USA Business Visas

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USA business visas

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L1 Visa

The L-1 intra-company transferee visa allows managers, executives and employees with specialized skills to transfer from a foreign company to a US branch, subsidiary, parent or affiliated company to perform temporary services
L1 visas are initially granted for a period of one to three years with extensions available in two-year increments and a maximum duration of stay of seven years for an L-1A (managers and executives) beneficiary and five years for those on L-1B (specialized knowledge) status.
The foreign company (the non-US company) should remain in operation during the entire duration of the L-1 visa status.
The spouse and children under 21 of the L-1 visa beneficiary may acquire dependent L-2 visas during the period of the transferee’s status.

L-1A Visa - Executive or managerial positions
An executive is a person who directs the management of the company or a major part or function of the organization. Typical executive positions are presidents, vice presidents and controllers. An executive is expected to have a supervisory role in the company (either over personnel or a function) and would not include people who are primarily performing the specific tasks of production or providing services to customers.
A manager directs the organization, a department, or a function of the organization. Like executives, a qualifying manager will not be overseeing the primary performance of a task. Exceptions may apply when a manager or executive is coming to the US to open a business.
If the L-1 visas are not appropriate for your particular circumstances, please peruse the content on the H-1B visa. Other types of US visas may also be helpful such as the E-2, H-2 or employment permanent visas.

L-1B Visa - Specialized knowledge positions

Specialized knowledge refers to employees with:

A special knowledge of the company’s products and their applications in world markets and/or a proprietary knowledge of the company's processes or procedures.

Contact us for in-depth advice on the L-1 visa and all other US visas.
E-1 Visa applicant
flight takeoff

E-1 Visa

This is designated under the category of temporary USA visas. It is known as the treaty trader visa. The Criteria for an E-1 visa application requires the foreign company to prove that it is engaged in substantial trade principally between the United States and the foreign worker’s country of nationality. This means that over 50% of the total volume of trade must be conducted between the United States and the treaty country.

To qualify under this category, foreign trade to the United States cannot fall below the 50 % requirement of total trade volume. It advisable in such circumstances to change status to an E-2 or another visa classification.

Trade in services for this visa category is acceptable under the applicable regulations.

An initial issuance of the visa may be for up to five years. If the consul is concerned about the success of the company in the states, they may issue a one or two-year visa.

Evidence must be submitted to show that the enterprise is not marginal. USA immigration regulations require that the company submit a business plan encompassing five year projections to show that the business will not be marginal.

An E-1 visa can be issued to essential personnel. The following criteria are used to establish who qualifies under this description:

The employee must be essential to the foreign company's operations and not an ordinary skilled worker
The foreign national must have a degree of proven expertise in the area of specialization, unique, specific skills and/or lengthy experience or training with the firm
The period of training needed to perform the duties and the salary must be commensurate with the expertise.

E-2 Visas

This is known as the treaty investor visa and is issued to nationals of certain countries that have a treaty agreement with the USA. The United Kingdom is one of those countries, thus, British nationals living in the UK with sufficient credentials qualify for this visa.

The beneficiaries of E2 visas are required to invest or commit to investing a qualifying amount of capital into a business enterprise that they would be intent on developing and managing. The investment must not be marginal.

A marginal enterprise is defined as one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and the investor’s family. Nevertheless, an enterprise that has the present or future capacity to make a significant economic contribution (such as provide a high rate of employment) is not a marginal one, despite the fact that it does not have the capacity to generate the requisite income.

There is no fixed minimum amount to satisfy the substantiality test. However, it is doubtful that any sum less than $100,000 will be accepted by the adjudicating authority. A satisfactory amount will be dependent on factors such as the nature and the size of the business. Taking this into consideration, on rare occasions, a sum of $50,000 has been considered sufficient to satisfy the substantiality test. There would be a presumption of substantiality with regards to an investment of $1,000,000 or more.

The investor must have control of the funds and the funds must be committed to the business enterprise. An idle or speculative investment will not qualify.

The enterprise must be active and not passive. It must be a real operating business. For example, an investment in property alone, without presenting this with other augmentative indicia of a property business venture is insufficient for the approval of an E-2 visa.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further details on the E-1, E-2 or other US business visas.

"I am so impressed with Solutions in Law. I went to them to acquire a visa to the United States and from that moment on, the process was smooth from start to finish. Thank you, Nicole and Adam for making my visa a reality and enabling me to take my ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip!"

- Joanne Critchley (Events Manager, Accenture UK Limited

"I can’t say how much I appreciate the professionalism and thoroughness with which you have assisted our company in the US visa application process. I can’t recommend you more, and we will certainly continue to use your services for further corporate visa requirements."

Lance Allison
Chief Executive Officer Foresite Systems UK and USA

Nicole dealt with my case from start to finish and was genuinely fantastic through the whole process. Communication was always good and the advice provided was first class. Nicole’s thorough approach resulted in my L1 visa petition being approved first time and I went to my interview at the Embassy feeling very well prepared and ready for any questions they might ask me. I believe the fees charged for this service were excellent value, given the above. I would not hesitate to recommend Solutions in Law to friends, family and colleagues. Thank you!

Client opted for anonymity

For personal advice please contact Solutions In Law Ltd for a consultation with one of our USA immigration lawyers.

020 7268 4859

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