CASE: L-1A petition / I-129
PETITIONER: Adventure Travel Company in the Philippines
BENEFICIARY: Filipino President/CEO in the Philippines
Our client is an adventure travel company in the Philippines. They contacted our office in the middle of September 2014 to seek legal assistance for a possible L-1A “new office” petition to send its executive to the U.S. in order to setup a new office.
The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
For foreign employers seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager to establish a new office, the employer must also show that:
- The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office;
- The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition; and
- The intended U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.
The beneficiary has been the President of the parent company since 2010. Physical premises, articles of incorporation, and other legal matters were established for the “new office” as well. Our office was retained to do an L-1A petition with the purpose of transferring Beneficiary to the United States to head operations and be President of the new business (U.S. subsidiary).
Upon retention, our office prepared and eventually filed the L-1A visa petition with various supporting documents. The application included a detailed employer support letter, documentation to demonstrate the qualifying corporate relationship between the parent company in the Philippines and the U.S., financial documents, past experience documents, business plan, and physical premises evidence among others. We filed the L-1A petition on October 14, 2014.
The USCIS eventually sent a Request for Evidence and requested Petitioner to submit additional evidence to establish ownership and control of the U.S. Entity, physical premises of the U.S. company, and Beneficiary’s abroad employment. The company is in the “service” industry hence we had to argue and justify the “virtual” office arrangement of the office. In response to the RFE, we gathered supporting documents to address all issued and filed the Response to RFE on January 22, 2015.
Eventually, our client’s L-1A application was approved on February 10, 2015. Thereafter, our office filed I-824 follow-to-join application on March 24, 2015 to enable Beneficiary and his wife to come to the United States under the L visa as well. The I-824 petition was approved on April 28, 2015. Eventually, the visa applications were sent and our clients were interviewed. Eventually, our clients L visas were approved at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.