L1 and H1B visas are among the most popular visas for employers and their foreign employees. Available for highly skilled individuals, these visas make it possible for the pursuit of high-paying careers within the United States. Each visa has its own specific requirements and advantages that can help employees further their skills and career opportunities.
L1 Visa at a Glance
The L1 visa requires employees to possess theoretical or technical skills with specialty fields. These fields include many categories engineering, medicine, science, math, and architecture. Individuals wishing to apply for this visa must submit proof that their degree relates to the field for which they are applying to work within. Moreover, individuals must submit testimonials demonstrating the individual’s capabilities within the field.
Individuals applying for L1 visas must work for a multinational company. Moreover, individuals must show that they have a previous employment history with the employer. This means that they can only be filed by individuals seeking an intra-company transfer. Individuals who do not meet this requirement are not eligible to receive an L1 visa. Those who are granted an L1A visa can stay within the United States for seven years, while those granted an L1B visa may stay for five years.
H1B Visa at a Glance
H1B visas may be requested by any US based employer, and can be granted for anyone who has the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree. Individuals must show they are on the payroll of the company and that no US workers can be hired to fill the position. These petitions must be filed individually as there are no blanket petitions available. Those who seek a green card will need their employer’s assistance in first obtaining a PERM Labor Certificate.
Individuals granted an H1B visa may stay in the United States for six years. However, this can be extended by filing for a 3-year extension with the assistance of an immigration attorney in Chicago.
Fees Raised on H1B and L1 Category Visas
The US has raised the fees for H1B and L1 visa. The fee for an H1B petition has been raised to $4,000 and the fee for an L visa can be up to $4,500. The US Customs and Immigration Service has recently announced that these fee changes will not be changed over the coming year. As such, employers and their employees need to be aware of these changes and plan accordingly.