Zero Employee L-1 Visa Appeal, USCIS Decision Overturned
Beneficiary: Mr. Wei
Company Industry: Home decor manufacturing and export
China Company: Established in 2013, 80 employees
US company: established in 2017 in California, not yet officially open for business, 0 employees
Beneficiary position: General Manager of a US company
12/2018 L-1 petition filed, expedited processing
01/2019 Received a replacement notice
02/2019 Sending out replacement materials
03/2019 Received rejection notice
04/2019 Filing of I-290B Appeal Petition
03/2020 Received AAO notice overturning original USCIS decision
03/2020 Received approval notice from USCIS
– Mr. Wei’s L-1 petition has been denied twice and has a poor record.
– Mr. Wei’s consulate B-1 visa was repeatedly denied and he did not have a valid visa to visit the U.S. to check on the start-up of his U.S. company, and the success of his L-1 application was crucial to him.
– The general environment is even more unfavorable for appeals as immigration/non-immigrant petitions are tightened across the board under Trump’s policy and the difficulty of L-1 has increased significantly.
Mr. Wei established a home decor manufacturing company in China in 2013, mainly exporting to U.S. mall chains. For the sake of business continuity, he intended to set up a U.S. branch. Mr. Wei went to the U.S. Consulate to apply for a B-1 visa for the purpose of preliminary market research, but was denied by the visa officer on the grounds that he had immigration tendencies. After repeatedly trying several times to no avail, Mr. Wei finally decided to entrust a local friend in the U.S. to set up the company first and proceed directly with the L-1 application.
Unfortunately, Mr. Wei’s previous attorney was unfamiliar with the L-1 regulations, which caused his L-1 petition to be filed twice and denied twice outright. With no other choice, Mr. Wei was referred by a friend to Tsang & Associates and engaged us to handle his third L-1 petition.
However, Mr. Wei had already left a bad application record in the USCIS system. After we carefully prepared all the application documents and wrote a 60-page letter from our attorney to explain in detail, the immigration officer still issued a supplemental notice full of prejudice, with completely boilerplate content, and even unreasonably asked us to supplement the documents we had already explained and submitted before.
After Tsang & Associates received the supplemental documents, we communicated with Mr. Wei in a timely manner, developed a more complete supplemental plan, and resubmitted thousands of pages of supporting documents within one month, and we felt that Mr. Wei’s case was very complete and deserved to be approved.
Unexpectedly, the immigration officer again selectively ignored many strong supporting documents and rejected Mr. Wei’s application in a boilerplate manner. Mr. Wei felt very angry and helpless. Mr. Zang believed that Mr. Wei’s case was very mature, and the immigration officer did not consider the case from an objective point of view according to the regulations, and the grounds for appeal were very strong, so he suggested to appeal directly to AAO.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
-Provide evidence in accordance with laws and regulations, and rebut the reasons for refusal one by one
The appeal was not just a matter of reprinting and submitting the materials originally sent. Tsang & Associates built on the materials already submitted and summarized a nearly 30-page letter that argued strongly for Mr. Wei. We focused on three areas to demonstrate that his application should be approved.
First, cite the law. The text of the law is fundamental to the case before the Appellate Office, and Tsang & Associates set out the applicable statutory provisions in Mr. Wei’s case.
Secondly, we organized the previously submitted documents into various clear charts showing Mr. Wei’s qualifications as an executive, which corresponded to the reasons for denial given by the immigration officer, showing that we had submitted all the documents required by law with reasonably detailed explanations, but the immigration officer chose to repeatedly ignore them, further explaining why Mr. Wei’s case should not be denied.
Finally, we would like to emphasize once again how Mr. Wei’s business will help the U.S. economy and benefit consumers, which is why the L-1 visa was created in the first place.
-Attorneys respond in a timely manner, make decisions, and follow up on cases on an ongoing basis
Under normal circumstances, Tsang & Associates would not advise a client to choose to appeal because of the long waiting time and uncertainties. However, Mr. Wei’s case was an exception, where every requirement of the L-1 petition had been met and fully explained, and the immigration officer’s determination was clearly unfair.
After receiving the rejection notice, Mr. Zang’s lawyer immediately gathered his team to prepare different response options. After that, we informed Mr. Wei of the news and spoke with him to analyze the prepared options and their pros and cons, so that Mr. Wei could have a clear understanding of what to do next and would not be caught off guard by the denial notice. Moreover, he only had 30 days to file an appeal after the denial, so this was a test of the efficiency of the legal team.
Under the impact of the Trump administration’s policy of tightening visa immigration, the number of cases denied by the USCIS has increased, and the volume of cases received by the Appeals Office has risen significantly in response, resulting in reduced efficiency and longer processing times. Beginning with the filing of the appeal in April 2019, Tsang & Associates regularly tracked the progress of Mr. Wei’s case to ensure that he received an early outcome.
In early March 2020, Tsang & Associates received a notice from the Office of Appeals reversing the USCIS determination. Two weeks later, we also received a formal notice of approval from the USCIS. At this point, Mr. Wei has finally gotten justice after all the pain and suffering he went through. He was very happy to learn the good news and thanked us for providing him with professional and effective legal services along the way, showing him the right direction to turn his case around successfully.
Tsang’s legal team reminds.
If your application is denied by USCIS, in most cases you have the option of filing a petition for appeal with the U.S. Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).When the Appellate Body takes your case and conducts a de novo review, there are three outcomes.
First, upholding the petition for appeal and overturning the conviction (Sustain).
The second, dismissal of the appeal and affirmation of the judgment (Dismiss).
The third type is to return to the original immigration office for further investigation and redetermination (Remand).
According to the latest official release, the number of work visa appeals is growing faster and the chances of the Appeals Office denying the request for appeal (Dismiss) are higher in FY 2017-2019.The following is information on L-1A appeals heard by the AAO for the last three fiscal years.
Under Trump’s increasingly stringent immigration policies, most application categories are subject to heavy scrutiny and unfair treatment occurs. When you encounter a denial, it is advisable to leave it to professional counsel to evaluate the possibility and pros and cons of appealing, reopening, or reapplying. If you have a similar question, please call Tsang & Associates to schedule a professional legal consultation.
*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.
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