What are H1B and L1 Visas?

Jan. 24, 2023

Thousands of Indian IT professionals who have lost their jobs due to the recent layoffs in the United States (US) are now struggling to find new employment within the stipulated period under their work visas.

About H1B Visa:

  • It is a multiple entry non-immigrant visa which allows foreign workers employed by US companies to work in the United States.
  • The workers under H1B visas should be engaged in specialised occupations such as science, medicine, engineering and mathematics.
  • H1B applicants must have at least a US bachelor's degree or equivalent.
  • Generally this visa is granted for a period of three years and can be extended for an additional three years for special circumstances.
  • H-1B visa requires the employer to apply on the person’s behalf.
  • Holders of H1B visas can sell or buy property and invest in the stock market in the United States.


About L1 Visa:

  • L1 Visa is an Intra-Company Transferee Visa.
  • It allows large multinationals (need not be a US company) - with operations across various countries - to shift employees in specialized positions on a temporary basis to the US.
  • There are two types of L1 visas - L1A and L1B.
  • Managers and executives come under the category of L1As while L1Bs encompass workers with specialized knowledge.
  • There is no education requirement for the L1 visa.
  • L-1A visa holders are allowed a maximum stay of seven years in the U.S while s L-1B visa holders are allowed a maximum stay of five years.