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Starting the L1A journey - establishing a new US office - any success stories?

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Hi All

Im about to embark on the above visa, but need to know whether its just a dream or can it actually work. Family owns a large electrical company in my home country where I am employed (as a manager for the last 3 years) and I want to move to the USA with mypartner and infant. Immigration lawyer makes it sound easy 1) set up a U.S company, bank account etc 2) have all supporting documents including turnover etc from parent company 3) file for L1a visa.

Has anyone been through this and how did it work out for you. I know large multi nationals do this all the time but we are a company of about 30 employees.

TIA

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How big will the US company be? ie how much of an investment, how many US citizens will it employ?


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Essentially that is how multi national companies do it.

Usually.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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No idea, you asked if the L can be used to start up a subsidiary.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Usually the L visa, when related to management, requires you to manage people. It doesn't sound like you would be, at least at the beginning.

You may be better off setting up the subsidiary from afar, hiring a US citizen manager, and then once the firm is successful and needs a GM, going for the visa then.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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No issues with your plan on the face of it.

Broadly, an L-1A for a new US branch would require you to show:

-The usual 1 yr continuous in a three year period outside the US for the existing company

-A financial ability to commence operations in the US - if you company is established and successful overseas this shouldn't be too hard.

-Premises obtained or a lease

-That the office/branch will be up and running, and that the role be an executive or managerial position within one year, and it doesn't matter if you are starting from scratch and very small. Emphasis on this last point - If you had to manage people from day 1, it would defeat the point of it being to set up a US branch of an overseas company. If you don't meet this point, then there may well be some issues come visa renewal time.

Put together a solid and comprehensive business plan that demonstrates an ability and an intention to fulfill what they require.

How big will the US company be? ie how much of an investment, how many US citizens will it employ?

Those are more relevant to an E-2 than an L-1 to be honest, where as an investor visa the specific aim is to provide jobs for US citizens.

Edited by mindthegap

CR1 / DCF (London): 2012 / 2013 (4.5 months from I-130 petition to visa in hand)

 

I-751 #1 [Denied]

 

Early May 2015 : I-751 Joint filing package sent fedex next day 09:00am from UK ($lots - thanks). 
May 2015: Notice of receipt/1yr extension received, dated day of receipt. This was forwarded to me outside the US, and no issues re-entering multiple times.
June 2015: Biometrics completed - walk in / argument, stressing proof of imminent travel and multiple prior inconvenient appointments & reschedules.
May 2016: Vermont Service Centre updated to processing May 2015 cases, therefore my case is now classed as outside normal processing time
May 2016: Service request sent (whatever that is) after calling to find out why I am still waiting after 12 months. Unable to tell me anything.
May 2016: Letter received in response, stating processing is on hold due to 'pending security checks' with no other information. Not helpful.
May 2016: (7am) - Infopass appointment for I-551 Stamp in passport.  (8am) - Returned to USCIS office for another I-551 stamp after realizing the dumbass put the expiry stamp as 2015 not 2017. Two entire passport pages wasted. Cheers. 

Oct 2016: Infopass appointment (not at local office). USCIS have sent my file to an overseas office, in a country that neither myself or my spouse have ever resided in. It has sat there untouched for five months. Why? Who knows. Internal query requesting urgent clarification is sent by USCIS officer.  
Oct 2016: An identical 'pending security check'  letter received, addressing precisely none of my or the immigration officers legitimate queries. 
Nov 2016: Infopass appointment: My file is now back in the US and at my local office...no other updates or progress. 
Jan 2017: Notification that an interview has been scheduled at a local office. Bizarrely still no RFE... 
Jan 2017: 2hr wait, then interview terminated before it began, due to moving my ID to another state 2 wks prior. New interview 'in a few months...maybe.'       Informed them that divorce proceedings are underway, but not finalised at this time. 
March 2017: An Interview was scheduled - marked as no-show as they didn't actually send out a notification of interview. FML 
April  2017: Filed an official complaint with the ombudsman, and have requested Senator & Congressman assistance - enough is enough. 
May 2017: Yet another infopass. No updates, interview of further progress. Still no response from Congressperson, Senator, or Ombudsman received. 
June 2017: 68 days after contacting them, the Ombudsman finally contacted USCIS. 'It may take up to 60 days to receive a response'.   
July 2017:  A follow up enquiry sent by Ombudsman to USCIS after receiving no response or action after 45 days. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. 
August 2017: 60 days has come and gone with no response from USCIS. Contacted the Ombudsman who will contact them AGAIN. 
August 2017: Email from Ombudsman - USCIS have scheduled an interview at the very end of August .  
August 2017: Interview - switched to a (finalised) divorce waiver. Told that decision will be made that afternoon, but no problems foreseen with my case. 
September 2017: Now 4 weeks since interview, my file has not moved from the officers desk, and no decision is showing when I call and speak to a Tier 2.  
September 2017: Request filed for Senator assistance (a different senator - maybe I will get a reply & assistance from this one?). 
October 2017: 37 days since interview....and no decision.  W, and indeed, TF is going on???? 
October 2017: Letter of Denial received - reason given as 'I-751 petition was not properly filed'. Discovered ex-spouse made false allegations to USCIS

I-751 #2 [Pending] 

October 2017: Within 72hrs of receiving denial notice, a new waiver I-751, divorce decree & $680 cheque, sent to Vermont via FedEx overnight 9am priority.  

October 2017: I-797C Receipt/extension letter received, dated day of receipt at VSC 

October 2017: Another I-551 stamp obtained at infopass appointment, as the extension letter is useless with a 2yr card that expired 2.5yrs ago! 

November 2017: Biometrics completed (early walk-in) 

2018: Re-entered US multiple times with second I-751 extension letter & stamp. Quick trip to secondary required to verify, and stamped in as normal

  

N-400 [Pending] 

February 2018: N-400 filed online.  $725 paid to the USCIS paperwork wastage fund

February 2018: Biometrics completed (walk-in)

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