How to Change a B1 Visa to an L1 Visa


People who stay a short time in the United States for business typically have a B-1 visa. People who find a position in the U.S. -- and live here for several years -- require an L-1 Visa. Complete a detailed form -- and submit it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services -- to obtain an L-1 visa. Be thorough in your report; this might increase your chances of acceptance.

Things You'll Need

  • I-129 Form
  • Passport
  • Determine if you are eligible for an L1 visa. This documentation allows an employee to stay in the United States for up to seven years. The initial visa gives the employee a three-year stay. To qualify, you must have worked for the company outside of the United States for at least one or the past three years. You must be a manager, an executive or a staff member with technical knowledge.

    Exercise a degree of wariness if you have a criminal record. The I-129 form does not ask about criminal record, but the federal government carefully scrutinizes people who enter the country. Filing a new application invites a closer look at your background.

  • Fill out the I-129, Petition For Nonimmigrant Worker. This 35-page application asks numerous questions about your reason for being in the country. Certain sections deal directly with status change. Part Two addresses issues relevant to a person changing a visa type, such as employment status and classification status.

    Read this application carefully, and complete any section that relates to you situation. Sign your name where it is required.

  • Mail the application to the Department of Homeland Security. Read the Instructions for Form I-129 to determine the correct address. The USCIS sends you a written decision on your application.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to mail the form to the correct address.
  • Do not make any false statements on a federal immigration form. This could lead to severe legal consequencesm such as permanent denial of entry to the United States.


  • Photo Credit passeport image by Loic LUCIDE from
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