Differences between L1 vs H1-B Visa

Are you a professional that would like to work in the United States? Then you might be wondering what visa category is the best for you to apply for. With many of them on the list, there are two best Visas you can choose from; the L1 and H1-B.

As both of them are considered the best Visas that professionals like you can apply for, let us clarify your choice by enumerating their comparison and contrast. And if you would like to know more about L1 Visa Guide and the basics of H1-B Visa, better finish reading this article to have more knowledge about it.

The Basics about L1 Visa

L1 Visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that is given for those people that are in a managerial or executive position and/or have a specialized knowledge. They can be issued if an employer files a petition to obtain authorization for their workers to have the permission to travel, work, and live in the United States.

There are 2 types of L1 Visa; the L-1A and L-1B. L-1A Visa is for workers that would like to transfer to the United States that work in managerial or executive positions. On the other hand, L-1B is for those people that would like to transfer and work in the United States that has a specialized knowledge.

The Basics about H1-B Visa

H1-B Visa is also a nonimmigrant type of visa that allows foreigners to work in special occupations in the United States. For a person to be qualified to apply, he or she must have an educational degree. If a person has a bachelor’s, masteral, or doctoral degree, then he or she is eligible to process an application for H1-B.

L1 vs H-1B

Now that we have known the definition of both visas, let us enumerate their key differences in each certain point.

  • Purpose

  • L1 Visa is for those people that already have a job outside of the United States that would like to transfer to one of the branches of their company or enterprise inside the USA. Meanwhile, H1-B are for people that are planning to work in a professional position.
  • Eligibility

  • For L1, the person that would apply must have an executive or managerial position in the company or have a specialized knowledge. On the other hand, H1-B Applicants must have an educational degree such as a bachelor, masteral, or doctoral to qualify.
  • Key Requirement

  • H1-B, the company that is based in the United States must be willing to sponsor the applicant to work as a professional to one of the companies in the US. Conversely, a parent company inside the United States must be willing to sponsor the applicant.
  • Employer

  • In the case of the applicant of L-1 Visa, he or she must already be a current worker of a managerial position of the company for at least 1 year. If not, he or she must be working in a specialized position doing knowledgeable work. Also, in the L1 Visa, the employer must be based in the United States.
  • However, for H1-B, any US-based company can hire a worker that is interested to work in a professional position from another country.
  • Green Card Application

  • Both visas, in terms of their holder, can optionally apply for permanent residence status through applying for a Green Card. If the holder would like to apply, the process, requirements, and term of application depends on the type of visa he or she has.
  • An L1-A Visa holder can apply for a green card by filing a request of permanent residence under the EB1C visa category. Since the holder of this visa does not need a labor certification, it reduces the processing time of the visa. However, the application process for L1-B differs.
  • On the contrary, you would need to have a PERM Labor Certificate approval to have a green card. This goes the same to the L1-B Visa.


There are many types of visas that a person can apply for if he or she wants to work in the United States. However, qualification differs for a certain visa and it is imperative to know the requirements and the process for you to have the essential knowledge before applying. Likewise, research is a must when determining the type of visa that would suit your purpose of travelling to other countries, particularly the United States.

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