Companies seeking to bring foreign workers to the U.S. may make use of L-1 or H-1 visas. Each type of visa has particular characteristics that may make them more useful to certain companies and employees than others
L-1s vs. H-1B: Colorado Immigration Lawyer Advice
Each year, employers bring thousands of skilled foreign nationals to the United States to cover
mission critical needs that the American workforce simply doesn’t have the human resources to
cover. Many of these skilled aliens come to America and the Law Firm of Samira Recob can
help these individuals and businesses decide what type of visas are best suited for bringing
these workers to America.
Typically, employers have two types of visas to choose from when bringing skilled foreign
workers to America: the L-1 or the H-1 (The L-1 comes in two varieties, the L-1A and the L-1B.)
Each type of visa has specific features that may fit the needs of certain employers and
circumstances than others.
H-1B visas allow foreign workers in highly specialized visas to come to the U.S. and work for an
employer. L-1 visas are available to employees of foreign companies and allow them to come
work at a U.S. branch or affiliate of that company. The L-1A visa is for executives and managers
and the L-1B visa is for workers with specialized knowledge. For companies operating in
Colorado or the West, a Colorado immigration lawyer can be helpful in assessing which type of
visa is most beneficial for their company and their workers.
H-1 visas are capped at 65,000 visas per year, although an additional 20,000 applicants with
master’s degrees from U.S. universities are allowed in each year. There is no cap in the number
of L-1 visas issued each year. Also, foreign companies that need to bring in multiple workers or
managers may seek blanket L-1 visas covering them.
H-1B visa holders must at least have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree. No education
requirements exist for L-1 visa holders. Also, the H-1B visa holder’s degree must be in the field
in which he or she will be working in the U.S.
H-1B visa holders must be paid the prevailing wage for the occupation in which they will be
employed. There are no wage requirements for L-1 visa holders, but significantly low wages will
result in scrutiny from the federal government.
Spouses of L-1 visa holders may work in the U.S., holders of H-1 visa holders may not. Also,
the U.S. Department of Labor must approve H-1 visa holders, no Labor Department approval is
required for L1 workers.
With regard to duration, H-1 visa holders can stay in the U.S. for up to six years, although the
duration may be extended under special circumstances. L-1A visa holders can stay in the U.S.
for five years and L-1B visa holders can stay for up to seven years. Both H-1 and L-1 visas are
dual intent visas, meaning their holders can pursue a green card.
When considering bringing workers to the United States, you will find it useful to consult with a
Colorado immigration lawyer with experience in handling visa filings for corporate entities. The
visa process can be long and complicated and a skilled L-1, H-1 or O-1 visa lawyer can help
expedite the process and reduce the risk of being denied by immigration authorities.
For more information visit us at http://www.recoblaw.com.