L-1 Visa for Indian Nationals

The L1 visa is a type of non-immigrant visa that is designed for employees of multinational companies. It allows these employees to be transferred from a foreign office to a U.S. office. This visa is particularly useful for Indian nationals who work for companies that have a significant presence in the United States.

    L1 Visa Requirements

    To be eligible for an L1 visa, Indian nationals must meet certain requirements. These requirements include:

    Additional Requirements for the L1 Visa

    In addition to the basic requirements listed above, there are several additional requirements that Indian nationals must meet in order to be eligible for an L1 visa. These include having a valid passport, being able to demonstrate the ability to support oneself financially while in the United States, and having a residence abroad that the applicant has no intention of abandoning.

    Understanding the Employer’s Role in the L1 Visa Process

    The U.S. employer plays a crucial role in the L1 visa process. They must file a petition on behalf of the Indian national, which includes evidence of the qualifying relationship between the U.S. company and the foreign company, as well as evidence of the applicant’s qualifications and job duties. The employer must also be able to demonstrate that they have the financial ability to pay the applicant’s salary.

    The Importance of Intent to Depart

    One of the key requirements for an L1 visa is the applicant’s intent to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of their L1 status. This requirement is in place to ensure that the L1 visa is used for its intended purpose – temporary work in the United States – and not as a means to permanently immigrate.

    Benefits of the L1 Visa for Indian Nationals

    The Benefit of Dual Intent

    One of the key benefits of the L1 visa is that it allows for dual intent. This means that Indian nationals can enter the United States on an L1 visa with the intent to eventually obtain a green card and become a permanent resident. This is a significant advantage over many other non-immigrant visas, which do not allow for dual intent.

    Benefits for Spouse and Children

    The L1 visa also offers benefits for the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of L1 visa holders. These family members are eligible for L2 visas, which allow them to accompany the L1 visa holder to the United States. Additionally, L2 visa holders are also eligible to work in the United States, providing additional financial stability for the family.

    The L1 Visa as a Pathway to a Green Card

    The L1 visa can serve as a pathway to obtaining a green card. After working in the United States on an L1 visa for a certain period of time, Indian nationals may be eligible to apply for a green card through employment-based immigration. This provides a potential route to permanent residency in the United States, which offers a host of additional benefits.

    The Initial Step: Obtaining the L1 Visa

    The first step in the pathway to a green card through the L1 visa is to obtain the L1 visa itself. This involves meeting the requirements mentioned earlier in this article, including being employed by a qualifying organization, having the intent to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of the L1 status, and having a U.S. employer file a petition on the applicant’s behalf.

    Working in the United States on an L1 Visa

    After obtaining the L1 visa, the Indian national must work in the United States for the U.S. company for a certain period of time. The specific time requirement varies depending on the type of L1 visa and the green card category the applicant is applying under. This work experience in the United States can be a valuable asset when applying for a green card.

    The Role of Labor Certification

    In most cases, the U.S. employer must obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor as part of the green card application process. This certification verifies that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position and that hiring the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. This is an important step in ensuring that the employment of foreign workers does not negatively impact U.S. workers.

    Filing the Immigrant Petition

    Once the labor certification is approved, the next step in the pathway to a green card is for the U.S. employer to file an immigrant petition on behalf of the Indian national. This petition is typically filed using Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This is a crucial step in the process, as it officially begins the green card application process.

    The Final Steps: Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing

    After the immigrant petition is approved, the Indian national can either apply for adjustment of status if they are already in the United States, or go through consular processing if they are outside the United States. The specific process depends on the individual’s circumstances. This is the final step before the green card approval, and it involves a thorough review of the applicant’s eligibility for permanent residency.


    The L1 visa provides Indian nationals with an opportunity to work in the United States and potentially obtain a green card. By meeting the requirements for the L1 visa and following the pathway to a green card, Indian nationals can pursue their career goals in the United States while enjoying the benefits of permanent residency.