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Dear Sophie: What are my options for changing my status from an L-1 visa?

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Sophie Alcorn Contributor

Sophie Alcorn is nan laminitis of Alcorn Immigration Law successful Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of nan Year successful California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.” She connects group pinch nan businesses and opportunities that grow their lives.

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Here’s different edition of “Dear Sophie,” nan proposal file that answers immigration-related questions astir moving astatine exertion companies.

“Your questions are captious to nan dispersed of knowledge that allows group each complete nan world to emergence supra borders and prosecute their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley migration attorney. “Whether you’re successful group ops, a laminitis aliases seeking a occupation successful Silicon Valley, I would emotion to answer your questions successful my adjacent column.”

TechCrunch+ members person entree to play “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo codification ALCORN to acquisition a one- aliases two-year subscription for 50% off.


Dear Sophie,

I started moving for my existent employer connected STEM-OPT, but I’ve mislaid retired successful nan H-1B lottery 4 times. Thankfully, my employer transferred maine to an world office, and I americium now coming backmost to nan U.S. connected an L-1 visa.

I’ve heard galore complaints from my classmates astir not being capable to move employers connected an L-1 visa. I don’t spot myself staying astatine my employer for six much years, which is nan estimated clip until I tin get a greenish paper based connected my employer’s soul policy.

What are my options for changing my migration position truthful I tin activity astatine a startup successful nan U.S. wrong a twelvemonth aliases two?

— Tenacious Transferee

Dear Tenacious,

Welcome backmost to nan United States! Thanks for sharing your migration communicative and reaching retired to maine astir options. I emotion to perceive astir employers that are consenting to spell nan other mile to clasp talented world hires!

Before I dive into your mobility astir your options, let’s spell complete immoderate basics astir activity visas and employment-based greenish cards.

Work visa basics

A activity visa, which is besides called a non-immigrant visa, is tied to nan employer that offers you a job, sponsors you for nan visa and files nan visa exertion connected your behalf. A activity visa enables you to unrecorded successful nan U.S. and activity for that employer for a constricted magnitude of time.

The L-1A visa for an intracompany transferee head aliases executive and nan L-1B visa for an intracompany transferee pinch specialized knowledge are some impermanent activity visas. The L-1A allows for a maximum enactment of 7 years successful nan U.S. — 3 years initially followed by 2 renewals that springiness you 2 years each. The L-1B provides for a maximum enactment of 5 years successful nan U.S. — 3 years initially and past 1 two-year renewal.

Regardless of which visa you person erstwhile you move jobs, your caller employer will apt request to petition you for a caller non-immigrant activity visa earlier you commencement your caller role. Be mindful astir maintaining your position by legally moving and receiving salary stubs earlier you alteration position to nan early institution truthful that you tin stay successful nan U.S. for nan move and support immoderate early greenish paper applications safe.

Also, support successful mind that erstwhile you participate nan U.S. aliases talk pinch U.S. migration officials while you person a non-immigrant visa, you must show that you intend to yet return to your location country, unless you are seeking definite classes of non-immigrant position specified arsenic H-1B specialty occupation, an O-1 bonzer expertise aliases an L-1 intracompany transferee.

The H-1B and L-1 are dual-intent visas, which intends they are non-immigrant visas, but you tin definitive your intent to prosecute a greenish paper to stay successful nan U.S. permanently. While not technically a dual-intent visa, nan O-1 allows for dual-intent: an individual does not person to support overseas residency and filing for a greenish paper does not disqualify nan individual from obtaining aliases keeping an O-1 visa.

Editor: Naga



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