“NEW COMPANY” L-1 VISAS
The EB-1(c) Multinational Manager/Executive preference category may be used to open and invest in a new office (parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate) of a foreign corporation in order to later apply for lawful permanent residence (often referred to as a "green card").
New Office L-1A Visa Requirements
An organisation that has been operating in the US through a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary for less than a year is considered a new office. The mere existence of an agent or office is insufficient as the new office must be "doing business."
The beneficiary must have worked continuously abroad for a year in order to qualify, and the intended U.S. operation within a year "will support an executive or managerial position," according to the petitioner's evidence. This is typically accomplished by providing a lease.
The petitioner must provide details about the following in order to demonstrate that the U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within a year: (a) the proposed nature of the office, outlining the scope of the entity, its organisational structure, and its financial goals; (b) the size of the U.S. investment and the financial ability of the foreign entity to remunerate the beneficiary and to begin business; and (c) the foreign entity's organisational structure. It is strongly advised that a thorough and reliable business plan with estimates for finances and staff be submitted along with the L-1A petition for a new office.
L-1A petitions for "new offices" are normally only granted for a year. Upon presentation of proof that the business is open for business, it may be extended. USCIS considers "the number of employees, considerable development in cash flow, existence of major customers and clientele, or comparable characteristics" for determining extension.
L-1A Status to EB-1(c) Green Card
The newly formed U.S. corporation could use the EB-1(c) Multinational Manager/Executive preference category to submit an application for a Green Card on behalf of the foreign individual following the successful issuance of the first L-1A extension.
The foreign national must have worked for the parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the recently founded U.S. company for at least one year in the three years prior to the petition in order to be eligible for the EB-1(c) Green Card. The foreign national's employment must have been in a managerial or executive position outside of the United States.
The EB-1(c) Multinational Manager/Executive preference category does not require labour certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, so the U.S. company can submit the Green Card petition without delay by submitting Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (I-140 petition), along with the necessary supporting documentation. The I-140 petition and adjustment of status application (Form I-485) may be filed simultaneously depending on the foreign national's country of citizenship and the availability of visa numbers.