Expanding or Establishing your Business in the United States: The New Office Rules

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What are the “New Office Rules”?

Overview. The New Office Rules are usually applied in L visa cases where the US “affiliate”, “branch” or “subsidiary” to which an L Visa employee is to be transferred has been “doing business” in the United States less than one year ago.

Exceptions. There are circumstances where USCIS may subject an older business to the “New Office Rules”, especially where the US entity has not maintained business premises over the course of a year or while properly formed has not been actively operating a business.

Expert Guidance. Ultimately whether or not your business is likely to be subject to the “New Office Guidelines” is a question requiring specialist advise from an experienced immigration lawyer familiar with Indian L visa cases.

What are the Implications of the “New Office Rules” for Indian L-1 Visa Applicants?

If your application is deemed as subject to the “New Office Rules” then:

  • Increased Scrutiny. A business subject to the “New Offices Rules” is also likely to be subjected to increased scrutiny as to the legitimacy of the US business.

  • Extra Documentation. You will need to provide USCIS with certain detailed additional documentation. We are experienced in what documentation needs to be produced and how it should be presented.

  • Business Plan. USCIS has informed the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association that a business plan that shows how your business meets the requirements of the law is critical in these cases. More information on business plans is available by clicking here.

  • Visa Validity Period. You are likely to be granted a visa valid for a period of only one year after which time you will need to clearly demonstrate that your business has grown to the point where issuance of a longer-term L visa is truly justified.

What Additional Documentation do I Need to Satisfy the “New Office Rules”?

US business

While there are specific documents that will need to be produced it is important realize that you need to create an overall impression that you have a real, operating, business. We are familiar with the documentation typically used to evidence this and are happy to answer your specific questions.

Is it Possible for a New Business to Avoid Application of the “New Office Rules”?

Davies & Associates have identified certain circumstances where a new US business can avoid application of the “New Office Rules”. Potential L visa applicants can contact our firm for further details.

New Office Rules & The Business Plan

Guidance from the US government is unequivocal that an immigration business plan is completely indispensible in New Office Rules cases. The business plan in these cases needs to clearly explain how you will fulfill the role of an international executive or manager within one year.

How Successful is Davies & Associates with Indian L-1 Cases Involving the “New Office Rules”?

Indian Business

In the fifteen years prior to the publication of these materials every case we have filed where the New Office Rules are applicable has been approved. While there can never be any guarantees our Indian clients have appreciated our success in this area.


The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India are located at the following addresses:

New Delhi
Shanti Path, Chanakya Puri 110021
Telephone +91-11-2419-8000
Fax +91-11-2419-8587
Website: http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/

Mumbai (Bombay)
C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
Phone: (22) 2672-4000
Website: http://mumbai.usconsulate.gov/

Chennai (Madras)
220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
Telephone +91-44-2857-4000
Fax: +91-44-2811-2027
Website: http://chennai.usembassy.gov/

Kolkata (Calcutta)
5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071
Telephone +91-33-3984-2400
Fax +91-33-2282-2335
Website: http://kolkata.usconsulate.gov/

Hyderabad
Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003
Telephone: +91-40-4033-8300
Website: http://hyderabad.usconsulate.gov/