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L-1a Visa to Start a New Business

Posted by attorney Nicklaus Misiti

As the President or executive of a foreign company you can obtain and L-1A visa to open a subsidiary office in the US. Your petition will be approved for a period of one year and can be renewed twice, 3 years at a time, for a total of 7 years. The USCIS will want to see evidence of a business plan including financial projections for both the U.S. subsidiary and the foreign parent company. The L-1A visa is a dual intent visa and will allow you to obtain a green card with time.

To obtain such a visa, the factors surrounding the establishment of the proposed organization must show the organization will, within one year, support a managerial or executive position.

Various factors are considered, including, the amount of investment, intended personnel structure, product or service to be provided, physical premises, and viability of the foreign operation.

The manager or executive who is opening a new business or office is expected to be more actively involved in day-to-day operations during the initial phases of the business. Still they should also have authority and plans to hire staff and have wide latitude in making decisions about the goals and management of the organization.

There are numerous requirements for procuring the L-1A visa to open a office, including:

  1. Sufficient physical premises to house the new office must be secured (a lease for office space);

  2. the beneficiary must have been employed for one continuous year in the three year period preceding the filing of the petition in an executive or managerial capacity and that the proposed employment involves executive or managerial authority for the foreign company;

  3. It must be shown the intended United States operation, within one year of the approval of the petition, will support an executive or managerial position (business plan);

  4. A business plan should be provided showing the proposed nature of the office describing the scope of the entity, its organizational structure, and its financial goals. It should also describe the proposed size of the US investment. There is no minimum but it must be whatever would be normal for the particular industry;

  5. Copies of the foreign companies bank statements and tax returns should be provided showing the financial ability of the foreign entity to remunerate the beneficiary and to commence doing business in the United States;

  6. A proposed organizational chart should be provided showing the structure of the foreign entity.

The L-1A is an excellent alternative to the E-2 investor visa, if you have a foreign company and would like to open a company in the US. The main advantages are there is no minimum investment and that it can lead to a green card. If you are interested in starting a company in the US it is recommended you speak with an immigration attorney.

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Filed under: Immigration Employment