• Maria Cordon

Visa L-1. # Company, # Corporate Relationship, # Staff Transfer.

There are two types of visas: immigrant and non-immigrant. Non-immigrant visas are obtained outside the United States, at a consulate or American Embassy. Individuals with a current I-94 can change or extend their status in the United States.

People who are applying for an L visa must have worked for the same company, corporation or parent, branch, subsidiary abroad for a year during the last three before being transferred to another parent, branch, subsidiary in the United States. That is, the transfer of personnel would be from Coca-Cola to Coca Cola, not from Pepsi-Cola to Coca-Cola. The personnel can be executive, managerial, or have specialized knowledge regarding the company. Staff can be transferred to a new company in the United States, as long as there is always at least one active company with the requisite corporate relationship abroad. USCIS or CBP may not ask for evidence regarding this issue, but if they ask for it, it has to be produced.

My experience has been that small businesses have problems because the law says that the first year they are opening the business USCIS will be reasonable but when requesting an L extension USCIS’ expectation is that the company will have experienced explosive growth. For example, an L extension for an executive of the newly opened coffee house is that he or she should transformed one coffee house to a Starbucks-type chain. If a coffee company sells packaged coffee and wishes to obtain permanent residency for its managers, specialized, or executive workers, USCIS expects the company to show same success and growth as Starbucks before selling to Nestlé. Maybe I exaggerate a little, but not much.

The list of reasons why you can be denied when requesting L petition is long and these examples assume that the person and the company meet all other legal requirements. Attorney Maria M. Cordon can help you determine if you are eligible, help you prove the facts, and show how your facts meet the legal eligibility requirements.

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