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L1-A New Office Application - is a Regus office with 12 month contract good enough?

Boston, MA |

Hi, we are small private equity fund - looking to open US office and apply for L1-A. We like the idea of a Regus office as it is serviced office and provides all the supporting services needed by a small firm. Question is for the L1-A petition is Regus good enough or do you need a lease agreement - because Regus only ever do a contract for service and NOT a lease - we plan to get an ACTUAL office (with door, windows, desk, etc) with Regus and NOT a virtual address. I am told you must have a Lease for L1-A but we like Regus!

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

This is just one part of a complex set of arrangements. No one single piece is dispositive but rather Immigration will look at everything from the perspective of your business plan. If this office fits in with your business strategy, it might work. To be more conservative, I would get a standard commercial place with a lease agreement. That is, if you are looking to optimize your chances. With a new office L-1A you will be subject to more scrutiny, including for the physical premises, so you might not want to risk it. I guess it is a matter of how much risk you want to take on. As a private equity fund, I am sure you know that feeling!

Contact: 860-548-2629 or dbucin@uks.com. This answer is provided for general education purposes only and is not intended to provide, nor does it provide, any legal advice.   By viewing this answer you understand and expressly agree that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the attorney who authored the answer.  Should you need legal advice, please contact a licensed attorney who practices in this area.  Readers of this answer and the information contained herein should not act upon any information contained in this answer without seeking legal counsel.

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Posted

Thanks Dana. We actually plan to get a 5 person office on a long-term lease contract - but we do not want to do that until we know we'll get the visas we need. Does USCIS really expect people to sign up to long-term lease contracts and then if the visas do not come through then not honour those contracts? I mean an office without the head is useless right? Thanks.

Dana Roxana Bucin

Dana Roxana Bucin

Posted

Do what you would normally do for business purposes (meaning, as if the L-1 was not part of the consideration) - so if that involves starting small and then expanding your premises, so be it, as long as you clearly explain your strategy in your business plan. It's a balancing act, no black and white answers here. USCIS wants to see this is a genuine business opportunity and not solely for the sake of getting some visas, so the more reasonable your business plan and strategy sound, the more leeway they'll give you on the lease arrangements. I am really hoping you have a very good immigration/ business lawyer helping you with this. You do not want to do this yourselves. Lots of landmines to avoid in this process.

Posted

If you have one 12 month contract for one physical office space, the other evidence you provide will be crucial. It may or may not work based on the business plan and whether you show growth during the first year. Presuming the business grows, will you rent more office space from Regus?

Contact me at lobrien@ornerobrien.com or at 240-395-1506. This response is provided for informational purposes. I cannot provide legal advice specific to the facts of your particular case without a signed contract in which you have agreed to allow me to represent you.

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Thanks Lynn. Yes we would actually get a proper 5 person office once the visas are granted - we just do not want to make a long-term lease commitment without knowing where we stand re the visas. Do companies really sign up to long-term lease contract even when they do not know if they are going to get the visas they need?

Lynn Marie O'Brien

Lynn Marie O'Brien

Posted

I recently filed a visa petition for a startup and they leased a large office space in NY, NY prior to filing. Having an expensive lease can bring credibility to the case. So, yes- people do sign up for longer term leases without knowing whether or not the visa will be issued. That's not to say that you must do so. It's more of a totality look at all of the evidence/documents you present. I would suggest that you meet with an immigration attorney to review what you have and to make sure that you aren't missing anything that USCIS typically looks for in a new office L-1.

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. Having a Regus office may work depending the other evidence you have to support the petition. However, entering into a lease for a commercial space would be a better option.

Wendy R. Barlow, Esq, The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, P.L.L.C., 111 Broadway, Suite 1306, New York NY 10006, (866) 456-­8654, wendy@myatorneyusa.com, www.myattorneyusa.com. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this answer, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the answer without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed attorney. Provision of information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, P.L.L.C., nor is it intended to do so.

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Posted

Hire an immigration attorney. You will be hard pressed to do this petition on your own.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS www.myattorneyusa.com; email: info@myattorneyusa.com; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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Posted

There are a lot of issues that come up when opening an office as part of creating an L-1A submission. The short answer to your question is 'yes.' I have gotten two such petitions approved in the last 6 months w/ Regus offices. However, as you know, it must be a real office, not a virtual one. When USCIS sees "Regus," they generally don't love it. You should either head this off at the pass or be prepared for an RFE where you will be expected to submit photographs (real ones, not stock ones from Regus' website) of the space.

With that said, there's a lot more to this than the office. You should work with a lawyer who handles these sorts of things routinely. They aren't incredibly complex, but there are very specific requirements that will be difficult to first fully understand then to meet them in the ways they have to be met.

This is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship has been formed, now or in the future. This is just a casual opinion expressed about a hypothetical situation.

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Posted

Depends on whether an equity fund needs a physical office or not. If your business model does not require one, you will be fine.

Business Immigration Attorney. For H, L, J, EB5s, PERM and EB1/2/3 Petitions. Call 800-688-7892 or visit www.ImmigrationDesk.com. Law Office of Anu Gupta. The advice suggested here is for general information only and not to be construed as legal advice.

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