UK Visa Immigration

E2 Visa for UK nationals

Are you a UK national looking to start a business in the United States? If so, you may be eligible for an E2 visa. In this article, we will discuss the E2 visa for UK nationals, its requirements, and how to apply for it.

What is an E2 Visa?

An E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter and work in the United States based on a substantial investment in a US business. This visa is only available to citizens of countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States, and the United Kingdom is one of them.

Benefits of an E2 Visa

The E2 visa offers several benefits to UK nationals looking to start a business in the US. These include:

  • The ability to come in and out of the U.S. on the valid E-2 visa for 5 years to develop and direct your E-2 company.
  • The ability live and work in the US for a full two-year period for every entry on the valid visa, with the option to renew the visa indefinitely.
  • The ability to bring dependents, including spouses and unmarried children under 21, to the US.
  • No minimum education or language requirements.
  • No annual quota or cap on the number of E2 visas issued, which means that there is no significant wait time to obtain the E-2 visa as compared to other visa classifications.

Requirements for UK Nationals

To be eligible for an E2 visa, UK nationals must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen AND an ongoing resident* of the United Kingdom
  • Have invested or be in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a US business
  • Have at least 50% ownership of the US business
  • Be seeking to enter the US solely to develop and direct the US business
  • The investment must be in an active and operating business, not a passive investment such as real estate or stocks
  • The investment must be at risk, meaning there is a risk of losing the investment if the business fails
  • The investment must be substantial, meaning it must be enough to ensure the success of the business
  • The business must have the potential to create job opportunities for US workers
  • The business must be a legitimate enterprise, not a marginal one

*The treaty with the UK specifically requires the principal applicant to prove ongoing residency in the U.K. Examples of the appropriate evidence which must be issued within the last 6 months maximum are a recent copy of a pay slips/stubs or proof of payment for Inland Revenue taxes in the UK. Other examples are proof ofpayment of local utilities bills such as gas, water, electric, local council taxes; a current lease or mortgage payment should be accompanied by other proof such as bank statements for a current account reflecting local direct debit charges or transactions are all acceptable proof of domicile.

Investment Amount

The investment amount required for an E2 visa varies depending on the type of business and its location. However, the investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the success of the business. Generally, the investment amount should be at least $100,000, but it can be lower for certain businesses. The investment can be made in a start-up company, an existing/operating company or a franchise.

Ownership Percentage

To qualify for an E2 visa, UK nationals must have at least 50% ownership of the US business. This means that they must have a controlling interest in the business and have the power to make decisions and direct the operations of the business.

Developing and Directing the Business

UK nationals must be seeking to enter the US solely to develop and direct the US business. This means that they must have a key role in the business and be actively involved in its day-to-day operations. They must also have the necessary skills and experience to successfully run the business.

Job Creation

One of the requirements for an E2 visa is that the business must have the potential to create job opportunities for US workers. While there is no specific number of jobs that must be created, the business must have the capacity to generate enough revenue to support the creation of jobs.

Marginal Enterprises

A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and their family. To qualify for an E2 visa, the business must not be a marginal one.

How to Apply for an E2 Visa

To apply for an E2 visa, UK nationals must follow these steps:

1. Complete the online non-immigrant visa application (Form DS-160)

2. Pay the visa application fee

3. Gather the required documents and submit the application package based on the Embassy guidelines. Some required documents are the following:

  • A valid passport
  • A business plan outlining the investment and business operations
  • Proof of investment, such as bank statements or loan agreements
  • Proof of ownership, such as stock certificates or partnership agreements
  • Evidence of the business’s potential to create jobs, such as a business plan or financial projections
  • Evidence of the business’s legitimacy, such as business licenses or tax returns
  • Evidence of the investor’s qualifications and experience, such as resumes or educational certificates

4. Schedule an interview at the US Embassy in London

5. Attend the visa interview and answer the questions from the visa officer

6. If approved, the visa will be issued and the investor can enter the US to develop and direct the business

Conclusion

The E2 visa is an excellent option for UK nationals looking to start a business in the United States. It should be noted that you may also buy an operating business or acquire a franchise. It offers several benefits, making it accessible to a wide range of investors. By meeting the requirements and following the application process, UK nationals can successfully obtain an E2 visa and start their business in the US.


