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L-1A Visa New US Branch

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Part 5 – Intra-Company Transfer L-1A and L-1B Visas Editorial:


Much of the time, the reason for the intra-company transfer is because a foreign company is looking to expand in the US market, but to do so, they want to ensure that good leadership is on the ground to provide guidance. The L-1a and L-1B visa options are available to provide companies with these possibilities, but there are certain requirements to consider regarding securing the US office, funding the new office and what to expect after the first year.

Part 5 – Intra-Company Transfer L-1A and L-1B Visas Commentary:

Establishing a Management or Executive Position For the New Office

When entering the US to start up a new branch, it is important to submit documentary evidence in the application to show that within the first 12 months an office will be set up that would support an L-1A management or executive position.  In other words, the office would have to be staffed by subordinates or hired contractors within 12 months.

Securing the US Office: Even though no visa would have been approved or even applied for at this stage, it is a requirement that the petitioner have already secured, typically, by way of lease, the physical premises needed for the new office. In these cases, it would certainly be wise to insert into the lease terms, that the petitioner be excused from the lease if the visa petition was denied.

Funding: The applicant will have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of USCIS that the home country has sufficient capital to fund the new US office.  We would need to include financial documentation about the foreign company to prove that the required funds are sufficient and available.

After the First Year: L-1A visas for new branches are typically issued for one year only, and thus as the first year comes to an end we’ll have to make a new application where we would be looking to demonstrate that the core goals of setting up the branch had been achieved. This new application would not only have to re-satisfy all the original conditions for the L-1A visa, but also that the beneficiary would qualify for the period ahead.

For example: –

1 Evidence that the US and the foreign company are still related to each other.

2. Evidence that the US branch has commenced trading.

3. A statement of the beneficiary’s duties completed during the first year.

4. A statement of the beneficiary’s proposed duties for the period of the extension

5. A statement of the staffing structure now in place. Positions filled.

6. A statement of the likely future staffing structure. Positions to be filled.

7. Proof of wages paid to-date to all staff mentioned.

In the next presentation, we’ll talk about blanket petitions, visa renewals and family issues to round out this presentation series.

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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