Advantages Of H-1B Over L-1


As an H-1B visa holder, you can remain in the county for a total of six years. Unlike the L-1 visa, however, you can file for a 3-year extension on H-1B status if a Labor Certification/I-140 petition is filed 365 days prior to the expiration.


H-1B visa holders do not necessarily need to work for a multinational company. Basically, any U.S. employer may seek the skills of a foreign worker provided that they are offering a specialty position that requires a bachelor’s degree. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators

Can Hold a Variety of Positions

Unlike the L-1 visa, which requires the applicant to be an executive, a manager, or an employee with specialized knowledge about the company’s operations, an H-1B applicant can fulfill a wide variety of roles as long as they coincide with his or her educational/experience and qualify as specialty positions.

Can Be New To the Company

The L-1 visa requires each applicant to have worked in the company for at least one consecutive year during the three years leading up to the L-1 application. Through an H-1B, however, you can work for an entirely new employer.

Can Work for Multiple Employers

H-1B applicants can file petitions for multiple employers and are permitted to work part-time in the U.S. Additionally, the H-1B allows holders to transfer their status to another employer at any time during their stay. The L-1 visa mandates that visa holders work exclusively for their sponsoring multinational employer.

Here is a slide from our helpful video about L-1 vs H-1B visas recapping the advantages and disadvantages between the H-1B and L-1 visa. For H1B Visa Process Visit here

Switching from One Visa to the Other

If you have either an H-1B or an L-1 visa and see that the other visa is better for your situation, you may want to make the change for the sake of your immigration future. While switching from an H-1B to an L-1 is less common due to the fact that you must have worked for one full year in the three years leading up to your petition.

However, many people choose to change their status from an L-1 to an H-1B visa. This could be either due to the greater flexibility or the opportunity to work for a different employer. To do this, you will need to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you for an H-1B visa.

If this employer is cap-subject, you will not be able to have your petition submitted until the lottery window opens on the first business day in April and you will not be able to start working as an H-1B worker until October 1st of that same year.

If you are going with a cap-exempt employer, then you can start working as soon as your I-129 is approved without having to wait for the cap filing window. You will also not have to wonder whether or not your petition will be selected.

You will need to make sure that you have at least a bachelor’s degree that is related to the specialty position for which you have a job offer. The USCIS will heavily scrutinize the specialty nature of the position, so it may be best to retain the services of an H-1B attorney to ensure that you qualify.

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