H1 Visa vs L1 Visa
There are instances when business operations in the United States are faced with the need to bring in personnel from their locations abroad to make sure that their procedures are not affected negatively. H1 visa and L1 visa are just two of the options available for these cases. Knowing the difference between H1 visa and L1 visa is necessary to determine which one is most appropriate for the situation at hand.
The H1 visa is a non-immigrant visa in America. It is under the Immigration and Nationality Act, allowing US based employers to employ workers from abroad on a temporary basis. This is for employees in a specialty occupation, which is defined as one that requires both theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge that is considered highly specialized. Examples of these fields of endeavor include architecture, education, engineering, health and medicine, law, mathematics, physical and social sciences to name a few.
With the visa, an individual is entitled to stay and work in the US for three years. This can be extended up to six years, but exceptions are applicable under specific circumstances such as the filing of an application for labor certification or the approval of an immigrant petition. Although there is a limit on how long one can stay, it is not required that one stay on the job which the visa was initially acquired for.
This visa has been a pertinent choice for quite some time. There is, however, a decrease on the H1 cap since 2003, making it a must for businesses to think about the other options available. This is where the L1 visa comes to the rescue.
The L1 visa, or intra-company transferee, is a classification created by the Congress in 1970. Its purpose is to give large-scale international businesses a chance to bring their personnel from abroad to America in order to avoid any setbacks on the business’ operations. With this visa, the position to be taken by the foreigner does not have to be temporary. Its subcategories are L1A for those who are in the managerial level and L1B for specialized knowledge workers. The latter are workers who have specialized knowledge and skills that are necessary in the organization’s processes.
Although both kinds of visa are non-immigrant by nature, a major difference between H1 visa and L1 visa is the requirements for an individual to be awarded either of the two. For a worker to be awarded an L1 visa, he should have worked with the company for at least one year within the last three years. On the other hand, a degree is required for an H1 visa. An individual awarded with this visa should be with a specialty occupation and have a bachelor’s degree or a higher level of education in the specific field of knowledge.
It is important for businesses with operations abroad to be knowledgeable about the difference between H1 visa and L1 visa in order to fully maximize what these can do for the organization’s overall success.