How to get an L-1A Intracompany Transferee Visa?

A US employer may transfer/ bring an executive or manager of a foreign affiliated company and obtain an L-1A visa for such an employee. A foreign company may also open a new office as a subsidiary or affiliate in the United States and secure an L-1A visa for its executive or manager.

  1. The Qualifying Corporate Relationship

    In order to qualify for an L visa the foreign and US companies must have a specific - qualifying- relationship. The two companies must be either in a parent-subsidiary relationship (most common) or they must be affiliates -as in a majority stock ownership in both companies is sufficient to qualify. The two companies may also be in a joint venture setup where the two parent companies -at 50% each- own the company and it is then a subsidiary of both parent companies.

  2. How do I Qualify to be a Beneficiary of an L-1A petition?

    In order to qualify for an L-1A visa, you must be an employee of the foreign company for at least 12 months in the three years preceding the application- assuming there is a qualifying relationship as discussed above. You must be employed in a position of a manager or an executive to qualify for the L-1A visa at both the foreign company and the affiliated US company as well- in the case of a new office you will be the one operating and setting up the new business.

  3. What is the Process of the L-1A Petition?

    The US company must file a petition in the United States at the appropriate Service Center having jurisdiction over the proposed work location. The petition is filed on Form I-129. Once approved, the beneficiary generally will need to appear at an interview at the US Consulate of his country and then seek admission at the US port of entry in L-1A visa status. The L-1A visa is approved for an initial period of three years- or one year in the case of a "new office" petition. The maximum stay is seven years. Final note: wishing you good luck on your new adventure!

International Entrepreneur Rule- How do I Qualify for a "Startup Visa"?

1. Forming an Entity in the United States

First step is to form an entity in the United States unless you have already done so- within the preceding 5 years of filing the application. For an individual to qualify for the "startup visa" - parole under the International Entrepreneur Rule - he or she must possess at least 10% of the entity and have an active and central role in the operations of the company. A maximum of three individuals (each along with their spouse and children) can qualify under one startup company.

2. Investment Needed to Qualify

The applicant under the International Entrepreneur Rule must present that he or she secured investment in the amount of capital of $250,000 or more from qualified US investors such as venture capital firms, angel investors or accelerators. He or she may also present that the startup received grants form government entities in the amount of $100,000 or more. There is an additional opportunity to show that granting parole would be in the public interest of the United States- in other words the company would be able to demonstrate significant growth and provide job creation in the United States.

3. Practical Considerations of a "Startup Visa"

The successful applicant will be authorized for employment incidental to the qualifying startup company alone. The applicant's spouse is permitted to apply for employment authorization. The successful applicant may be granted parole under the International Entrepreneur Rule for an initial 30 months. This parole can be extended (re-paroled) for another 30 months if he or she successfully presents significant growth of the company over the course of the initial 30 months. The applicants granted parole must depart the United States when their parole expires- at the end of the maximum 5 years.

4. Final Notes- International Entrepreneur Rule Postponement Vacated on December 1, 2017

Thanks to Judge Boasberg's ruling on December 1, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security must begin accepting applications of foreign entrepreneurs and startup companies that wish to bring their ideas to the United States. We cannot be any happier. Wishing you good luck on your new adventure!

The International Entrepreneur Rule is published in the Federal Register at the following link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/17/2017-00481/international-entrepreneur-rule.

International Entrepreneur Rule – “Startup Visa” is Back

Entrepreneurs and startups can now bring their business to the United States and secure their “startup visas”. Thanks to Judge Boasberg’s ruling on December 1, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must begin accepting applications of foreign entrepreneurs and startup companies that wish to bring their ideas and business to the United States. We cannot be any happier.

Background: The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) was set to be effective as of July 17, 2017 but the DHS – a few weeks prior to the effective date- announced an indefinite postponement of its implementation leaving us to think it may never happen. On September 19, 2017, the National Venture Capital Association, entrepreneurs and startup companies brought a lawsuit challenging the postponement and won. On December 1, 2017 United States District Judge James E. Boasberg ordered the postponement rule to be vacated.

How to get a B1/B2 Visa for Medical Treatment in the United States?

The B1/B2 visa category has a subcategory for entries to the United States for the purposes of medical treatment. You will apply for the B1/B2 visa at the US Consulate of your country and you must show evidence of the medical treatment to be received along with the traditionally required documents.

1. Purposes of Medical Treatment

If you are to receive medical treatment in the United States or participate in a clinical trial you must secure the appropriate visa through an application at the US Consulate of your country. At the interview you will be asked to show proof of the specific medical treatment to be received or clinical trial that you will participate in by providing documents such as a signed letter and communication with the provider facility, hospital and physician. You may wish to include further documentation of how you qualify for the treatment or clinical trial participation such as proof of your condition or diagnosis.

2. Application for a B1/B2 Visa

When you secured an approval of the specific medical treatment or participation in a clinical trial (or an invitation) you are ready to apply for the B1/B2 visa at the US Consulate of your country. You will need to submit the DS-160 form online that will ask numerous questions on your background, personal information, past visits to the United States and other travels, list of any relatives you may have staying/ living in the United States at the time and you will be asked to provide a photo at the end. You will also need to pay the visa fee. Once completed you will be able to schedule the interview appointment date.

3. Documents to Bring to the B1/B2 Interview

At the interview you will show documentation of the specific medical treatment to be received or the clinical trial you will participate in along with documents proving your intent to return to your home country upon completion of the treatment or trial. You must show evidence that you have ties to your home country such as property you own or a lease agreement, family, extended relatives and of course employment or business that needs your presence in your home country. You will also need to prove that you have the necessary finances to cover your expenses for the duration of the medical treatment or clinical trial so showing adequate funds in a bank account you have access to is key to the success of this application. At the time of the interview you will be told whether your application is approved or not.

4. After the B1/B2 Interview

If all goes well and your B1/B2 application is approved, you will then be issued a visa stamp in your passport. In practice you will leave your passport at the US Consulate and they will mail it to you to the address you provided in your DS-160 form at the beginning of the application. Once you receive your passport you must check that all information is correct and if so, you are ready to make travel arrangements.

How to Check my Case Status?

USCIS will mail you and/or your attorney a form I-797C- also known as a Receipt Notice. On this notice, at the top of the page you will find your Receipt Number (containing letters and numbers). Once you located your Receipt Number you will be able to check your case status at the following link: https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/mycasestatus.do. You will also be able to set up an alert that will automatically update you on the case status at every change. 

New I-765 Form to Streamline the Process

Starting October 2, 2017 a new updated Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization is available- allowing eligible applicants to submit their application for the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and for a Social Security Number (SSN) simultaneously. Previously, eligible applicants were required to obtain the EAD first and then to apply for an SSN in person at their local Social Security Administration office. We love the updated version of the form and this much appreciated streamlined process.