L1 Visa for Opening New Office in the U.S.

L1 visa can be obtained for foreign companies to open a new office in the U.S. New office means an organization which has been doing business in the U.S. through a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary for less than one year.

Requirements for L1 visa for opening new office in the U.S. vary based on whether the employee will be coming to the U.S. on L-1A or L-1B visa. Initial duration of L1 visa in this case is one year which can be extended further, if appropriate.

There is no minimum amount of capital investment required by law. Whatever is normal for your industry is recommended.

L-1A: Managers and Executives
If the beneficiary is coming to the U.S. as a manager or executive to open or to be employed in a new office in the U.S., the petitioner must submit the following evidence:
  1. Sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured;

  2. The beneficiary has been employed for one continuous year in the three year period preceding the filing of the petition in an executive or managerial capacity and the proposed employment involves executive or managerial authority over the new operation; and

  3. The intended U.S. operation, within one year of the approval of the petition, will reach the "doing business" standard and will support an executive or managerial position, and supported by information regarding:
    1. The proposed nature of the office describing the scope of the entity, its organizational structure, and its financial goals;

    2. The size of the U.S. investment and the financial ability of the foreign entity to remunerate the beneficiary and to commence doing business in the U.S.; and

    3. The organizational structure of the foreign entity.
It is expected that a manager or executive who is required to open a new business or office will be more actively involved in day-to-day operations during the initial phases of the business, but must also have authority and plans to hire staff and have wide latitude in making decisions about the goals and management of the organization.

L-1B: Specialized Knowledge Professional
If the beneficiary is coming to the U.S. in a specialized knowledge capacity to open or to be employed in a new office in the U.S., the petitioner must submit the following evidence:
  1. Sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured;

  2. The business entity in the U.S. is or will be a qualifying organization; and

  3. The petitioner has the financial ability to remunerate the beneficiary and to commence doing business in the U.S.


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