Are you applying for an L-1 visa and wondering what you need to do to get your petition approved? The L-1 visa petition requires a significant amount of time, effort, and evidence to gain approval. The following five tips are for success in your L-1 visa application!
Pay attention to detail
One of the most important aspects of submitting a successful L-1 visa petition is scrupulous attention to details. Between the beneficiary and the company, there are a significant number of requirements that must be met before USCIS will grant an L-1 visa petition. It is important to pay attention to each requirement and provide evidence that very clearly indicates how you meet the requirement. It is also important to make sure that you have consistent information throughout the entire application without any unexplained discrepancies or missing information. The more specific, transparent, and detailed your petition is, the better chance it has at approval.
Provide a business plan and organizational chart
Given the requirements for the relationship between the U.S. and foreign offices, the beneficiary’s role within the organization, and the level of financial and legitimacy the company must have, providing an outline of the organizational structure can greatly benefit your case. A comprehensive business plan is required for the L-1 petition and is an excellent opportunity to outline how your organization meets the visa requirements and is financially secure. For L-1A managers and executives, an organizational chart is a great way to demonstrate that the beneficiary holds a top leadership position in the foreign company and will continue to in the U.S. Although you will be asked to provide a lot of evidence and information that attests to the company structure and the beneficiary’s role within the company, the business plan and organizational chart are an easy way to outline the information to the officer in a consolidated place.
If the U.S. office is new, provide ample evidence that the company is fully operational
When the U.S. location is a new office, USCIS officers are extremely scrutinous to ensure that the U.S. company is a legitimate organization. As a result, it is especially important to provide as much evidence as possible that the U.S. enterprise has a physical location, is officially registered with the U.S. government, and conducts business. Some of the documents you can provide to demonstrate the legitimacy of the U.S. branch include but are not limited to:
- The Certificate of Incorporation in the U.S.;
- An official Business Plan that includes financial forecasts and a hiring plan;
- The office lease and other documents like utility bills and photographs that prove that there is a physical office space;
- Copies of employment contracts and pay stubs with U.S. employees;
- Tax Returns, Bank Statements, and other financial records for the U.S. office;
- Proof of capital investment into the U.S. branch; and
- Invoices and Contracts with clients that demonstrate business activity in the U.S.
Regardless of whether the U.S. office is new, it is important to provide these documents. However, it is especially necessary if the office is new.
Provide as many financial documents as possible
Financial documents including tax returns, bank statements, wire transfers, transactions with clients, pay stubs, and more are all excellent sources of evidence for an L-1 visa case. Financial statements can help prove that both the foreign and U.S. offices do business, provide proof of investment from the foreign branch into the U.S. branch, demonstrate the financial ability of both the foreign and U.S. offices, prove the employment of the beneficiary and other top level executives, and more. Providing as many financial documents as possible is an excellent way to strengthen your L-1 visa petition.
Make the company, beneficiary, and supporting statements extremely clear about how the company and beneficiary meet the requirements
When writing the petitioner and beneficiary statements, it is important to very clearly enumerate how the company and employee meet each requirement. This means going into detail about the organizational structure, the day-to-day work of the beneficiary, the relationship between the foreign and U.S. branches, and more. Providing a clear account of how the applicants meet every requirement through the petitioner and beneficiary statements will make it much easier for the officer to evaluate the application.