Differences Between L1 Visa and H1B Visa – Complete Guide

Source: business-standard.com

Many of us dream of working and living abroad in the hopes of having a stable life. If you are one of the population, you must know that moving to a new country comes with arduous processes. One of the most fundamental requirements you have to accomplish is getting your visa. This factor isn’t only applicable for leisure, but it is also for work purposes.

If you plan to go to the United States, you must know the two most common Visas – L1 Visa and H1B Visa. One of these might be of great help to you, or it might also quench your curiosity about the difference between the two. Thus, if you are currently seeking the answers to your inquiries, this article will guide you throughout your understanding. Click here if you wish to know more.

What do you mean by an L1 Visa?


The L1 visa permits the big firm abroad to allow competent employees already working in the parent firm, branch, or the same company and merely transferred to work in the United States. More so, this kind of visa has two categories: L1A and L1B. The former is applicable for transferring executives and managers. Meanwhile, the latter is for the workers with specialized expertise, and it allows them to enter for five years within the same or subordinate U.S. Company.

What do you mean by an H-1B Visa?

The H-1B visa is a work visa document that allows employers from the United States to hire foreign workers to work in the U.S. This case needs a practical application of highly specialized expertise and a bachelor’s degree or higher. Considering that the employers hire foreign workers to work in the U.S., they are the ones who will pay all the expenses on behalf of their chosen candidates. If you have one of these occupations – engineering, IT, architecture, finance, etc.- you have the chance to be selected.


Acquiring Green Card

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Obtaining a green card comes with various considerations. If you are an L1A visa holder, you can apply for an expedited Green Card. In contrast, unlike the former, the L1B Green Card Holders need to comply with the labor certification to be eligible for a Green Card. Lastly, they are allowed for an expedited Green if they were part of the higher positions, such as executive or managerial roles.

On the other hand, the H1B visa holders must comply with a labor certification through the Department of Labor. The holders can also extend their stay if something needs to be fixed, like a pending application. In this case, the HI1B visa holder can still work and live in the U.S. until their remaining days are finally over.

Certification from the Department of Labor

The approval of the Department of Labor is a must-need to comply. However, it still depends on a particular situation and the type of permit. For example, the L1 visa is no longer obliged to submit a labor condition application. Meanwhile, the H-1B visa is contrary to the former. This kind of entry permit needs to submit a labor condition application, which will showcase no available qualified workers in the United States.

Family Members

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If the applicant wants to bring their family members, such as their spouse or unmarried children, they can accompany them as an L1 holder using the L2 visa document. This kind of visa can also easily acquire work opportunities. On the other hand, if an applicant is an H1B holder, their family members can also apply for an H4 visa document.

Education or Degree Requirement

Most people hope to work abroad even if they lack a college degree. Hence, with the vast opportunities offered to millions of workers, they can now work in other countries through an L1 visa. This type of visa does not need to have educational or degree requirements. It does not also require the candidate’s specialized expertise to be in a particular field.

However, the H1B visa requires the applicant to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher; it also obligates them to have technical knowledge of their area. This factor would be the basis of their acceptance of working abroad. But if you have ample expertise or experience in your chosen field, it may be enough to substitute for the educational requirements.

Prevailing Salary

One of the reasons why many people want to work abroad is for the high salary. However, their expectations don’t always happen in reality. Under the H1B visas, the applicant/s must be paid the prevailing wage or their intended wages, which is mostly good enough, in the place where they chose to work.

However, in the case of an L1 visa, it does not need to follow the worker’s required salary. Instead, since the employee is under a foreign company, they must accept that it is possible to have lower wages than the prevailing wage. This situation may arise due to various conflicts knowing that lower wages can cause problems in most cases.


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The duration of both L1 and H1B visas may vary depending on certain circumstances. The period of L1A is initially three years, and the L1A visa holder can extend their stay up to seven years. Meanwhile, the L1B has the same qualities as the former, but they only differ in their extendable period, which the L1B can only lengthen their visit for five years. The H1B also has three years duration, and it is extendable to six years.


To wrap up everything, living and working abroad needs various considerations, especially those that need ample time to comply, such as your visa. Indeed, these two factors- L1 visa and H1B visa – might have similar aspects, particularly their requirements and qualifications. Hence, as you probably understand all the information above, you must note that these two visas are still distinct from each other. That means you have to ensure the specific considerations of each of these for you to have an easy process.