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Old 03-30-2010, 07:20 AM
 
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HI guys. Am thinking about coming over to the US via the L1-A visa and setting up a new company in the states. I've been intouch with an immigration lawyer and he said that it was very unusual to be able to go from an L1-A visa to a green card - it only happens in exceptional cases. Now that came as a bit of a shock to me as I thought the great thing about the L1A for start up companies was that after the first 'year of doing business' you could apply for an extension to the visa, and then if this was granted you could immediately go down the green card application process, and bingo around 4 years later you would have a green card issued! It all seems too good to be true but if anyone could shed more light on the rules that would be great. Is my lawyer correct or should it be possible to get a g.c. off the back of a L1A visa?

Thanks very much
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:42 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,082,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismiki View Post
HI guys. Am thinking about coming over to the US via the L1-A visa and setting up a new company in the states. I've been intouch with an immigration lawyer and he said that it was very unusual to be able to go from an L1-A visa to a green card - it only happens in exceptional cases. Now that came as a bit of a shock to me as I thought the great thing about the L1A for start up companies was that after the first 'year of doing business' you could apply for an extension to the visa, and then if this was granted you could immediately go down the green card application process, and bingo around 4 years later you would have a green card issued! It all seems too good to be true but if anyone could shed more light on the rules that would be great. Is my lawyer correct or should it be possible to get a g.c. off the back of a L1A visa?

Thanks very much
From the uscis on visas:

"L Intracompany Transferees who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity;"

Seems as though you're mixing up visas. There are some excellent links posted in the first "sticky" at the top of this page which will explain what visa you need plus all the other requirements to obtain temporary status for the purpose of setting up a US business. Good luck!
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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Probably should have explained more.... Am an MD of a small company in the UK (4 employees), in the hydraulics field, and am thinking of transferring myself to the us to start up an american subsidiary business, which will be owned by the UK company. I therefore thought that I could apply for the L1A intracompany transferees visa, and get a one year stay in order to set up the new business. After that year I would go back to uscis and try for an extension, for another 3 years, if all of the criteria had been met. If that was granted then would I be able to apply for a green card, via the EB1-C route, or is it only very rarely that a g.c. petition is successful in these cases. Hope that makes more sense! I am just wondering whether to accept my lawyers initial advice, on saying the L1A would not lead to a Green Card, or to change lawyers. Thanks
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:00 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,082,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismiki View Post
Probably should have explained more.... Am an MD of a small company in the UK (4 employees), in the hydraulics field, and am thinking of transferring myself to the us to start up an american subsidiary business, which will be owned by the UK company. I therefore thought that I could apply for the L1A intracompany transferees visa, and get a one year stay in order to set up the new business. After that year I would go back to uscis and try for an extension, for another 3 years, if all of the criteria had been met. If that was granted then would I be able to apply for a green card, via the EB1-C route, or is it only very rarely that a g.c. petition is successful in these cases. Hope that makes more sense! I am just wondering whether to accept my lawyers initial advice, on saying the L1A would not lead to a Green Card, or to change lawyers. Thanks
I think your problem with obtaining the L1-A visa is that the subsidiary you're planning on setting up isn't already established and I'm not sure that the L1-A visa would be obtainable in that particular scenario. My understanding is that the L1-A visa is designed to enable large corporations with established stateside affiliates/branches to bring in temporary employees to fill an immediate need in the field which can't be filled by a US citizen. There is an investment visa to set up a business in the US which I believe requires an investment of minimum $500K.

I don't know if the immigration lawyer you consulted is right or not but hopefully someone more knowledgeable on the subject can respond and give you better information. Cheers!
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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You can go the route L1 to EB1 but will a four-man-show be considered a multinational operation and will it meet the requirements by the time you have hit your timelines as executive is the question.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:07 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,082,990 times
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Originally Posted by Threestep View Post
You can go the route L1 to EB1 but will a four-man-show be considered a multinational operation and will it meet the requirements by the time you have hit your timelines as executive is the question.
From the uscis website:

"Green Card Through Investment

Entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and who plan to create or preserve ten permanent full time jobs for qualified United States workers, are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence).
Up to 10,000 visas may be authorized each fiscal year for eligible entrepreneurs.

You must invest $1,000,000, or at least $500,000 in a targeted employment area (high unemployment or rural area). In return, USCIS may grant conditional permanent residence to the individual. (emphases mine).

For more information, see Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and 8 CFR 204.6
"

By the way, chrismiki, at this stage of the game you really don't need the services of an immigration lawyer as all the information you need to start investigating the possibilities are in the uscis link I mentioned - linked in the first "sticky" on this page. I would absorb all the info available there before paying an immigration lawyer.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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STT - We may be posting apples and oranges. You are looking at EB5 unless I am mistaken while OP is looking at EB1.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,082,990 times
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Originally Posted by Threestep View Post
STT - We may be posting apples and oranges. You are looking at EB5 unless I am mistaken while OP is looking at EB1.

I'm just looking at the uscis website! Since I don't think the L1-A visa is applicable in his situation where the subsidiary of his company doesn't even exist, I was just pointing out the other possibility of possibly obtaining a GC through investment. He didn't mention EB1, only L1-A. It does all get to be a bit of a muddle.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:41 PM
 
16,931 posts, read 2,159,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
I'm just looking at the uscis website! Since I don't think the L1-A visa is applicable in his situation where the subsidiary of his company doesn't even exist, I was just pointing out the other possibility of possibly obtaining a GC through investment. He didn't mention EB1, only L1-A. It does all get to be a bit of a muddle.
See post #3. I do agree - a lot of creativity at this point. It might work but who knows what the US economy will do during the next 3-5 years.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:57 PM
 
135 posts, read 521,163 times
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The L-1A is precisely on point. OP you'll need to renew after one year and show expansion (hiring of employees), increased profits, and continued necessity for your services. After your extension is app'd, file I-140 and I-485.
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