I am in a situation where I will be working in US on L1 on "A" passport, and few months down the line will be getting the "B" passport. So in this case if I surrender my "A" passport I will lose my L1 and the employer will have to re issue a new one. Country "A" does not allow dual citizenship so have to surrender "A" passport.

Is it possible to transfer the L1 from "A" to "B"? What are the cost implications for the employer here? I believe employer generally gets the blanket L1s, so should they have any problem issuing the L1 on "B" passport?

Any suggestions/experience. Thanks!

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    Did you mean 'Country "A" does NOT allow dual citizenship'? – Patricia Shanahan Dec 19 '19 at 22:20
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    Are you just getting a new passport or actually changing your citizenship? Also, employers do not issue visas. The department of state does that. – phoog Dec 20 '19 at 0:53
  • Yes, A does not allow dual citizenship. And, I am changing citizenship as A & B are different countries, should have clarified that. Sorry. – nick1899 Dec 20 '19 at 4:54
  • I made the edit for you clarifying that A does not allow dual citizenship. – RoboKaren Dec 20 '19 at 5:04
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    So you are acquiring B's citizenship by naturalization while you are present in the US? That seems unusual. Or did you already acquire B's citizenship and are just now obtaining B's passport? But in that case, you may already not have A's citizenship and you are not supposed to be using A's passport now. – user102008 Dec 21 '19 at 19:04

So let me get this straight:

• you have a L1 on Passport A and entered the USA on it

• while you’re in the USA you will be acquiring nationality B

• Country A doesn’t allow for dual nationality so you have to give up nationality A which you’re willing and planning to do

• however your L1 visa is attached to the passport from A, which you’re giving up

This is tricky as visas are issued onto passports through embassies in particular countries and are attached if not to the passport itself (they can often transfer when you get a new passport from the same country if it’s the same status) but to a passport class. So for example if you got a diplomatic passport, your old visa in a civilian passport wouldn’t work even if both are the same country. I’ve never heard of a visa transferable to another country’s passport.

I think your options are:

  1. Talk to an immigration lawyer. This is beyond the realm of internet stranger advice.
  2. Keep quiet about your dual nationality to Country A until you get a green card, which is independent of nationality once acquired. Countries do not normally know you’ve acquired a new citizenship unless you tell them or they have cause to investigate. So you’d keep using your passport A and visa in the A passport until you get a green card.
  3. Get a L1 visa in your new passport from Country B
  4. Don’t leave the USA while on the L1. The L1 is only used for entries. While you’re here, you have the EAD which proves you have permission to work. So as long as you don’t leave the USA and want to return, you don’t have to get a new L1.

This is a rare outlier case as naturalizations rarely happen outside the naturalizing country (country B in this example). So best to see real professional advice.

  • "visas are issued through embassies in particular countries" that's not relevant, or even true beyond the fact that each visa is in fact issued in a particular place. A visa in a (for example) Ghanaian passport could be issued in any consular office. Also, people in L-1 status do not have EADs, because L-1 status authorizes them to work. There is no need for an additional document. – phoog Dec 22 '19 at 4:54
  • Thanks phoog. You might write your own answer. This answer was based on much of the stipulations pre-edit so it’s not exactly right anymore. You could answer it better than I could. – RoboKaren Dec 22 '19 at 5:02
  • I'm thinking about it. The problem is that I am fairly certain neither the Immigration and Nationality Act nor the Code of Federal regulations contemplates this scenario, so the actual procedures required, if any, will depend on USCIS policy, and I don't have a way of looking that up. – phoog Dec 22 '19 at 5:24

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