The L-1A Visa: The Fastest Path to Green Card for Indian Nationals

Posted on Apr 27, 2023 by Chris Prescott

The L-1A visa is a popular option for Indian nationals who want to obtain a green card and become permanent residents of the United States. Here are some reasons why the L-1A is considered the fastest way to a green card for Indian nationals.

First, the L-1A visa is specifically designed for executives and managers of multinational companies who are being transferred to the U.S. to work for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate, or branch of their company. If you are an Indian national who is already working for a multinational company in India or elsewhere, and you have been with that company for at least one year in the past three years, you may be eligible for an L-1A visa.

Second, the L-1A visa allows for dual intent, which means that you can enter the U.S. as a non-immigrant with the intention of eventually obtaining a green card and becoming a permanent resident.

Third, if you are approved for an L-1A visa and can enter the U.S., you may be eligible to apply for a green card through the employment-based first preference (EB-1c) category. This category is reserved for managers/executives of multinational companies and has virtually identical requirements to the L-1A.  Those that qualify for an L-1A typically will also be able to qualify for the EB-1c. This means that you may be able to obtain a green card relatively quickly (3-4 years) instead of being subject to the long waiting times associated with EB-2 and EB-3 filings.  Furthermore, as of January 30, 2023, all new EB-1c petitions are eligible for Premium processing, which will also help accelerate the process.

Fourth, the L-1A visa can be filed at any time and unlike the H-1B is not subject to a numerical cap/lottery.  However, to obtain approval for L-1A and subsequently EB-1c you and your employer must be prepared to prepare and submit substantial documentation.  Although the chance of a request for further evidence (RFE) is relatively high, with the proper guidance and preparation these RFEs can be overcome.

Fifth, the L-1A visa allows for your spouse and unmarried children under 21 to accompany you to the U.S. as dependents. This can be an important factor for families who want to stay together during the immigration process. Additionally, spouses are authorized to work incident to status and no longer need to apply for separate work authorization.

Overall, the L-1A visa provides a direct and potentially faster path to a green card for multinational managers and executives who meet the requirements of the EB-1c category. However, it is important to note that the EB-1c category has strict eligibility criteria and requires extensive documentation and evidence to support the application. It is recommended that applicants consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine their eligibility and guide them through the application process.

If you have questions regarding the above, please reach out to PLG Partner Chris Prescott at cprescott@patellegal.com.