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How Long Do I Need to Wait to Apply for the Green Card After Getting the L1B Visa?

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Many business professionals seeking to enter the United States, and ultimately achieve green card status, begin by applying for a non-immigrant visa. The most common non-immigrant visa allowing an individual to pursue career prospects within the country and later pursue a green card is the L1B visa. This visa is known as a “dual-intent visa”. It allows the L1B holder to actively seek permanent residence status while on L1B status. By allowing an immigrant to remain in the US while waiting for residency status makes this a dual-intent visa.

In this article, we discuss how the L1B visa program works and how to transition from L1B visa to a green card.


The L1B Visa and L1A Visa

The L1B visa allows multi-national companies to transfer company employees to a branch, subsidiary, office, or affiliate in the United States. L1A visa allow for transfer of managers and executives of the company. The L1B visa allows for transfer of employees with specialized knowledge necessary for the company operations. The employee’s specialized knowledge must make her indispensable to company operations within the US. The employee must also have been working for the company for 12 straight months during the three years prior to application for the visa.


Which Green Cards are Available?

There are a number of scenarios in which an L1B visa holder would be able to convert that visa into a work-based green card. Once the L2B visa is granted, the holder can begin the process of transitioning to green card status. Each step is discussed below:

EB1 – green card for international award winners, outstanding researchers, professors, managers, and executives.

EB2 – green card is available for individuals who possession exception ability or hold and advance degree in their field.

EB3 – green card is for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree, skilled or experienced workers, and unskilled workers.

EB4 – green card is for religious workers, translators, military members, and certain individuals from Iraq.

EB5 – green card is for individuals making significant financial investment in a US business.


Steps to Apply for Green Card as L1B Visa Holder

Below are the various steps necessary to transition from a L1B visa to any of the above-referenced green cards.

Employer Sponsorship – The visa holder’s employer must sponsor the green card. (Note: EB1C and EB2 allow for national interest waivers for sponsorship.)

PERM Labor Certification – The employer must obtain a labor certification on your behalf. They have to make certain there are no qualified US workers available for the position at the prevailing wage. This application generally takes around 6 months to process (up to 2 years if the employer is subject to supervised recruitment or audit process). In addition, there is a 30-day job order requirement and a 30-day waiting period after the job order.

I-140 Petition – The employer files the petition, which becomes your “priority date”. The priority dates are published by the Department of State in the monthly visa bulletin. The visa bulletin can be found here. When the priority date becomes current will depend upon the kind of green card and the country of origin of the applicant. There is no waiting period for EB1 green card and EB2 green card to become current. All other visas can take from a few months to several years. It generally takes 6 months to process the I-140 petition, but this can be shorted to 15 calendar days by paying a $1,225 fee. This is the same for the EB3 green card, EB4 green card and EB5 green card.

I-485 Visa – Once the priority date is current, the applicant submits form I-485 petition requesting to adjust your status to lawful permanent resident. If outside of the US, you will have to go to a US consulate or embassy for processing and an interview. This normally takes about 6-12 months.


LawTrades Knows American Immigration Law

American immigration law procedure is notoriously slow and intricate. Even a small error in a filing can cause the Department of State to reject the application. As such, it is incredibly important to work with a knowledge and experienced legal practitioner who specializes in American immigration law. The legal professionals at LawTrades are experienced experts in all matters of American immigration law. They can provide you with the guidance and assistance necessary to navigate the immigration system.