There are many different options for obtaining work authorization in the United States. But the question lies with the work authorization visa that is the best possibility for you. Namely, there is the H-1B visa, the L1 visa, and the TN visa. Read on to discover the differences between these visas and how a seasoned I 765 work authorization lawyer in New York City, at The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David, can help you in navigating them.

What is the difference between an H-1B visa vs. an L1 visa?

Firstly, an H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa designated for foreign workers who want to temporarily work in specialty jobs in the United States. The statute defines a specialty job as having, “a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor.” Examples of such are chemists, network administrators, engineers, and physicians.

On the other hand, an L1 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa designated for foreign workers who want to temporarily work in the United States via an intracompany transfer. More specifically, these are individuals with specialized knowledge who work for multinational companies. The statute defines specialty knowledge as, “special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets or has an advanced level of knowledge of its processes and procedures.” An example of this is an engineer who knows the patented technology of their company.

One of the key distinctions between these two visas is that the H-1B visa requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in education status while the L1 visa does not. In addition, the H-1B visa does not have a dual-intent status while the L1 visa does. In other words, with an L1 visa, an applicant can demonstrate their intent to not only work in the United States but to become a citizen of the United States soon after.

What is a TN visa?

A TN visa is designated for a very specific category of nonimmigrant workers. That is, it is made for Canadian and Mexican citizens who want to temporarily work in the United States in a certain professional occupation included in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These professional occupations total more than 60, and they are classified into groups named general, medical, scientists, and teachers.

In 2020, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaced NAFTA. But still, the eligibility requirements for a TN visa have remained exact.

For more information on these work visas, contact an experienced employment immigration lawyer in NYC today.