This article has been written by Alex Jovy, Head of Business Development Davies & Associates, London Office.

Alex Jovy  heads sales & business development in the UK and Europe. Alex has a long history of senior management roles in a wide range of sectors, from sustainability to film and has worked in a variety of sales, marketing and business development roles in a range of law and professional services firms. Alex has a passion for film and was nominated for an Academy Award. He is a published author with a successful historical fiction book about Cyrus the Great.

Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


E-2 Visa approved for a Singaporean national during COVID-19

Blanket L1 Visa Petition Explained: Unlocking Business Opportunities

How does the L 1 Blanket Visa Petition work?

An L-1 blanket petition enables certain overseas companies to transfer multiple employees to the United States on an L-1 visa, a nonimmigrant visa, under a single petition, without having to file individual L-1 petitions for each qualified employee.  All foreign entities that the US petitioning company seeks to include are listed in the blanket petition, backed by documentary evidence of the qualifying relationship with each such entity.  An approved blanket petition confirms that a qualifying relationship exists between the US entity and the foreign company seeking to transfer the employee. The L-1 blanket simplifies and streamlines the process for multinational companies who frequently seek to transfer their managers, executives or specialized knowledge workers to the US.  The Blanket L petition similarly does not guarantee that the employees will get the visa, nor the L1 Visa validity.

An L1 Blanket petition is filed with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) using Form I-129.  Once it is approved, the eligible employee can apply for an L-1A or L-1B visa by scheduling and attending the visa interview at a US consulate.  Among the documents the employee will have to carry to the interview are L-1 Blanket petition approval, I-29S Form, Letter of Support detailing the transfer and nature of the US role and evidence of employment abroad. L-1 Blanket petitions will have an initial validity period of up to three years once approved.

Employer Eligibility Criteria – Commercial trade?

There are requirements that a petitioner and the qualifying foreign entities must meet to be eligible and qualified for an L1 blanket petition:

  • The petitioner and each of the entities included are engaged in commercial trade or services;
  • The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been doing business for 1 year or more;
  • The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and
  • The petitioner and the other qualifying organizations have obtained approval of petitions for at least 10 “L” managers, executives, or specialized knowledge workers during the previous 12 months; or have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million, or have a U.S. workforce of at least 1,000 employees.

Employee Eligibility Criteria

Whether the foreign professional employees are applying for an individual visa or under a blanket petition, they must still meet all the employee-related requirements individually.  The foreign national employees applying under an approved blanket petition must establish that he or she was employed abroad for 1 of the 3 years (prior to applying to the consulate) in either a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge category and will be employed in the US in either of these three categories.

If you are applying for an L1A Visa, you must prove managerial or executive position in the company. The specialized knowledge employee can stay in the USA for up to five years. He/she should be ready to enter the United States in an executive or managerial capacity involving specialized knowledge. To prove managerial or executive capacity, the petitioning employer must meet the following requirements in the blanket petitions

  1. The beneficiary employee was employed for at least one year out of the previous 3 years

On the other hand, the L1B Visa is a Specialized Knowledge Professional. The employees that have worked in a position requiring specialized knowledge will qualify for this visa. However, the future position of this employee must also be one in the Specialized Knowledge Professionals. The employer has to prove the employees possess specialized knowledge, and that the employee’s ability will be sufficient to contribute significantly in the role.

We discuss these criteria in L1 Visa USA page here at Davies & Associates.

Blanket Petition Advantages

There are several advantages of having an L-1 blanket petition: It saves you time as it streamlines the L-1 Visa application process, so you can transfer multiple employees quickly and efficiently;

  • It saves you money in the long run compared to filing individual applications;
  • It gives you flexibility in transferring several foreign employees to the U.S. office, allowing you ease in meeting and accomplishing other business needs and goals;
  • It gives you the chance to plan future transfers without the uncertainty that comes with individual visa applications for each transferring employee.

