Immigration Solutions

How to open a New Office in the U.S. for the L-1 Visa [2022]

How to open a new office in the U.S. and file for an L-1A Visa petition.

The USCIS will initially approve your L-1A Visa for a period of one year.

It 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 beneficiary who is coming to the United States to open a new office may be classified as a manager or executive during the one year required to reach the “doing business” standard if the factors surrounding the establishment of the proposed organization are such that it can be expected that the organization will, within one year, support a managerial or executive position.

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

It is expected that a manager or executive who is required to open a new business or office will be more actively involved in day-to-day operations during the initial phases of the business, but must also have authority and plans to hire staff and have wide latitude in making decisions about the goals and management of the organization.

When establishing a new U.S. Subsidiary or Affiliate company, you will want to keep the following in mind:

The foreign firm and the US firm must have a “qualifying relationship.”

The US and the foreign firm must have common majority ownership, or, where there is less than majority ownership, common control by the same person or entity.

Ownership by a common group of owners where no owner has control or a majority interest can cause a problem if each individual owner does not own approximately the same amount of both the US and the foreign company.

This problem can sometimes be worked around if the owners have set up a voting agreement to ensure that there are not different groups controlling the foreign firm and the US firm.

As a general rule, the Owner of the Foreign Company should own at least 51% of the U.S. Company.

Proof of Ownership and Control of the US Entity:

When relevant you will want to submit copies of the share certificates issued and list the # of shares of stock issued for the US Entity

Once the US Entity is formed, you will want to set up a US Checking Account and rent office space.