Management vs. Specialized Workers (EB-1 Visa, L-1A Visa)

The 2 types of visas specific to hiring managers from abroad are the L-1A (Intracompany Transferee Visa) and the EB-1 (Multinational Executives and Managers) employment-based Green Card. Obtaining the L-1A visa makes the path to the EB-1 permanent resident visa easier, though L-1A is not a prerequisite for EB-1.     `

The company that petitions for both L-1A and EB-1 visas must be conducting business as defined by the USCIS for at least one year abroad and in the U.S. before applying.  For L-1A there is a “New Office” exception to the rule, allowing the petitioner to show that:  the U.S. company has secured sufficient physical premises to do business, the beneficiary meets the one-year continuous employment abroad requirement, and the newly formed U.S. company will, within on year, support and executive or managerial position.  At the end of the first year in the U.S., the company must file for an extension showing that the business is active and requires a manager or executive, usually also proving that it has expanded its revenue since relocating to the U.S.

Qualifying for the EB-1 is advantageous because no labor certification is required.  The labor certification process is tedious and involves many steps.  However, the company must determine if there is any minimally qualified U.S. candidate who is ready, willing, and able to fill that position.