Q: I am on a L-1 visa for a company that is a subsidiary of the parent company in the U.S. The company is going out of business does this mean that my L-1 is no longer valid and I have to leave the country?

The L-1 visa is dependent on the existence of both a qualifying corporate relationship between a United States entity and a foreign country entity. If either or both ceases to exists, the L-1 visa automatically becomes void and the L-1 holder is expected to return back to his or her own country or transfer their visa.

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Q: Is there a limit on the number of L visas issued per year?

There are no annual limits to the number of L-1 visas that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may issue per year.

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Q: Are L-1 employees required to be paid the prevailing wages?

The petitioning L-1 company is not required to obtain a prevailing wage approval or file any documents with the Department of Labor. However, it bears noting that by not offering standard wages, the employer may be opening itself up to further scrutiny by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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Q: What is the difference between L-1A and L-1B visa?

The L-1 visa is a temporary work visa that allows U.S. companies to transfer managers, executives and specialized knowledge employees from abroad to provide services to a related entity (i.e., branch, subsidiary or affiliate) in the U.S. L-1A visa is for employees in an executive or managerial position and the maximum period of time one may remain in L-1A status is 7 years. L-1A visa holders do not require labor certification when applying for permanent resident status and their petition is filed under the EB-1 priority worker visa category. The L-1B-visa is for employees in a specialized knowledge capacity. The maximum period of time one may remain in L-1B status is five years. L-1B holders may apply for permanent residency. However, labor certification application is required for L-1B applicants.

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Q: How do I apply for green card and under what preference category?

L-1A visa holders (i.e. managerial or executive capacity) may apply for lawful permanent residency (green card) by skipping the labor certification stage and applying immediately for an immigrant petition. L-1A visa holders are eligible for the EB-1 preference category (multinational executive or manager). It bears noting that L-1B holders (individuals in a specialized knowledge capacity) do require labor certification approval when applying for permanent residency.

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