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!
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!
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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?
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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.
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Hire an immigration attorney. You will be hard pressed to do this petition on your own.
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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.
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Depends on whether an equity fund needs a physical office or not. If your business model does not require one, you will be fine.
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