Many foreigners living in the United States on temporary visas wish to change their legal situation. In this way, they look for a status that can allow them to live and work permanently. This is possible for those who hold visas, but only if certain requirements are met, and some required steps. Ask our Visa and Green Card Lawyer about your case.
The L1 visa category is intended for multinational companies who wish to transfer their foreign employees to come and work for a branch or subsidiary, office, or affiliate company office in the U.S. The visa is divided into two subcategories: L-1A for executives of the company and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge. Either of these subcategories can lead to green card status. In this way, the holder can apply for without losing the L1 status. An immigration law firm can help you with this process.
There are generally three steps an L1 visa holder can take to transition from L1 status to a green card holder. The first thing you would need to do is to ask your employer to sponsor you. This means the employer should be willing to do several things that are required by law. In this way, he or she can be approved for a green card through your employment. If your employer agrees to sponsor you, then these are the steps that will be generally followed for you to transition from L1 to green card status:
To obtain a green card through employment, an employer must first get approval through what is known as the PERM Labor Certification process. This process requires the employer to go through a recruitment process. The process makes sure that there are no qualified U.S. workers available to work in the position. The employer will also show that the position is being offered at the prevailing wage for your area.
Once the PERM Labor Certification process is done, your employer will file an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers for you. When USCIS receives the petition, they will acknowledge receiving the petition, and the date received will become your “priority date”. Applicants in categories where there is a backlog must wait to apply when the priority date is current.
When your priority date is current, you can submit your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status to have your status adjusted from your current L1 status to that of a legal permanent resident. If you are no longer in the U.S. when your priority status becomes current, you will need to go through consular processing.
These may seem simple and straightforward steps, but at J. Sparks Law, PLLC, we know they can be complicated at the same time. If you have an L1 visa and wish to transition to green card status, contact us for a consultation.
Julie Sparks is Board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Immigration and Nationality Law, one of a few such attorneys in Texas. After 15 years of practice in this field, she has represented immigrants from more than 70 countries.
Ms. Sparks is a member of the Texas Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Julie has also been a featured speaker at Southwestern Law School and at the national 2015 AILA Fundamentals Conference.