These days, there are many questions about the differences in visa available for immigrants. Understanding those differences is where the confusion comes in. Not since we have heard President Trump speak of “bigly” changes and “sad” folks who do not support him have there been so many uncertainties surrounding immigration laws in this country. It can get confusing and frankly, overwhelming. For instance, what’s the difference between L1 and H1B visas? If you are not sure, you are definitely not alone. Here, our L-1A visa attorneys try to provide the differentiations in a way that makes it clearer.

First, let’s go over the similarities because they’re important. Both visas are good for employers looking to recruit employees from oversees. This might happen when a specific type of computer engineering degree is needed to do the job, for example. It’s the L1 visa that tends to be a better fit for multinational enterprises and those who may fall short in meeting the strict mandatory guidelines associated with the H1B requirements.

The L1 Visa

Also known as an intra-company transferee visa, these documents are used to gain entry into the U.S. for those who have been hired by a company that needs a high degree of competency, who possesses a specialized knowledge in an area that others are not familiar and who may be employed as part of multinational companies. They’re not at all uncommon, especially in large global companies.

The H1B Visa

This visa also allows for foreign workers to come into the states in order to do a job within a company. They differ in that the individual must possess knowledge in a theoretical or technical capacity and ina specialty occupation field. As mentioned earlier in this article, it could be in the field of engineering, science, medicine, architecture or other specialized areas. Usually, evidence of a specialized degree that addresses a specific dynamic is required as part of the application process. This can be in the form of testimony from an employer or other expert in the field or via resources that are objective and that show a definite association between what the worker possesses and how it will be used.

Keep in mind, there are a few differences as related to the requirements. The H1B applicant must have a specific and specialized knowledge in the field and possess at minimum a bachelor’s degree. This gets to the eligibility considerations. There are times when that might be bypassed, such as the work being so new, that there are no classes that have been developed to teach. For example, a Bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy isn’t going to lead to becoming qualified for an H1B visa to work in the U.S. as a respiratory therapist.

It can be a bit time consuming and can be expensive, according to our L-1A visa lawyers. There are no guarantees for entry nor are there any guarantees that these temporary visas might lend to permanent citizenship. Typically, the employer will already have an immigration attorney on retainer who will help facilitate the application process.