Successful L-1A Refile Case For A Venture Capital Startup
- Applicant: Mr. Wu
- Nationality: China
- Applying For: L-1A Refile Case, First Filing Denied
- Industry: High-tech Startup and Investments, Venture Capital
- Company: Startup, Established in 2016
- Position: Managing Partner
- First L-1A filing had been denied only a few weeks prior
- Company was involved in venture capital, a complicated business for a layperson
- Company had a complex ownership structure with a Chinese company owning a Delaware company, which owned a second Delaware company, which in turned owned the petitioning organization in San Francisco
- Company income was low, generally atypical of venture capital firms
- The Beneficiary had only worked at the Chinese parent company for barely more than one year
Mr. Wu was feeling tremendous pressure. As a young professional with a bright future, he’d found himself stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare. He’d accepted an important promotion to a United States-based venture capital firm with accounts in the $500,000 to $2 million range awaiting his oversight. Yet, his L-1A visa status as an intra-company transferee was stalled and so, therefore were his projects.
His new employer was unhappy about the delay, and Mr. Wu believed his career trajectory was in jeopardy. The process had already taken a year. Would it take another year to be resolved? The stress for Mr. Wu was building, and he was feeling discouraged. Fortunately, he was in the capable hands of Tsang & Associates.
An L-1A visa allows company executives and managers to transfer to the U.S. on a visa for up to 7 years. Each organization is unique, and thus it’s vital for the petitioning U.S. business entity to hire the right company to present specifically tailored evidence to support its particular L-1A petition.
Mr. Wu’s case posed unique and specific challenges. The company had a complex ownership structure, their income was low (typical for venture capital firms) and complicating matters, Mr. Wu had only worked at the Chinese parent company for barely more than one year.
After preparing Mr. Wu’s case, Tsang & Associates felt confident the petition would be successful and filed his L-1A in February 2018. Two weeks later, the case received, what the firm believed to be, an unreasonable Request for Evidence (RFE). The RFE challenged Mr. Wu’s one continuous year of employment abroad, his professional duties at both the China office and proposed responsibilities in the U.S. This response occurred despite Tsang & Associates having submitted 54 exhibits giving detailed explanations for Mr. Wu’s role in China, proposed role in the United States, the relationship between the two companies, and a business plan with high potential.
Law firms cannot choose the officer who reviews any case submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and therefore approval can fall victim to randomness and happenstance. However, hiring the right law firm dedicated to rapid response, sound logic, and a clear presentation can ultimately win a case, even if the first attempt is denied.
Tsang & Associates believed Mr. Wu’s case would ultimately be successful and immediately crafted a second petition at no additional cost. The firm aggressively responded to the RFE with an additional 25 new documents, including providing new company letters, new organizational charts, payroll and financial records, and investment contracts proving Mr. Wu’s duties and responsibilities in his capacity as Managing Partner of the Chinese parent company.
Tsang & Associates filed the second application in May 2018 and received an immediate approval in June 2018 with no request for evidence the second time. Mr. Wu expressed his extreme pleasure that he’d hired the right law firm. With our experience and detailed strategy, Tsang & Associates saved the day.
KEYS TO SUCCESS FOR THIS L-1A REFILE CASE FOR A VENTURE CAPTIAL STARTUP
Tsang & Associates felt very confident that Mr. Wu’s case had merely been unfortunate when it came under the purview of an extraordinarily inflexible and intransigent immigration officer. Our firm believed the atypical nature of venture capital may have been too complicated for the original officer to understand.
Therefore, to ensure that the new officer would know the complex nature of Mr. Wu’s business and job duties, Tsang & Associates wrote new drafts of the attorney brief and company letters. The documents were clear and detailed about what venture capital is and how it works, as well as the necessity of having an experienced manager and executive, like Mr. Wu, at the helm of the U.S. company.
Our extensive initial filing and RFE provided us with a wealth of documentation to prove the case, in terms of Mr. Wu’s proposed managerial and executive duties in the United States, managerial and executive responsibilities in China, one year of employment in the qualifying company abroad, and ownership relationship between the China office and the US office.
Finally, our firm included as the final exhibit the denial letter to emphasize all of the aspects of the case that the previous reviewing officer never touched upon, such as the company’s organizational structure. It was also crucial for demonstrating to the new reviewing officer that the prior denial was issued despite an extensive evidentiary record.
While the previous RFE did not challenge the company’s ownership structure, we nevertheless submitted more than a dozen documents describing and demonstrating its complex organization. In this case, the parent company owned a Delaware company that owned another Delaware company, which in turn held the petitioning organization. Furthermore, our response to the RFE included an explanation of the consequences of denial, detailing that the company could only perform its business plan if it had an experienced manager and executive from China coordinating between the two companies.
Overall, our second submission would include a total of 85 exhibits. Typically, a successful L-1A petition would not likely include more than 50 exhibits and sometimes fewer than that. In this case, Tsang & Associates didn’t want to take any chances. Our submission was a conglomeration of all the previous exhibits submitted in the original filing and RFE response. The firm did not include anything new or additional, as we were very confident in our chances of success.
In the end, it took less than three weeks after the second filing for this L-1A refile case to be approved.
Mr. Wu was extremely satisfied and honored our firm with a gift box and red envelope. He told us that he had always had total confidence in the expertise of Tsang & Associates. He is now happily working as the Managing Partner at the company’s prestigious office in San Francisco. Mr. Wu’s career trajectory is back on path thanks to the dedicated attorneys and staff at Tsang & Associates.
*Name has been changed to protect client identity
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