As a foreign entity expands operations it is often necessary to open new offices within the United States. The L-1 Visa nonimmigrant classification enables qualifying foreign entities to expand their operations into the United States through the creation of a new office. This can be done by sending a qualifying executive or manager to the United States to establish a new office. The qualifying employee will be granted L-1 Visa status to manage the new office.
To qualify for the new office L-1 visa category, the employer must:
- Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate); and
- Currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1 Visa.
To qualify, the employee must:
- Have worked for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States; AND
- Seek to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
In addition to these standard L-1 Visa qualifications, employers seeking to open a new office must also show that:
- The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office;
- The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition; and
- The intended U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.
We help businesses and corporations of all sizes obtain L-1 Visa status for their qualifying employees allowing them to expand their businesses by opening new offices within the United States. If you are foreign employer seeking to expand your business operations through the addition of new offices within the United States, contact us today.