L-1 Blanket Validity

The L-1 blanket approval is valid initially for 3 years It can be extended indefinitely, but if the company doesn’t apply for an extension or if a renewal application is denied, the company must wait 3 years to apply for a new blanket petition.

Take note that a blanket petition approval does not guarantee that the employee will be granted an L-1A or L-1B visa as the employee will still have to prove his or her eligibility under the L regulations.

Professional employees may also transfer between related foreign entities that are denoted on the Blanket L Approval notice. They may transfer employees with explicit approval notice provided the transferred employee will have the same job duties.

Denial of L-1 Blanket Visa

Like L-1 visas under individual petitions, L-1 blanket visas can be denied due to various factors such as inadequate documentation, failure to prove managerial, executive or specialized knowledge duties, etc.  While a USCIS denial of an individual L-1 visa petition may be appealed, denials of an L-1 visa blanket applications by the consulate are not reviewable.   

L1 Individual Petition vs. Blanket Petition Approval notice

With an L-1 Transfer Visa, the company must file a petition every time they want to transfer an employee with the USCIS. On the other hand, with an L-1 blanket visa, the company can transfer multiple employees under just one petition. The blanket visa makes the process easier and less expensive by eliminating the need to file multiple petitions for each qualified employee. It is considered a rather flexible way to transfer employees to the USA.

FAQs

Is the definition for managerial, executive, and specialized knowledge employees the same for L-1 blanket visa petitions and individual petitions?

Yes, the definitions are still the same regardless if you’re applying under a blanket petition or an individual petition.

Can I bring my dependents with me to the U.S. on my L-1 visa?

Yes, the visa issued to your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 is the L-2 visa. Their period of stay would be for the same duration as yours. Moreover, your spouse can work in the U.S. without applying separately for an Employee Authorization Document (EAD) work authorization

Can I change or transfer jobs on an L-1 Visa?

You can change or transfer jobs on an L-1 Visa but only to a location with the same company or to a qualifying/related company in the U.S. The USCIS must be notified of any significant changes to your employment, which is usually done by way of an L-1 amended petition

Are there benefits to an L-1 blanket visa petition?

An L-1 blanket visa petition streamlines the transfer of employees from several months to a matter of days and weeks. It also eliminates the need to file individual petitions for each transferring employee.

What privileges can I enjoy on my L-1 Visa?

On your L-1 visa, you can work legally in the U.S. or stay until your visa expires, and travel freely in and out of the country. You can also avail of dependent visas for your spouse and unmarried children, or potentially apply for a green card through employment


Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


Top 25 Immigration Attorneys 2023

D&A Honored as Top 25 Immigration Attorneys 2023 by EB5Investors.com

It is with immense pride and gratitude that we announce our firm’s recent recognition by EB5 Investor Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Immigration Attorneys of 2023.”

This prestigious accolade is a testament to our commitment to excellence and dedication to serving our clients in EB5 visa service.

We are deeply grateful for your trust and support, which have allowed us to reach such a significant milestone.

This recognition reaffirms our unwavering commitment to providing top-notch legal services to individuals and businesses seeking immigration solutions.

You can also read the latest 2023 EB5 Investors Magazine via this link. (P/s: find us on page 35!)


Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


Investor Visa Application Price Increase

When is an L-1 Amendment Needed?

The L-1 visa is utilized for the intracompany transfer of qualified managerial and executive personnel and specialized knowledge workers from an overseas company to a related company in the United States. The key criteria of an L-1 are: (1) existence of a qualifying relationship between the foreign and US entity (the US entity should be a parent, subsidiary, affiliate or a branch of the foreign company); (2) the prospective L-1 employee should have worked in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity for the foreign employer for one continuous year in the three years preceding the L-1 petition filing; and (3) the transfer of the employee to the US should be for a similar managerial, executive or specialized knowledge position.

