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Showcase Series: L-1A Visa for Chief Executive Officer Opening a New Office

This is the second installment of our new Showcase Series, which will overview successful cases filed by Mrs. Sweta Khandelwal, the principal attorney at the Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal. This Showcase will be for a Chief Executive Officer who is coming to the United States to open a new office and will work in a professional and managerial capacity from India.

The CEO in this case worked for a leading IT and business solution provider based in India. Founded in 2006, the company has a strong and growing client base in the UK, Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, and of course the United States. They also have 70 employees, all working towards providing consulting services in order to improve efficiency for their clients. The company acted as the parent company for the company acting as the petitioner in this L-1A case and owned the petitioner as one if its wholly owned subsidiaries.

The CEO herself was the Beneficiary in this case and has been the Chief Operating Officer of the petitioner’s parent company. She had both functional duties (such as recruitment, strategizing, and planning) as well as executive duties (such as policy formation, community relations, and organizational matters) while with the petitioner’s parent company in India.

The interesting twist about this case was that the CEO-beneficiary was coming for just one year to help set up a branch office in the United States; most L-1 cases are to hire high level workers for just three years. Mrs. Khandelwal was able to successfully argue that the nature of the US office, the revenue already generated by Petitioner’s efforts in the United States, and the fiercely competitive nature of the petitioner’s business justified the opening of a new office. Although on its face arguing that opening a new office may sound intuitively easy, it actually requires an attorney to work very closely with the petitioner to learn their business, their needs, and their accomplishments in order to mold these facts into a proper legal argument. Also, among the many required documents, a full business plan was required to show that the size of the U.S. investment and the petitioner’s ability to commence doing business in the United States. Drafting such a business plan and then conforming them to USCIS standards can be a daunting task and requires expertise not all immigration attorneys have.

The United States has become a hotbed of foreign investments and foreign companies looking to expand their international reach. It takes a savvy immigration lawyer to navigate the business and immigration issues in order to hire a new L-1 employee to open a new office. If you have questions about expanding into the United States, please feel free to contact us today.

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