L-1 Extension for Multinational Manager of U.S. Company with 0 Employees

L-1 Extension for Multinational Manager of U.S. Company with 0 Employees

US company (applicant). Logistics company, founded in 2012, with 0 employees
Company Executives (Beneficiaries). Mr. Zhou, CEO of US company position

BACKGROUND

1. the U.S. company has not hired employees since its inception in 2012, has no payroll records, and has minimal corporate income and tax returns.
2. complex equity relationships between the U.S. company and its subsidiaries and the Chinese parent company, with beneficiaries cross-employed in all three companies.
3. The previous attorney made an error in judgment and chose an inappropriate company for the L-1 petition, and all documents were submitted to the USCIS and the established facts could no longer be changed.

The U.S. company filed a premium processing petition for its employee, Mr. Zhou, but soon received an RFE from USCIS challenging Mr. Zhou’s executive position.

The U.S. company has not hired a single employee since its inception and has never paid its employees; however, the application form lists seven employees. The application was inconsistent and the documents did not prove that Mr. Zhou held a “managerial” senior position in the U.S. company.

The L-1 extension petition was originally filed by another law firm and included three companies (hereinafter referred to as A, B, and C): the U.S. company that filed the petition, A, a U.S. subsidiary of the U.S. company, B, and a Chinese parent company, C. A held 70% of the stock of company B. Mr. Zhou had senior positions in both companies. Mr. Zhou has senior positions in both A and B. A is a holding company that does not produce its own products or services, but is purely a stockholder, and therefore has no other employees, has never paid Mr. Zhou a salary, and has a weak financial record.

Mr. Zhou was very nervous when he received the notice of replacement and realized the seriousness of the situation. After learning that Tsang & Associates had successfully handled a number of difficult L-1 cases, he decided to change firms and handed over the burden of filing to Joseph Tsang’s team.

On July 19, the USCIS issued a supplemental notice, requesting that all documents be completed within three months. After thorough research, Mr. Zang’s team determined a plan and worked quickly to submit all documents in September, and was approved seven days later.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

The previous application made an error in the planning and selection of Petitioner, a holding company that should not have been the applicant. However, the application was submitted and all documents were presented to the USCIS. In order to try to save the client’s application, we had to “make the mistake”.

Zang’s team did a lot of research and prep work on how to justify themselves based on the existing facts and materials. The explanatory materials written by Mr. Zang for this purpose were 13 pages long. Mr. Zang wrote a 13-page explanation of the consequences of denying Mr. Zhou’s L-1 extension, the nature of the U.S. company, the purpose of its establishment, its personnel structure, its relationship with other companies in the group, and the fact that Mr. Zhou actually managed more than 10 employees because of the nature of the company.

Mr. Zang also cited a 2013 AAO case about the USCIS having misinterpreted a multinational manager’s managerial/executive competency, reminding the USCIS of the similarities between this case and that case.

In addition, we had a number of witnesses, including previous attorneys, heads of other companies in the group to which the U.S. company belongs, company colleagues, and accountants, testify to confirm the controlling and affiliated relationships between the multiple companies, the companies’ business and growth prospects, Mr. Zhou’s previous management capabilities in China, and his current indispensable and critical role in the U.S. business.

The previous contractor attorney was also brave enough to admit that it was his own work mistakes that led to his client’s current predicament and provided legal advice in Mr. Zhou’s favor.

OUTCOME

After submitting a lot of documents to the USCIS, we finally got the approval letter from the USCIS after 7 days. This approval was not easy to come by!

Lawyer Joseph Tsang commented:

In L-1/EB-1C petitions, many of the USCIS supplemental filing requirements address the Managerial or Executive capacity of the beneficiary. According to USCIS regulations.

Management capacity is defined as “the department that manages its organization, division or subdivision, primarily supervises or manages other practicing employees, or manages a significant division of the company or subsidiary.”

Executive capacity refers to “direct direction of the organization or key functions”, “establishment of objectives and systems within the department”, “ability to exercise broad discretion in decision-making”, “Supervised by senior management, board of directors and shareholders.”

The L-1 executive position cannot generally be a first-line supervisor. If the beneficiary is a first-line supervisor, he/she must demonstrate that his/her subordinate employees must be professionals. A professional is a member of a professional association such as an engineer, architect, lawyer, accountant, doctor, teacher, etc.

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