In certain cases, the L visa and E visa can be granted at the same time. In other cases, the visas may be in conflict with each other. The advantages and disadvantages of each visa must be considered at great length. For instance, the requirements for the L visa are almost the same as the 1st-level requirements for an employment visa. If an individual meets the requirements for a Manager/Executive, he/she can immediately go through permanent residency procedures without labor approval. L/E1 visa holders must receive labor approval as part of the requirements for permanent residency.

The spouse of an E1 visa holder can receive an employment permit (EAD) and work legally. Moreover, the spouse can also receive a Social Security number and apply for a driver’s license without issue. To receive an employment permit, the individual must apply for an I-765 at the immigration office.

An E-1 Visa is?

Simply said, an E-1 visa is called a trading visa. The reason is that an E-1 visa is only granted when an individual has trading history. Following the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement, the holder of an E1 visa must be a working trader of a corporation in Korea. In this case, trade is considered “active” trade between such a corporation and a U.S. subsidiary, and more than 50% of the trading conducted by the U.S. subsidiary must be with the Korean corporation. Moreover, according to the U.S. Department of State Regulations, trade does not merely consist of goods but of services as well.

An E1 visa is valid for 2 years, and a continuous extension is possible; there are no limitations because of a given time period. An L visa, on the other hand, has limitations in regards to extension because of its given time period of validity.

E1 Visa Application Procedure

  1. Local subsidiary established in the U.S.
  2. Documents related to the E1 Visa collected
  3. Documents related to the E1 Visa organized and prepared
  4. E1 Visa filed at the U.S. Embassy
    – Receiving the E1 Visa in Korea is more advantageous. (1. There is no due diligence. 2. Free travel is possible.)
  5. Interview conducted
  6. E1 Visa received

Note of warning: A trading visa cannot be granted if a U.S. local subsidiary is established only formally and nominally. The subsidiary must be in an operating state.

K Visa

A K Visa is also known as a fiancé visa. A K Visa is granted to an individual who is engaged to a U.S. citizen and, upon entering the U.S., will wed said citizen within 90 days.

A K-1 Visa is granted to the individual who is engaged. A K-2 visa is granted to any child of the individual who is engaged.

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