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New Office L-1A

The New Office L-1A visa is a non-immigrant visa category that allows multinational companies to transfer an executive or manager…

The New Office L-1A visa is a non-immigrant visa category that allows multinational companies to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. It also enables foreign companies, which do not yet have an affiliated U.S. office, to send an executive or manager to the U.S. with the purpose of setting up a new office.

However, the term 'executive' or 'manager' holds specific meanings. An executive, for example, is someone who can make decisions of wide discretionary authority without much oversight. On the other hand, a manager is defined as someone who supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees; or who manages an essential function within the organization.

A 'new office' is an organization that has been doing business in the U.S. through a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary for less than one year. The foreign company must secure a physical premise for the new office and has the financial capacity to begin doing business in the U.S.

Once the application for the New Office L-1A visa is accepted, the executive or manager is allowed to stay in the U.S. for one year to set up the new office. This includes tasks such as setting up the physical office space, hiring staff, establishing any necessary infrastructure, etc.

After the first year, the USCIS will revisit the plan and examine whether the new office has been active and operating and whether it needs the executive or manager to continue running. If the USCIS is satisfied with the progress of the new office, the visa can be extended in increments of up to an additional two years, until the executive or manager has reached the maximum limit of seven years.

Also bear in mind that the L-1A visa offers a potential path to permanent residency or a Green Card. After a certain period, an L-1A visa holder can apply for an employment-based first preference immigrant visa (EB-1C), which is a highly desired category as it does not require a labor certification.

The New Office L-1A visa is a significant tool for international companies planning to expand their operations into the U.S. It offers a pathway for high-ranking employees to help establish, manage, and grow the new office. However, the application process can be complex and requires a significant amount of paperwork and proof of eligibility. As such, it is advisable to seek guidance from immigration experts or attorneys when considering this option. At US-ILC, we understand the complexities of applying for a new office L-1A visa, and we can provide you with expert advice and the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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