In the event that after the approval of an L-1 petition, there are significant changes pertaining to the qualifying relationship of the entities or the nature of the employee’s role in the US, an L-1 amended petition is required. The L-1 regulations mandate an amendment filing with the USCIS to reflect changes in approved relationships, additional qualifying organizations under a blanket petition or change in capacity of employment (i.e., from a specialized knowledge position to a managerial position). Also, any information which would affect the employee’s eligibility is likely to be considered material, warranting an amendment.

Some changes can be clearly considered as material. For example, if an L-1B employed as an Equipment Engineer, who primarily works on sophisticated and complex machinery is promoted to the position of a Senior Director where his main duties involve managing professional staff, such change would require an amendment. Similarly, changes in the ownership and control of the US petitioner after adjudication would typically require an amendment as these changes may constitute a material change in circumstances or represent new information.

More often than the above scenarios, situations come up where the L-1 employee would have to work primarily out of a different geographic location from what was listed on the petition. There is no clear-cut answer or specific guidance on this. Generally, a temporary change in work location with all other terms of employment remaining unchanged, is not considered material, requiring an amendment. But for example, if the change is long term and let’s say from one state to another, the safe approach would be to file an amendment. Employers should take into account the increased instances of unannounced site visits by USCIS officers in the recent years and the weigh the risk of a failed site inspection and a possible petition revocation.


This article has been written by Zeenat Phophalia, Esq. Of Counsel, Davies & Associates, India Office.

Zeenat Phophalia is qualified to practice law in New York, United Kingdom and India. She practices in the area of U.S. immigration law with a focus on business immigration, and has represented corporate clients including large and medium sized companies and startups across sectors such as IT, consulting, consumer goods, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


Immigration Court Ruling

US Visa Ineligibility Findings and Waiver Option

Often times, foreign nationals are denied a visa or entry into the United States based on certain grounds. Such individuals who are found inadmissible and need a non-immigrant visa to enter the U.S. can apply for a waiver application at a U.S. consulate. The Immigration and Nationality Act (Section 212 (d)(3)) provides for a waiver (or pardon) for certain inadmissibility findings. The “212 (d) (3) waiver” can be used to overcome most grounds of ineligibility. One such very common ground is that of willful misrepresentation or fraud, the consequences of which are dire as it triggers a permanent or lifetime bar to entering the U.S However, all is not lost and this ground like many others can be challenged and overcome through a 212 (d) (3) waiver.

The INA 212 (d) (3) waiver, dubbed as the “Hranka Waiver,” although discretionary, can waive most grounds of inadmissibility, including willful misrepresentation or fraud, crimes involving moral turpitude, prostitution, smuggling, bars resulting from unlawful presence in the United States, health related grounds and a few others. There are certain grounds of inadmissibility that are excluded, such as espionage, participation in Nazi persecution and genocide. The waiver is available to NIV visa applicants, i.e., B-1, L-1, F-1, J-1, O-1, etc. visas and not to immigrant visa applicants.

The U.S. Department of State and consular officers are tasked with the discretionary authority of recommending these waivers for non-immigrant (NIV) visa ineligibilities to the Department of Homeland Security for approval.

Waiver Assessment Criteria

There are no prescribed criteria but the adjudicating officer will weigh the following factors in recommending a 212 (d)(3) waiver:

  1. Risk of harm to society if the foreign national is admitted;
  2. Seriousness of the foreign national’s immigration or criminal law violation;
  3. Foreign national’s purpose of travel to the United States;
  4. Whether there is a single, isolated incident or a pattern of misconduct; and
  5. Evidence of reformation or rehabilitation.

Application Procedure

The 212(d)(3) waiver application can be submitted to the U.S. consulate in the applicant’s home country (or country of residence) or in case of visa-exempt foreign nationals, at the U.S. port of entry (with Customs and Border Protection). Generally, one can submit the waiver application at the consulate at the same time that the person is applying for a non-immigrant visa; some consulates may require the waiver filing at a later time. If consular officers believe that the waiver should be granted, they are required to forward the case to the Customs and Border Protection’s Admissibility Review Office (ARO) with an affirmative recommendation. The consular officer is not obligated to accept the waiver application if he or she believes that the waiver has no merit and is required to reject it if the applicant is otherwise found ineligible for the underlying visa. However, consular officers are directed to refer the waiver request to the Department of State for review if the applicant requests, provided that the applicant’s case involves certain situation/s such as national security, foreign relations, significant public interest and/or urgent humanitarian or medical reason. The ARO’s decision is final pursuant to which the consular officer will adjudicate the underlying non-immigrant visa application.

