Getson & Schatz recently aided a U.S.-based multi-national corporation with headquarters in New York in the transfer of one of its executives from its Indian subsidiary to the U.S. by obtaining an L-1A visa for this foreign executive.
L visas, or intracompany transferee visas, are available to companies who wish to transfer a foreign worker to a U.S. parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary, or for companies that wish to establish a U.S. affiliate or subsidiary and want this foreign worker to help with that process. There are two types of L visas – L-1A and L-1B. For both visas, the employer must be doing business, which requires the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization. This definition does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad, but it does include a foreign company that wishes to send a foreign worker to the U.S. to help set up operations in this country. Additionally, both L visas require the transferee employee to have been employed with a qualifying foreign organization for at least one continuous year in the three years immediately preceding his or her application for admission to the U.S. A qualifying foreign organization is a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
The difference between the L-1A and the L-1B visas is the nature of the employee that the U.S. employer wishes to transfer to the U.S. from its foreign parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary, or the nature of the employee that the foreign employer wishes to send to the U.S. to help set up operations in this country. The L-1A visa requires the foreign worker be an executive or manager in order to secure the intra-company transfer. Executives are employees that have broad authority to make decisions regarding the employer’s operations without much oversight. Managers are employees that have the authority to supervise and control the work of other professional employees and to manage the employer’s business, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the employer. This term may also refer to the “manager’s” ability to manage an essential function of the employer’s business at a high level and without direct supervision of others.
The L-1B visa, on the other hand, is for foreign workers making the intracompany transfer who have specialized knowledge pertaining to the job that will be performed in the U.S. Since our client wished to make an intracompany transfer for a foreign employee in an executive role, we pursued an L-1A visa.
Our New York immigration lawyers provided proof that the foreign executive had been employed in the capacity of executive for at least one of the three years immediately preceding her application for admission to the U.S., that the U.S. employer was actually doing business in the U.S., that she had been working as an executive at the foreign affiliate of the U.S. parent company for at least one of the three years immediately preceding her application for admission to the U.S., and that the U.S. parent company and its Indian subsidiary, where the foreign executive had been employed, were “qualifying organizations”. We satisfied the first two prongs by providing an employer letter, organizational chart, and paystubs to show the foreign national’s continuous employment in an executive capacity for the approximately 1.5 years preceding her application for admission to the U.S., and the New York company’s financial records, lease agreement, and website printouts to show that it was actually doing business. Showing the qualifying relationship required our immigration lawyers organizing numerous corporate documents in an intelligible manner to show USCIS that the U.S. parent company had changed names, merged, and reincorporated in another state yet still retained majority ownership of its Indian subsidiary.
After establishing that the foreign executive was employed for at least one of the three years immediately preceding her application for admission to the U.S., that the U.S. employer was actually doing business, and that her foreign employer and the U.S. employer were qualifying organizations, our New York immigration attorneys provided evidence that the foreign executive was, in fact, an executive. To do so, our attorneys provided a detailed profile of the U.S. employer’s business of providing internet media services easily, affordably, and without the need to hire a developer. Next, our attorneys described how the Indian subsidiary serves as the technology center for the U.S. parent company. Further, our New York immigration attorneys set forth the foreign executive’s responsibilities and authority as the Indian subsidiary’s Chief Technology Officer, a position that grants her broad oversight over the company’s technology center without much oversight. Lastly, our immigration attorneys demonstrated how the U.S. parent company would use her skills, expertise, and experience in this role to serve the same role temporarily in the U.S. in order to maximize efficiency as the U.S. parent company began to expand its operations.
USCIS approved the U.S. parent company’s petition on behalf of the foreign executive. This executive’s nonimmigrant visa is valid for an initial period of three years and may be renewed in increments of up to two years until the foreign executive reaches seven years In L-1A status. The foreign executive must adhere to the conditions of her employment for the entirety of her stay in the U.S. in L-1A status.
Our law firm with offices in New York represented a New Jersey Company with a wholly owned subsidiary in India in the process of sponsoring an individual for an L-1B specialized knowledge visa. There was a substantial shared financial interest and business relationship between the two companies as the US Company sells products manufactured by the Indian Company and also manufactures its own products. The US Company was expanding its manufacturing in the US and the Beneficiary had advanced knowledge of the Indian Company’s manufacturing/assembling processes which the US Company needed to utilize to expand its manufacturing/assembling processes in the US. Specifically, the Beneficiary’s advanced level of knowledge of the Indian Company’s procedures and processes consisted of administering the manufacturing/assembling processes, supervising and conducting supply chains and sources, designing and selecting products for the market, and understanding the finances needed to manage and maintain the manufacturing process including equipment, personnel and materials, product marketing, product ordering, packaging and shipping, and ensuring customs clearance and product delivery. With the L-1B Petition we submitted evidence of the relationship between the two companies, a letter from the US Company and information about the US business operations, and a letter from the Indian Company regarding Beneficiary’s work experience. Beneficiary’s L-1B petition was approved and he received an L-1B visa to enter the United States to work for the US Company.