How might an L-1 visa application affect a pending I-526 petition?

An L-1 visa application should not adversely affect the adjudication and outcome of a pending I-526 petition. This is because the L-1 visa carries dual intent, which permits the applicant to express permanent immigrant intent and pursue a U.S. green card. Thus, an EB5 investor with a pending I-526 petition should have no issues applying for an L-1 visa, and likewise, the fact of their applying for an L-1 visa should have no negative impact on their pending I-526 petition.

L-1 Visa

The L-1 visa has two subcategories: the L-1A visa, which is intended for executive employers and managers, and the L-1B visa, which is intended for workers with specialized knowledge.

According to the website of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to be eligible for either subcategory of the L-1 visa, the applicant must have been employed by a qualifying company overseas for one continual year within the three years prior to their entry to the United States.

To qualify for an L-1A visa specifically, the executive or manager must be pursuing entry to the United States in order to work for a subsidiary branch of their U.S. employer, as a transferee from one of the company’s affiliated foreign offices. Similarly, to qualify for an L-1B visa, the employee must be pursuing entry to the United States in order to provide services related to their field of specialized knowledge to a subsidiary branch of their employer based in the United States.

For both the L-1A and L-1B visas, the employer must file Form I-129 on behalf of the prospective visa holder to acquire lawful authorization for the employee to work and live in the United States.

Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

If the EB-5 investor’s I-526 petition is approved while they are still overseas, they will have to undergo consular processing. Successfully completing consular processing will result in the EB-5 investor being granted conditional permanent resident status.

If the EB-5 investor is already residing in the United States as a L-1 visa holder at the time their I-526 petition is approved, they will need to adjust status by filing Form I-485.