Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Which one should I pursue? L-1 or H-1B

Foreign employers have long enjoyed the benefit of L1 Visa which provides them opportunity to transfer themselves as executive, manager or specialized knowledge personnel to their US firm, whereas H-1B has been the number one choice for professionals with a bachelor degree.
Now that many employers do have bachelor degrees and employers are now allowed to sponsor themselves, even as sole proprietary, H1B visa, it is imperative to compare these two for wiser choice.
While both visa are nonimmigrant business visas for individuals who have talents beyond those of the unskilled worker pool, there are massive difference between these two. Readers are advised to compare these two to find which one is better fit for the situation in question. 


Education and Degree Requirements

There is practically no education and degree requirement with L-1 visa, whereas 
the H1B beneficiary must be in a specialty occupation requiring a bachelor's degree or equivalent and its equivalent. The beneficiary must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
Timeframes for L-1 and H-1

An L1A manager or executive may spend a total of 7 years on an L-1; an L1B specialized knowledge employee may spend a maximum of 5 years on an L-1; and an H1B beneficiary may spend up to 6 years on an H1B visa.
No Prevailing Wage Requirement

A key feature of L-1 petitions is that they do not have a prevailing wage requirement. Conversely, H1B petitions require that the position be offered at the prevailing wage or the actual wage at the employer's workplace; whichever is higher.
Spousal Work Permit Availability.
Another favorable L-1 factor is that L-2 dependent spouses may obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and work in the U.S., while H-4 dependents are prohibited from working. 

Government Related Certification 

Unique documentation that must be submitted for the H1B includes the Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). While there is no DOL involvement in the L-1 petition.

Labor Certificate For Permanent Residence
H1B beneficiary must go through stage of Labor Certificate Authorization before Immigration visa can be applied for. This stage takes infinitely long time. During the wait, H1B holders must stay with the sponsoring employer no matter what happens unless they forfeit their application.Many H1B visa holders find it hard to make life decision, to the least not being able to have peace of mind during the whole process as H1B visa holders.

The summary: If a person is eligible for both L1 and H1B, L1 is by far the better immigration solution.