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L-1A New Office Visa

For an entrepreneur who qualifies, the L-1A New Office temporary visa can be a valuable option, especially in light of the H-1B Cap and the country limitations of the E-2 visa. It may require the entrepreneur who has been in the U.S. in OPT (Optional Practical Training), for example, to start and work for the business overseas first, as outlined below.

Caroline Ostrom, Minneapolis business immigration attorney, assists entrepreneurs and investors worldwide who are seeking U.S. visas. We encourage you to contact us if you need legal advice regarding L-1A New Office visa eligibility or the application process.

L-1A Visa Requirements

The L-1A New Office is a subset of the L-1A visa. The L-1A New Office is an option for a foreign company to open a new office in the U.S. and transfer a manager or executive to establish the U.S. business. A “new office” is one that has been doing business in the U.S. for less than one year.

In addition to the standard L-1A requirements, the L-1A New Office petition must also demonstrate:

  • The company has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office (i.e., a lease);
  • The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for the foreign company for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition;
  • The new U.S. office will support the said executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge position within one year of receiving petition approval.

It is anticipated that a manager or executive who opens a new office will be more hands on in the day-to-day operations of the business in the beginning, but he or she must have the authority and plan to hire staff, and have wide latitude in decision-making regarding the goals and management of the business.

The L-1A New Office visa is initially granted for a period of one year, with the potential to extend the visa for up to seven years.

How Our Minneapolis Immigration Attorney Can Help

The L-1A New Office visa is highly scrutinized visa. One of the main hurdles is establishing that within one year of approval of the petition, the U.S. company will be doing business sufficiently to support an executive or managerial position. We have knowledge of the relevant regulations and guidance USCIS uses in this area, to present strong petitions in this category.

Based in Minneapolis, our immigration team works with employees and companies in the Twin Cities and throughout the globe. We welcome you to contact Ostrom Law Office for assistance with your immigration matter.

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