L-1: Intra Company Transfers


For US companies wishing to transfer in foreign employees from their foreign counterparts, the L-1 is particularly useful.

The L-1 status is available to persons who have worked abroad for one continuous year within the preceding three years and who are transferred temporarily to the U.S. to work in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity for the same business.

There are two kinds:

1)  L-1A:  Manager or Executive

2) L1-B:  Individual with Specialized Knowledge

L-1 Petitioner Requirements

  1. The organization must be a U.S. or foreign firm, corporation, or other legal entity.
  2. The company must be doing business as an employer in the US and in at least one other country through a relationship defined by regulations, such parent, branch, or subsidiary.
  3. The petitioning U.S. company must establish an employer-employee relationship.
  4. Unless, it is a “new office” (Useful if a foreign company is attempting to set up a subsidiary/branch/new office in the US.  Another post will follow).

EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended

The US Senate just passed the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill. It is now headed to President Obama for approval, which is expected.

The EB-5 Regional Center Program extension (not to be mistaken with the regular EB-5 program) was part of the above bill. The earlier extension originally sunset earlier this week, but with the approval, the program will be extended until September 30, 2009.

EB-5 Generally: Investor Visa

EB-5 Investor Visa

There’s been some discussion about the EB-5 Investor Visa on this blog, without any real discussion of what one should do to acquire an EB-5 visa.

Generally, the EB-5 Investor Visa requires two things (this is VERY general):

1)  An initial investment into a new business enterprise of $1,000,000 (one million US dollars) in the United States.

2)  And in the process of accomplishing the above, create 10 full time jobs for US citizens or US permanent residents.

One can reduce the required amount of $1,000,000 to just $500,000 (five hundred thousand dollars) in one of two ways:

a)  Invest in a rural area or an area where the employment is 150% of the national average; OR

b)  Go through an EB-5 Regional Center.

As noted in other posts, the future of the EB-5 Regional Center has not been decided by the new administration (currently it is set to sunset around March).

And the EB-5 should not be mixed up with the temporary visa E-2.  The EB-5 allows the foreign national to acquire permanent residence (along with the immediate family as well).

The grant of permanent residence, is conditional (almost like a marriage greencard).  One has to file another petition to make the green card permanent in two years time, where the USCIS will review the petition once more.

The problem for most people is the amount of capital required (different from the E-2 visa, which doesn’t have a set monetary amount).  And the fact that one has to be involved quite a bit in the day to day operations (please compare to the EB-5 Regional Center, which has different requirements).

Visa Bulletin December 2008


December 2008 VISA BULLETIN

The above photo is a departure from our normal “bulletin” photo.  I just returned from a trip to China, which was fantastic.  I highly recommend people to check out China — a week in Shanghai and a week in Beijing.

The only thing about the December 2008 Visa Bulletin that you should know, in regards to the employment visa availability, is that it’s exactly the same as the November 2008 Bulletin.