Auto Parts Company Receives EB-1C Approval
Year: June 2020
Beneficiary: Ms. Huang
Company Industry: Import and sales of automotive parts
China Company: Established in 2013, 25 employees
U.S. company: founded in California in early 2017, with 7 employees
Beneficiary position: General Manager of a US company
Ms. Huang’s family business in China engaged in auto parts sales and exports, in early 2017 Ms. Huang set up a subsidiary in Southern California, then applied for a one-year L-1 work visa to work in the U.S., encountered difficulties in the L-1 extension, midway to Tsang & Associates to help her smoothly extend the two-year L-1, then Ms. Huang also entrusted the EB-1C application to us for processing. Ms. Huang then entrusted her EB-1C application to us. Ms. Huang’s EB-1C I-140 petition was filed in October 2019 and received a supplemental RFE in March 2020. after thorough preparation, we responded to the supplemental request in early June and received an approval notice in late June.
– U.S. company employees: the U.S. company was left with seven employees (including itself) at the beginning of the year and is continuing to lay off employees due to the outbreak that began in March.
– U.S. company operations: After more than two years of effort, although the company’s annual sales have grown from the initial $20,000 to $30,000 to $500,000, the company is still in the red and relies on the Chinese parent company for continued investment support.
– Acquired company: a small company acquired by Ms. Wong two years ago, which almost ceased operations during the outbreak and could no longer contribute staff or sales support.
– Company’s ability to pay salary: Ms. Huang’s original salary was $100,000 per year, which was reduced to $60,000 in 2019 due to the company’s financial constraints, but USCIS questioned whether Ms. Huang’s salary was at the executive level and whether the company had the ability to pay Ms. Huang’s salary.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Although the supplemental notice mainly questioned Ms. Huang’s salary and the company’s ability to pay salaries, every response to an RFE is a good opportunity to show one’s good side. Therefore, Joseph Tsang led the team to develop a supplemental strategy within a week of receiving the RFE, in which the company’s financial situation was evaluated by our account manager in the Business Department, who assisted in explaining the critical issue of whether the company’s operations and financial situation could afford Ms. Huang’s salary from a financial and business perspective.
On the other hand, Joseph Tsang’s legal team explained and argued the reasonableness of Ms. Huang’s annual salary of $60,000 as an executive of the company in light of the salary standard of the U.S. Department of Labor and the employment situation in the U.S. since March.
In addition, in order to prevent the USCIS from questioning other aspects of the denial that might be triggered by the USCIS in addition to salary and payroll capacity, Joseph Tsang’s team of attorneys also provided additional instructions to prove Ms. Huang’s managerial/executive capacity, the continued normal operation of the Chinese company, and the reduction of employees in the US company. The final attorney’s response to the supplemental instructions exceeded 10 pages and was submitted to USCIS along with 300 pages of supplemental materials. Within a month, we received the approval news.
Under Trump’s tough new policy, Joseph Tsang’s legal team reminds everyone to pay attention when applying for L-1/EB-1C based on the last two years of retroactive or denied information.
1. To certify managerial/executive positions.
Nowadays, the number one reason for the USCIS to file a supplemental L-1&EB-1C petition is to question the applicant’s managerial/executive position, to prove that the position held in the Chinese company meets the managerial/executive requirements, and that the position in the U.S. company also meets the requirements. The previous practice of providing only basic documents such as employment certificates, employment contracts, business cards, pay stubs, tax returns, etc. no longer meets the current USCIS review standards.
Ms. Huang was able to avoid the INS’s questioning of her managerial/executive abilities during the supplemental filing, largely due to Joseph Tsang’s team’s detailed and specific explanation of her executive position and job description, which recreated how she led the development of both the U.S. and Chinese companies.
2. Sorting and gauging of supporting materials.
Ms. Huang’s Chinese company was already of a certain size and had sufficient data, which needed to be filtered or modified, and the valid data had to be translated into English; the development of the American company was hampered, and the preparation of the data needed to be enlightened and guided item by item, including the drafting of some of the company’s documents, etc. The Chinese attorney and bilingual legal assistant of Joseph Tsang’s team played an important role. In the same way, in the supplemental application, 300 pages of documents were used to respond to the salary and ability to pay, and new documents that were favorable to the company were also added to the USCIS, allowing the immigration officer to quickly approve the application.
3. Application preparation customization.
Each application is unique, and under the current stringent policies, the template application approach of a few years ago is no longer applicable. Joseph Tsang’s team has worked on many cases where the client has changed attorneys midway through the process, or has appealed or reapplied after the original application was denied. Ms. Huang changed attorneys because she was not satisfied with the way her initial L-1 attorney applied the model law. Her previous L-1 extension, I-140 petition preparation and filing were all in a hurry, so we invested a lot of manpower to do all of the above work in parallel with different groups to achieve the best result within the limited time.
With the trade war and the epidemic, it is time to assist companies, executives and attorneys on how to successfully extend the L-1 or obtain EB-1C approval. If you have questions about this, please call Tsang & Associates to schedule a consultation.
*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.
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