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Work Visa

L Visa

An L-1 visa is a visa that allows a multinational company to serve as an expatriate by dispatching an employee from outside the United States to the US main office / branch office. In case of L-1 visa, there are two categories.

  • Executive and Manager (Intracompany Transferee - Executive or Manager)

  • Intracompany Transferee - Specialized Knowledge

Advantages of L-1 Visa

In the case of an L-1 visa, you do not need to get PERM LC like other employment-based visa, you are not restricted by the annual quota, and you are free to move in and out of the country. This visa is valid for three years and can be extended for a period of up to 7 years for executives or managers of branch offices and for up to 5 years for those who have expertise. If you have not been in the US for more than one year, you will be granted a valid one year visa. If you stay for more than one year after your establishment, you can extend your stay. You can apply for a permanent residency at a later date based on the employment.


For spouses of L-1 visas and children under 21 years of age, you can get a L-2 visa, which is a family visa. Your spouse can apply for a work permit to legally work in the United States, and your child under the age of 21 will be entitled to attend public school. The advantage of an L-1 visa is that you are granted a dual intent for immigration, just like the H-1B short-term employment visa. A spouse of an L-1 status person can work just like an E-2 spouse with an EAD.

L-1 visa Application Conditions

When foreign businesses enter the US, they will have branches or subsidiaries. The business headquarter must own 50% or more of the branch or subsidiary.


In order to enter the US with an expatriate visa, executives, managers, or professional workers must have worked at the headquarters for at least one of the last three years.


The amount of investment that must be made to the US branch office is not fixed. However, if the USCIS rules that the branch office is too small to require additional foreign workers, it will not grant a visa.


When a company establishes a branch office in the United States, it will need to hire employees in the US. But depending on the nature and size of the branch office, visas will be granted for workers.

L-1A Executive or Manager Qualifications

To apply for the L-1A, the applicant must meet one of the following two conditions.

  • Executive: A person who is in a position to plan and determine important policies of the company, to manage business affairs, and to direct / supervise the company's employees at an advanced level.

  • Manager: A person who has the authority to make decisions about the general affairs of the company and is in charge of directing / supervising the company's professional staff.

In order to receive an L-1A visa, company executives and managers must have a great deal of discretion in managing the company, setting the company's goals and policies, guiding the management of the company, or managing the company's major projects at their own discretion. In order to receive an L-1A visa, the number of employees in the US office, the applicant's position, the wage level, the company's organizational chart are important. After consideration of various factors, the immigration officer evaluates whether the applicant is the management and manager of the company. Foreigners who have received an L-1A visa can stay in the United States for up to seven years. It is possible to extend the visa every two years, up to seven years.   

L-1B Specialized Knowledge Qualifications

Specialized Knowledge Personnel: Those who have specialized knowledge and skills necessary for the company's business field.


If you are unable to prove that you are an executive or manager, you may apply for an L-1B visa if your company has too small of a number of employees to apply for an L-1A visa. To receive an L-1B visa, applicants must have specific knowledge of the company's goods, services, management, and technology.


O Visa

The O-1 visa is a visa that allows foreign nationals who hold outstanding skills in the fields of science, arts, education, business, and physical education to stay in the United States.

  • O-1A: Excellence in science, education, business, and physical education

  • O-1B: Excellence in art, film and broadcasting

  • O-2: Companion to assist O-1 visa holders

  • O-3: Family with O-1 or O-2 holders

To obtain an O visa, you must prove that the alien has continued national or international reputation and that you have been recognized in your area of ​​expertise with sufficient evidence. One needs to show intent to enter the United States to continue working in my reputed field.

O-1 Visa Qualifications

A record of internationally recognized major awards, such as the Nobel Prize or the Academy Award, can easily prove a national or international reputation. If not, you should be able to present at least three of the following types of evidence:

  1. An award-winning career with national / international recognition that recognizes excellence in the profession.

  2. Evidence of membership in an association that must be recognized by national or internationally recognized experts and recognized for outstanding achievement in the professional field

  3. Articles or publications published in professional journals, industry journals, or major media outlets

  4. Experience in examining the achievements of others as a member of a personal qualification or panel in his or her specialty or related field

  5. Evidence that he made an important contribution in the fields of science, science and business.

  6. Experience in publishing scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media

  7. Career in a current or formerly important or core position in an organization or organization with an outstanding reputation.

  8. Evidence such as a contract that has been paid for past or current high salaries or services

  9. Objective evidence of commercial success in the arts, including box office records, recordings and video sales.

O-2 Visa Qualifications

The O-2 visa is for those who have a secondary role with an O-1 visa applicant who will participate in an art performance or athletic event. In order to obtain an O-2 visa, the foreigner must play an essential role in the arts/physical activities of the O-1 visa applicant and must have a very important skill and experience working with an O-1 visa alien An O-2 visa can only be obtained if you intend to come to the United States to assist an O-1 visa holder working in the field of arts, cinema, broadcasting or sports, and can not work independently of an O-1 visa applicant.

O Visa Stay Duration

O visa duration is based on the length of time required for events and activities in the United States by the visa applicant, and allows for a stay of up to three years. You can then renew your visa by the end of the year or at the end of the project.


R Visa

The R-1 Religious Visa is for those who wish to enter to do religious work in a nonimmigrant status. A visa that allows you to work as a religious leader for five years and is also a visa for two years of paid work experience and then you can apply for a work permit without Labor Certification from the US Department of Labor.

Eligibility for R-1 visa application

Religious persons include those who are authorized to perform worship from an accreditation body, those who perform other duties ordinarily performed by an authorized religious person of the religion, and religious clergy or occupations. When applying for a religious visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a member of a religious denomination recognized as a true nonprofit religious organization in the United States.

