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What is the difference between L-1A and L-1B visas?

L-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas for intercompany transfers. With such a visa, certain workers who worked at a foreign office at a company can temporary come to the U.S. to work at a U.S. office of that company.

Such visas come in two main types: the L-1A visa and the L-1B visa. What is the difference between these two L-1 visas? The main difference is in the types of workers that are eligible for them.

L-1A visas are for transferring employees that are executives or managers. Meanwhile, L-1B visas are for transferring employees that have specialized knowledge regarding the company. So, what needs to be shown to demonstrate that a given employee meets the eligibility requirements can vary quite a bit between these two visas.

As a note, the rules related to length of stay and what family members are eligible to come over with a visa-holder are more or less the same between L-1A and L-1B visas.

There are many reasons that a company here in the U.S. may want to transfer one of its workers at a foreign office over to a U.S. office. When a company is pursuing an L-1 visa for one of its foreign employees, whether it be an L-1A or L-1B visa, it can be very important for the business to have the right information on the eligibility requirements of the particular visa type they are petitioning for for the worker. It can also be key for it to have strong guidance throughout the process of trying to show such requirements have been met and the other processes connected to the petition. So, the help and advice of an attorney skilled in employment immigration issues is something a business may want to promptly seek out when immigration issues related to intercompany transfers arise for it.

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