The ARO/CBP generally grant a waiver in most visa cases for 5 years. The waiver processing can be lengthy at times ranging from few weeks to several months but is an inexpensive and relatively straightforward option to overcome certain ineligibility findings.


This article has been written by Zeenat Phophalia, Esq. Of Counsel, Davies & Associates, India Office.

Zeenat Phophalia is qualified to practice law in New York, United Kingdom and India. She practices in the area of U.S. immigration law with a focus on business immigration, and has represented corporate clients including large and medium sized companies and startups across sectors such as IT, consulting, consumer goods, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


US Visa Application

Can U.S. Citizenship be Revoked?

A naturalized United States citizen is someone who has voluntarily obtained U.S. citizenship based on certain grounds other than by birth in the U.S. The process by which they obtain U.S. citizenship is called naturalization. The U.S. citizenship of such individuals can be stripped away or revoked through what is known as the “denaturalization” process. U.S. citizenship of a person who is born on US soil cannot generally be revoked, but such a person can lose citizenship by engaging in certain explicit voluntary acts.

The U.S. government can rescind a naturalized person’s citizenship for a variety of reasons which are:

“Illegally” procuring citizenship

Procuring naturalization illegally simply means that the person was not eligible for naturalization, therefore any eligibility criterion that was not fulfilled can form the basis for revocation. This includes the requirements for residence, physical presence, lawful admission for permanent residence, good moral character, and attachment to the U.S. Constitution. This applies even if the person unintentionally made a mistake.

Non-Disclosure of Material Fact or Willful Misrepresentation

If a naturalized person misrepresented or hid a material fact deliberately which fact impacted his naturalization application, the citizenship in such cases may be revoked. This ground of revocation includes omissions as well as affirmative misrepresentations. Examples of such instances include failure to disclose an arrest or criminal conviction or lying about one’s marital status.

The misrepresentations can be oral testimony provided during the naturalization interview or can include details provided on the N-400. The materiality test is whether the misrepresentations or concealment had the ability to affect the grant of citizenship decision.

In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case, Maslenjak v. United States, 37 S. Ct. 1918 (2017), limited the grounds for revoking citizenship by holding that unless the underlying omission or false statement was significant to the acquisition of citizenship, citizenship cannot be revoked for a false statement that has no bearing on the decision.

Membership or Affiliation with Certain Organizations

A person is subject to revocation of naturalization if he or she becomes a member of, or affiliated with, the Communist party, other totalitarian party, or terrorist organization within five years of naturalization. There is an assumption that the person dd not have allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and was never well-disposed to the wellbeing of the United States.

Separation from the Military

Some people can obtain U.S. citizenship by serving honorably in the U.S. armed forces. The government can revoke citizenship obtained on this basis if the naturalized person separates from the armed forces under other than honorable discharge before serving five years of military service.

The Denaturalization Process

Unlike most other immigration matters that USCIS handles in an administrative setting, revocation of naturalization can only occur in federal court. A person’s naturalization can be revoked either by civil proceeding or pursuant to a criminal conviction. For civil revocation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office must file the revocation of naturalization actions in a Federal District Court. For criminal revocation of naturalization, the office files criminal charges in Federal District Court. The government holds a high burden of proof when attempting to revoke a person’s naturalization. For civil revocation, the burden of proof is clear, convincing, and unequivocal evidence and for criminal revocation, it’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt, as required in every other criminal case.

Source: USCIS Policy Manual I Grounds for Revocation of Naturalization


This article has been written by Zeenat Phophalia, Esq. Of Counsel, Davies & Associates, India Office.

