If you’re planning to change jobs while on an L1 visa, it’s important to understand the limitations and restrictions associated with this type of visa. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about L1 visas and the process of changing jobs while on this visa.
L1 Visa Overview
An L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows multinational companies to transfer their employees from their foreign offices to their US offices. This visa is available to managers, executives, and individuals with specialized knowledge.
To qualify for an L1 visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have worked for the foreign office of the company for at least one year.
- You must have been employed in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.
- The US office of the company must be a branch, subsidiary, parent, or affiliate of the foreign office of the company.
Limitations and Restrictions of L1 Visa Pertaining to Changing Jobs
The L1 visa is tied to the employer who sponsored the visa. This means that if you leave your sponsoring employer, your L1 visa will no longer be valid, and you will be required to leave the US.
Additionally, you are not allowed to work for any other employer outside of your sponsoring employer while on an L1 visa. This restriction applies even if you find a job that is within the same industry or field as your sponsoring employer.
How to Change Jobs on an L1 Visa
To change jobs on an L1 visa, you must first find a new employer who is willing to sponsor your visa. The new employer must file an L1 visa petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf.
Once the USCIS approves the L1 visa petition, you will need to apply for a new L1 visa at a US consulate or embassy in the country where you reside. The new visa will only be valid for your new employer, and you will be required to work for your new employer in the role that was specified in the visa petition.
It is important to note that you cannot start working for your new employer until the L1 visa petition is approved and you have obtained your new L1 visa.
Best Practices and Tips for Changing Jobs on an L1 Visa
Here are some best practices and tips to keep in mind when changing jobs on an L1 visa:
- Start the job search process early, as changing jobs on an L1 visa can be a lengthy process.
- Work with an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the visa application process.
- Make sure that your new employer understands the requirements of your L1 visa and is willing to sponsor your visa.
- Be prepared to provide evidence of your qualifications and work experience to your new employer.
Common Mistakes People Make When Changing Jobs on an L1 Visa
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when changing jobs on an L1 visa:
- Not working with a qualified immigration attorney.
- Not understanding the restrictions associated with the L1 visa.
- Starting work for a new employer before the L1 visa petition is approved and the new L1 visa is issued.
- Not providing sufficient evidence of qualifications and work experience to the new employer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I change jobs while on an L1 visa?
A: Yes. However, you will need to find a new employer who is willing to sponsor your L1 visa and follow the proper visa application process.
Q: Can I work for any employer on an L1 visa?
A: No. The L1 visa is tied to the employer who sponsored the visa. If you leave your sponsoring employer, your L1 visa will no longer be valid, and you will be required to leave the US.
Q: Can I start working for a new employer before my L1 visa petition is approved?
A: No. You cannot start working for a new employer until the L1 visa petition is approved, and you have obtained your new L1 visa.
Q: What should I do if my L1 visa is expiring, and I want to change jobs?
A: If your L1 visa is expiring, and you want to change jobs, you will need to follow the regular L1 visa application process for your new employer. You cannot work for your new employer until the new L1 visa is approved and issued.