Ep. 47 What Is The Difference Between The L and E Visas

  • L visa is a known immigrant visa.
  • L status visa holders can file for green cards without losing their L status.
  • L visas can bring their family members. They can come on L2 visa.
  • It allows the primary holder of the visa to bring employees to US who are working for the same company abroad.
  • e-Visa is based on a treaty trade or treaty investment.
  • e-Visa requires a substantial investment.
  • e-Visa holder cannot apply for a permanent residency green card while L1 visa holders can.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody, this is Jacob Sapochnick. Ask an Immigration Lawyer. You ask, we answer, simple.
Today we continue with our L1A visa series and I got a bunch of good questions about the benefits of the L1A visa and how it differs from the e-Visa, the investor visa.

Well, the L visa is, first of all, it’s a known immigrant visa. It’s actually one of the most powerful tools available to companies who are interested to move their qualified employees to United States. L1 visa holders doesn’t really need to maintain … It’s actually a dual intent which means that you don’t need to show that you have a [formal 00:00:50] residence during your US stay, which makes it very, very powerful because a lot of the non-immigrant visas are single intent. Like the E visa or TN visa. So, while you’re pursuing a L1 status, a person can also seek permanent residency afterwards which makes it pretty, pretty powerful.

And so as a result of that, L status visa holders can file for green cards pretty much without losing their L status which is unlike many other non-immigrant visas. So that’s a great benefit.

Of course L visas can bring their family members. Family members can come on L2. L2 visa holders can apply for work permit as well as a Social Security Number so that’s a great benefit, allowing them to work in United States.

L visa also allows the primary holder of the visa to bring employees to United States who are working for the same company abroad. So, it’s a great way to bring specialized skills workers from your foreign company to the United States affiliate using the L visa which is great.

So, how is it different from the e-Visa which is the investor visa known immigrant visa?

So, while the e-visa is also an employment visa where you can work by starting a small business, investing money, the e-visa is based on a treaty trade or treaty investment. So, E1 is a treaty trade, E2 is a treaty investor. So, only countries that are part of a treaty are eligible to come on the e-Visa. Unlike the L visa where it doesn’t matter where you’re from, as long as you have a foreign entity, you are able to come to the United States. So that’s one big, major difference. With an e-Visa it’s based on a treaty, with an L visa we’re looking at the company where you’re coming from.

Another difference between the e-Visa is that e-Visa requires substantial investment. So, if you’re starting a company here, if the amount of investment is not substantial, you really are not going to be able to get the visa. With an L visa they’re not really looking at the investment, they’re more looking at the qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the US company. Whether it’s a true subsidiary, they’re looking at the qualifications of the Executive who is moving and funding of the company is less pretty important. So, that’s another difference.

And, of course, the main difference is that e-Visa holders are not able to apply for a permanent residency green cards while L1 visa holders can because of the dual intent.

So, this is just a few of the difference and just a few pointers about the benefits of the L visa.

So, there you have it. If you’re looking to start a branch of your company in United States, the L visa could be a good option. And if you don’t qualify for the L visa you can always explore the e-Visa, investor visa.

Thanks for listening. You ask, we answer, simple.

Once again, this information is provided as a public service and you should not rely on this information. Always consult a qualified attorney before making any decisions. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you at our next episode.

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