Zeenat Phophalia is qualified to practice law in New York, United Kingdom and India. She practices in the area of U.S. immigration law with a focus on business immigration, and has represented corporate clients including large and medium sized companies and startups across sectors such as IT, consulting, consumer goods, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


E-2 Visa approved for a Singaporean national during COVID-19

Guidance on Compelling Circumstances EADs

In June 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an updated guidance on the employment authorization document (EAD) based on compelling circumstances for beneficiaries of an approved I-140 petition. The guidance clarifies the eligibility criteria for a compelling circumstances EAD.

A compelling circumstances EAD is a stopgap measure for non-immigrant visa holders, in the process of applying for their green cards, who have been lawfully residing in the US and are faced with unforeseen or sudden circumstances that would cause them to immediately depart the United States. The compelling circumstances EAD provision which came into effect in January 2017, provides a temporary benefit for eligible foreign nationals and their family members to continue to reside and work in the United States without interruption and accruing unlawful presence.

For an applicant to be eligible for an initial EAD based on compelling circumstances, they must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The principal applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 in either EB-1, EB -2 or EB-3 category;
  • The principal applicant must be in a valid non-immigrant status (E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, O-1, or L-1) or authorized grace period
  • The principal applicant must not have filed a I-485 adjustment of status application;
  • The applicant and their dependents have not been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors ; and
  • An immigrant visa is not available to the principal applicant based on the applicant’s priority date according to the relevant Final Action Date in the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin in effect when they file Form I-765; and

Examples of Compelling Circumstances

The regulations do not define “compelling circumstances”, but in general, are situations outside one’s control that adversely affect their ability to continue working for their employer. USCIS exercises discretion on a case-by-case basis in assessing. Below are non -exhaustive examples that could justify the existence of compelling circumstances.

Serious Illness and Disability

A principal applicant or their dependent faces a serious illness or disability that substantially changes employment circumstances, such as requiring them to move to a different geographic area for their or a dependent’s treatment, or the illness or disability otherwise reduces or adversely affects the principal applicant’s ability to continue their previously approved employment.

Employer Dispute or Retaliation

A principal applicant is involved in a dispute regarding their employer’s alleged illegal or other forms of abusive conduct, which may take the form of a whistleblower action, litigation, or other documented dispute.

Other Substantial Harm to the Applicant

The principal applicant is unable to timely extend or otherwise maintain status, or obtain another nonimmigrant status, and would suffer substantial harm as a result. This harm may be financial or may be due to an inability to return to their home country due to conditions there.

Financial hardship to the principal applicant may rise to the level of compelling circumstances when coupled with circumstances beyond those typically associated with job loss, for example, loss of health insurance.

Significant Disruption to the Employer

If the applicant is unable to continue working due to failure of filing a timely extension of change of status, and as a result, the employer will suffer significant disruption of business or that the loss of the employee will negatively impact project and cause significant monetary loss, such situation could establish compelling circumstances.

USCIS generally does not consider unemployment or job loss, in and of itself, to be a compelling circumstance unless the principal applicant can show additional circumstances that compound the hardship ordinarily associated with job loss.

Impact on Non-Immigrant Status

While a discretionary relief, the compelling circumstances EAD is an alternative that allows one to continue to stay and work in the United States in an authorized period of stay. Note that this is not a substitute for a “non-immigrant” status. An applicant would not accrue unlawful presence during the EAD’s validity or during the pendency of a timely filed non-frivolous EAD application. Spouses and children of the principal EAD applicant may also receive EADs provided that they individually meet the compelling circumstances and filing requirements.

Resource: Chapter 3 – Certain Employment-Based Immigrants in Compelling Circumstances | USCIS


This article has been written by Zeenat Phophalia, Esq. Of Counsel, Davies & Associates, India Office.

Zeenat Phophalia is qualified to practice law in New York, United Kingdom and India. She practices in the area of U.S. immigration law with a focus on business immigration, and has represented corporate clients including large and medium sized companies and startups across sectors such as IT, consulting, consumer goods, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


L1 Visa

L1 Study Cases

L-1A status for an Executive extended for another two years

Getting a new office L1-A Visa petition approved for an executive or manager does not automatically mean that he or she will get an extension of another two years. It is not a matter of right to get your status extended and it is certainly not a ministerial act on the part of USCIS to approve the petition. At the time of filing, the petitioner must prove that it can clearly elevate the beneficiary to a managerial or executive position. This means that USCIS will look into whether the petitioner has hired the right people to relieve the beneficiary from performing non-qualifying duties. This is why personnel planning in the business plan for new office L-1 Visa petitions is critical. Aside from this, both the foreign entity and the petitioning US entity must continue to meet all other requirements. 

