HORITSU.COM :: The US Immigration Laws


How long does it take?

H-1B visas

Step 1. To obtain a "prevailing wage"

Answer: 1 day to 2 weeks

Step 2. To obtain a certified "labor condition application"

Answer: The law requires that the Labor Department process them within 7 working days, but it is currently taking over 1 month in California.

Step 3. For the INS to make a decision

Answer: 3 to 4 months for new H-1B visa petitions, and a little over 2 months for extensions

Step 4: For the Embassy in Japan to issue the visa
Answer: Within 2 weeks

L visas

Step 1. For the INS to make a decision

Answer: Approximately 1 month. To avoid this step, many large companies are able to obtain "blanket petitions" that allow their employees to go directly to the Embassy.

Step 2. For the Embassy in Japan to issue the visa
Answer: Within 2 weeks

E visas

Step 1. For the Embassy in Japan to review the case and make a decision

Answer: Up to 2 months

Multinational Executive/Manager Green Card

Question. How long does the US branch have to be in business before it can sponsor an executive for a green card?

Answer: At least 1 year

Step 1. For the INS to process the immigrant petition

Answer: Approximately 7 to 8 months

Step 2(a) To "adjust status" to a green card in the USA?

Answer: 1- 1 1/2 years

Step 2(b) To obtain work permission

Answer: 4 months. The multinational executive needs to keep his/her L-1A visa valid until he receives this work permission. Work permission is also obtainable for the spouse and children at this time.

Step 2(c) To obtain travel permission

Answer: About 1 month. Do not travel until you receive "advance parole" at this step.

Step 2. To set-up an interview in Japan

Answer: Approximately 3-4 months. Even if you are in the US you could request that the interview be in Japan. Many times when a family has children approaching 21 years old they will decide to set up the interview in Japan.


1. Before a US citizen baby can sponsor his parents for a green card

Answer: The child must be 21 years old before he can start the process

2. To set up a green card interview in Los Angeles based upon my recent marriage to a US citizen.

Answer: 15 to 18 months. You can obtain work permission during this period.Some people can obtain travel permission.

3. To get a green card based upon my recent marriage to a green card holder

Answer: People who filed relative petitions for their spouses in August 1994 are currently eligible to get the green card.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that these are all approximate times. These times do not include the time it takes a client to gather required documents (birth certificates, business documents, etc.) that are needed in each case.