form DS-160.

Your company will ship the application to the US Embassy for approval in this phase.

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Step 5: Make an appointment for your L1 visa interview.

After mailing the application, your visa interview with the US Consulate will be set.

You must be fully informed of your travel dates, purpose of stay, and duration of your transferred non-immigrant labour.


Step 6: Submit your L1 visa paperwork.
  • You must submit your
  • Photographs and travel documentation
  • Copies of passports
  • Certificate of Medical Fitness


Step 7: Show up for your interview.
  • Prepare well for your interview at the US Consulate.
  • For your interview, you should dress formally or professionally.
  • Be honest and precise in your approach.


5 Steps to Obtaining an H1B Visa
  • Take a digital photograph as the first step.
  • Basic Photographic Requirements:
  • Photograph in colour with 24 pixels per bit ( Taken in the previous 6 months)
  • JPEG file size of 240 KBs or less
  • A pure white backdrop covering the full face is required.
  • Unless for religious reasons, no head covering.
  • Since November 2016, there have been no effective eyeglasses.
  • Bring two actual copies printed on high-quality paper to the interview.


Step 2: Complete the DS160 form (H1B Application)

The DS160 form must be completed online at the Department of State’s official website.

You will receive a confirmation email with a 10-digit barcode after successfully completing the application. This is required for your visa interview.


Pay the application fee in step three.

You must pay $460 at your local Axis Bank or CitiBank location, either electronically or via bank transfer.


Step 4: Collect your biometric data.

At the US Visa fingerprinting visa application facility, you must provide your fingerprints, cornea recognition, and other biometric information (VAC).


Step 5: Arrange and attend a visa interview.
  • You must schedule a visa interview at the nearest US Embassy or consulate.
  • Once the day and time are set, you must attend the interview and answer the questions truthfully and intelligently.


L1 Visa Documents Required
  • Form DS-160, duly completed visa application copy of Form DS-160 with L supplement
  • The employee copy of your employer’s Form I-797, Notice of Action
  • Certificate of Medical Fitness
  • Sponsorship Documents for Police Clearance Certificate


H1B Visa Documents Required

  • Certificate of Bachelor’s Degree IELTS General Score Card Proof of 12 years of study previous to U.G. Course
  • Offer letters, reference letters, and other job-related paperwork


Facts to Know About the H1B and L1 Visas
  • From 2001 to 2015, Indian citizens received more than half of all H-1B visas.
  • If the processing of the H1B visa is delayed, your organisation can choose the Premium Processing Service. This is a speedier way of processing that costs $1,225, which your employer must pay to the USCIS.
  • India is the most prevalent nation for L-1 employees, with 18,354 visas given in 2019.

14th January 2021: Latest Updates: Final salary standards for H-1Bs and green card holders are issued by a US agency; increased wages will be phased in.

This rule, which went into effect on January 14th, is intended to raise the pay of all foreign employees with H1B or PERM labour certification.

22nd January 2021: The Biden administration begins to undo Trump’s harm to H-1B visas and immigration.


The following are the two key rules that have been revised:

The regulation states that H-1B employees are selected based on the highest income – FROZEN for 60 days (until March 21, 2021) or more.

WITHDRAWAL of the rule altering employer-employee relationships for H-1B purposes.


Can I convert my L1 visa to an H1b visa?

Yes, you may change your L1 Visa status to H1B status by participating in the H1B lottery. Your company must nominate and sponsor you for the change in status. You don’t have to quit your work to advance in your career.

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Is it possible to transfer an L1 visa to another company?

No, any L1 visa holder who is on the L1 visa cannot apply for a new employment. This implies he or she will be unable to transfer to another employer using their L1 visa.




Which is the superior option? L1 or H1B?

You do not need to be concerned about or strive towards obtaining an L1 visa. If your firm requires you to work onsite in the United States for an extended period of time, you will have no trouble obtaining this visa.

However, in order to obtain an H1B visa, you must be highly talented and informed in your chosen industry and hold an equivalent bachelor’s or master’s degree.

While the L1 visa is not a viable option, an H1B visa is a viable alternative for long-term residency in the United States.

To learn more about these two visa possibilities, please contact our Prominent specialists.



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