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L-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


What is the 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.


What is the visa status given to the dependents of a L-1 visa?

L-2 visa is issued to the dependents of US L-1 visa holders. Dependents include the spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of age.

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Can my dependents work in the U.S. on L-1 visa?

L-2 spouse of an L-1 visa holder can now obtain a general Employment Authorization. This employment authorization must be applied for separately, though. The L-2 child is not permitted to work.


Can I transfer or change jobs on an L-1 visa?

Yes. A foreign national in the US on an L-1 visa is limited to working in L-1 status for a qualifying member of the multinational group (parent, subsidiary, sister, branch, or affiliated company) that sponsored him or her. If the individual entered the US on a regular L-1 visa the USCIS must be notified of any change in employment. If the individual entered the US on a Blanket L-1 they may move between any of the group members listed on the Blanket L without further notification to the USCIS. Any employment outside of a qualifying member of the multinational group will require a different type of visa.


What happens if my employer fires me while I am in the U.S. on an L-1 visa?

You have a short grace period in which you may look for a new job, and have it approved by the USCIS. Barring that, you need to return to your home country.

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