What is law regarding an L1A Visa related to the change of employment?

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What is law regarding an L1A Visa related to the change of employment?

I am working in the USwith a L1A visa. First of all, can I apply a Green Card myself without the knowledge or support of my employer? What happens to my L1A if I switch jobs (resign and take up employment with a different employer)? What is the best possible way to do such – is the L1A transferable; do I need to get a H1? Can L1 be transferred to H1? If yes, is that process quicker, etc?

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Immigration Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot apply for a green card on the basis of employment without your employer knowing because you need the employer to petition you for an employment-based permanent residence. Only if you qualify for a self-petition (like alien of extraordinary ability) or if you apply for permanent residence on the basis of a qualifying family relationship, can you do so without the employer knowing.

If you change jobs and start working with another employer, you will need to have the new employer petition you for a H-1B.  The process is fairly straightforward and can take anywhere from 3 weeks to several months depending on the type of processing the employer chooses (premium or regular).


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