The initial term for an L1 visa for new office expansion is limited to 1 year. The growth and operations of the new office during this conditional time period is crucial. If the L1 visa was obtained to start a new business and operations have not commenced, employees have not been hired, and work has not been performed at the new U.S. office, obtaining a renewal can be problematic. For the renewal to be successful evidence to support the foreign and new office operations must be submitted. Required evidence includes:
- Proof of that the foreign company and new office maintain a qualifying relationship.
- Proof that that both the foreign operations and new office are doing business. “Doing business” is defined as the regular systematic and continuous provision of goods and/or services. Physical presence is not enough to meet the “doing business” requirement.
- Proof that the L1 transferee will be working in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity.
- Proof of continuous employment of the L1 transferee.
Along with the above evidence normally required to support an L1 visa renewal, a new office renewal MUST be supported by the following:
- Profit and loss statement from the new office for the past year.
- Detailed quarterly wage reports for all employees at the new office for the last four quarters.
- Payroll records for the past year, W-2s and W-3s.
- A current organizational chart for the new office listing all employees, titles held, duties performed, direct reports, and wages.
- Most recent tax returns for the new office.
- Current bank statements for the new office.
New office L1 visa renewals are highly scrutinized by both USCIS and CBP. It is important to prepare the L1 new office renewal materials with attention to detail and thoroughness. Failure to adequately explain the nature of the position, include necessary supporting evidence, or properly prepare the necessary USCIS Forms, can lead to a denial. Due to the complex nature of an L1 new office renewal, I highly recommend seeking advice and counsel from a licensed U.S. attorney with specific experience in L1 new office renewals. Please contact me directly with your questions.
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