  2. Religious denominations and, where applicable, their affiliated entities must be exempt from taxation or eligible for tax exemption status.

  3. It should have been a member of the denomination for two years prior to applying for a religious visa​

  4. A minister of the denomination or a religious priesthood or occupation of a nonprofit religious organization (or an organization receiving tax exemption as a branch organization of such a group)

After your legal stay, you must be willing to leave the United States, and there should be no specific evidence or general evidence to the contrary.

Religious Organization Qualification

Religious organizations must have a document from the IRS that states that tax exemptions are allowed under US law. The church is not recognized as a tax exempt unit by submitting documents to the state government about the establishment of a company. It is important that you prepare the documents and then submit the documents to the IRS for formal evaluation. A religious organization is a 501 (c) (3) organization that is able to deduct taxes from the US Federal Tax Office as a nonprofit, and a letter from the IRS is required to prove this.


In addition, religious organizations should have the financial ability to pay sufficient salaries for religious people to be hired in the future. If a religious worker has an R-1 visa, the church must pay the worker a formal salary (Payroll).

R-1 Visa Application and Change of Residence Status

If you are already in the US, you can adjust your status to R-1 from your existing nonimmigrant visa status. On the other hand, applicants in foreign countries can directly apply for an R-1 visa. If you change your status of residence in the United States, you will have to re-enter your R-1 visa if you go abroad.

On-site Inspection of Religious Organizations

There will be visits to the church or temple for interviews with employers and applicants to verify the facts. If an existing religious organization has passed On-site Inspection, you can proceed directly to premium processing. The Immigration Office will thoroughly check the religion-related work, such as whether the relational career and position of the visa applicant is closely related to each other, and whether the position can only be achieved by a professional worker.


E-1 Visa

Work visa E-1 Superior Representative / Trade Visa

An E-1 visa is a visa granted to the owner or office worker of a foreign business that trades in the United States. An E-1 visa is a visa for nationals of countries, such as the Republic of Korea, which the United States has entered into a trade treaty. In order for a visa applicant to meet the eligibility requirements, there must be evidence of significant amount of trade, including services or technical trade, or the visa applicant must show an important role in the management of the operation of a company that has invested a significant amount of money. E-1 Visa holders must leave the United States at the end of their E-1 status.

A spouse or unmarried child (under 21) of an E visa applicant may apply for a visa to join the principal applicant. Your partner may work in the United States after receiving a valid work permit from the USCIS. Work permits can be applied for after entering the United States.


H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa is a visa for skilled professionals working in specialty occupations. To receive an H-1B visa, you must have at least a bachelor's degree or relevant working experience. H1-B visas can be applied to a variety of occupations and allow you to work for a total of six years in the United States. Unless there is a quota for the previous fiscal year, the earliest date for applying for an H-1B visa per year is April 1st, and the approval date for employment is October 1st. The H-1B visa is valid for three years and can be extended up to 6 years. A H-1B visa is a dual intent for immigration.


To apply for a work visa, you must have at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience related to the profession your employer has proposed. Specifically, the following conditions must be fulfilled to qualify for a professional job:

  1. The occupation requires at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience

  2. Bachelor’s degree requirement is normally required in the same industry, or if the job is complex or unique and only a bachelor's degree holder can perform the job

  3. The employer generally requires a bachelor's degree or equivalent

  4. The complex nature of the work requires a bachelor's degree for business performance

H-1B Visa Quota

H-1B visas are limited to a total of 65,000 visas per fiscal year and 20,000 additional visa quotas are allocated only to holders of a US Master's degree or above. This limit is called H-1B Quota or Cap. The earliest date for applying for an H-1B visa is April 1st of each year, and the start date for employment is October 1st. If more applicants apply than the given quota, the Immigration Service will only accept documents for 5 days, excluding weekends, starting April 1. Thereafter, the Immigration Service conducts a random selection process (lottery), and only the selected application is actually accepted and processed. Documents that are missing from the remaining lotteries will be returned.

H-1B Cap-Gap Extension Provisions

The Cap-Gap extension begins at the end date of the F-1 student status until October 1st, the beginning of the H-1B status. This regulatory provision allows legal stay in the United States even after the OPT or student visa period is over. (If H-1B is rejected, a grace period of 60 days from the point of the Rejection Notice is given.)


For example, if you apply for April 1, 2018 and you receive an H-1B application before the OPT expiration date and get a work visa, the OPT work permit will be extended until September 30, 2018.

Process for Obtaining H-1B

  1. Your employer must obtain an LCA from the Labor Bureau in connection with the terms of the contract.

  2. The employer submits a certified LCA and H-1B petition to Immigration. (We submit five days before April 1st unless quota of previous fiscal year remains.)

  3. If there are a lot of applicants and the visa quota is exhausted, the Immigration Service will randomly select the application through the lottery. All documents missing from the lottery will be returned, including the immigration fee.

  4. If the applicant is selected in the lottery, the Immigration and Naturalization Service evaluates whether the employment application falls within the requirements for 2 to 6 months.

  5. The immigration office will then make a decision (approve, request additional documents, or deny). If additional documents are requested, you can get the results after submitting the documents to the immigration office.

Changing Sponsoring Company

If you are working for a sponsor with a legal H-1B status and you receive a new Form I-129 through a new sponsor, you can work for a new sponsor upon receipt without having to wait for approval.


Please note that you must maintain a legitimate H-1B status. Sponsors will not be changed until the day before October 1. The transferability regulations apply even if you have passed the H-1B stay period before applying for an extension of H-1B.

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