A Successful L-1A Case For A Startup
- Applicant: Mr. Ni
- Nationality: Chinese
- Adjudicated By: USCIS
- Industry: Aluminum wheels and textiles imports
- Company: Startup, established in 2016
- Position: President
- Case: L-1A Extension
- Company had negative profit
- Company had fewer than 8 employees
- Many of the employees were only recently hired
- Some of the employees did not have a bachelor degree
- Business plan had drastically changed compared to the original filing
- The applicant’s salary was limited to under $80,000
A textbook example of how we converted a dilemma to a solution is the case of Mr. Ni.* He was the president of a Chinese firm with one division that manufactured aluminum wheels; and another that manufactured textile baby products. He was the “heart and soul” of his company, which had established a subsidiary in the U.S. He transferred to that hub of the firm in 2016; Tsang and Associates filed an I-129 L-1A (nonimmigrant work visa) extension for him in 2018.
However, after a year of starting up his business the company did not grow as expected. Because of the low number of employees and profits, the company faced the very real possibility of having the L-1A visa denied and the owner and operator would be forced to leave the U.S. and shut down the business.
Luckily, the client was our own and we had an early start in preparing for this difficult application.
KEYS TO SUCCESS FOR THIS L-1A CASE FOR A STARTUP
There were two challenges confronting us (1) Mr. Ni’s company lost approximately $300,000 in 2017 and many of the staff were only recently hired, (2) because of the delayed start in actual operation there were very few documents to show the size and scale of an international operation that require an executive or manager.
Our team, however, was accustomed to such legal hurdles, and formulated a strategy that we were confident would prevail for our client.
First, we had the advantage that Mr. Ni’s company had experienced recent profits, and we could show the immigration officer the large demand for its main product, aluminum wheels. We were able to demonstrate with a powerful and extensive new business plan showing that the company was on the path of a major breakthrough and that an additional two years L-1A visa would give birth to another great company for the U.S. These were in high demand by U.S. consumers, and we could forecast future revenue based upon this demand.
The next challenge we addressed was the shortage of documentation indicating the integral role Mr. Ni played as a manager and executive for the company. Our solution: We defined his position within the company through inter-company memos, email, flowcharts and PowerPoint presentations. In addition, our team evaluated the relationship of each employee to the firm in order to illustrate a practical, working view of the way our client managed personnel.
We broke down the duties and responsibilities of each employee and crafted detailed statements for each employee regarding their work schedule and goals. This was critical as every employee in a startup had multiple responsibilities and they often overlap and change—sometimes multiple times within a day.
We compared the company to many of the great startup companies in our nation and showed the similarities between their startup phases.
One key reason for the success of a very difficult L-1A visa case for this startup was clearly demonstrating of the benefit the U.S. will receive once the company succeeds and the great opportunity lost if the case was denied.
As a result of our team’s efforts in researching the “nuts and bolts” that made up our client’s company, as well as communicating with everyone within it, Tsang and Associates was able to establish the worth Mr. Ni had to his corporation – and to his new country. His L-1A application was accepted and approved within one week of filing.
*Name has been changed to protect client identity
For assistance with an L-1A case for a startup or for another business type, schedule an appointment to talk with our team today.
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