I’ve been on an H1B for many years with an approved I-140. Can I work outside of the US for 1 year (in Canada where I am a permanent resident) and come back on an L1? I understand the green card processing time on L1 is significantly faster.

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It depends. Are you a manager who can be eligible for an L1A?

Yes if you are M and above, and someone in US is willing to get you back

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