 APPROVAL OF ANOTHER L-1A PETITION AN EXECUTIVE FROM INDIA

 
We filed an extension of L-1A Visa status petition on behalf of an executive from India. We worked with the Petitioner in getting the new office petition approved and now we have successfully obtained approval of the extension of status petition for an additional period of two years.

The beneficiary is an executive of a digital outdoor marketing agency, specializing in advertising via digital screens set in high traffic public areas, such as retail stores. The Company outsources the content creation and focuses primarily on digital screen setup and sales activities. 

As a multinational executive or manager, you can be transferred to the U.S. for a maximum period of 7 years. If the U.S. company has not been operational for more than a year, the company is eligible to file a new office petition for the transfer of the executive or manager for one year. Extensions can be granted in increments of 2 years until the maximum period of 7 years has been reached. Within the 7 year period, it is possible for the beneficiary to transition to become a permanent resident of the U.S. through the EB-1C Visa petition for a multinational executive or manager. 

L-1 PETITION APPROVALS – L-1A EXECUTIVE FROM INDIA AND L-1B SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE EMPLOYEE FROM ARMENIA


The first approval is for a specialized knowledge employee from Armenia. His petition for intracompany transfer as a Cloud Architect has been approved for 3 years. He is the third beneficiary under the L-1 Visa program to be transferred to the US company. We had previously secured approvals for two executives of the same company.

The second approval is for an executive from India, a VP for Engineering for an organization that provides cloud governance platform that empowers enterprises to increase top-line revenues, improve bottom-line efficiencies, and gain a competitive edge through AI-powered real-time cloud governance on autopilot. The beneficiary has been given three years as well. We had also obtained prior L and H-1B approvals for the U.S. company. 


Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world. 

This article has been written by Verdie J. Atienza, Esq., Senior Immigration Attorney, Head of E-2 and L-1 Visas Practice Team at Davies & Associates, New York Office.

Verdie J. Atienza is a Senior Attorney in charge of the firm’s L-1 and E-2 visa practice. He is a dual qualified lawyer in New York and in the Philippines and is qualified to practice immigration law in any state in the United States. 

 


O1 Study Cases

O-1A Petition Approved for 3 years for a UK national

 
The beneficiary is an expert in innovation, particularly in digital strategy, corporate innovation, and building start-up companies.  

The petitioning US company provides innovation strategy, lean start-up experimentation and organizational design. The company caters mostly to high growth European tech start-ups with goals of expanding operations in the US. The company assesses current organizational structure, identifies barriers to innovation, and develops custom organizational design that aligns with the goals and supports innovation of the clients.  

O-1A  APPROVALS


The first one is an O-1A petition for a scientific/medical researcher and physician of extraordinary ability from Spain. The beneficiary has been approved to work for the petitioner for 3 years. 


Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world. 

This article has been written by Verdie J. Atienza, Esq., Senior Immigration Attorney, Head of E-2 and L-1 Visas Practice Team at Davies & Associates, New York Office.

Verdie J. Atienza is a Senior Attorney in charge of the firm’s L-1 and E-2 visa practice. He is a dual qualified lawyer in New York and in the Philippines and is qualified to practice immigration law in any state in the United States. 

 


US Citizenship parents

Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322

Did you know that you may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship if you have a U.S. citizen parent even if your U.S. citizen parent has not been physically present in the U.S.?

To be eligible:  
1.     You must not be not married; 
2.     USCIS must administer the Oath of Allegiance to you before reaching 18 years of age; 
3.     You regularly reside outside the United States; 
4.     You are in the legal and physical custody of your U.S. citizen parent; 
5.     Your U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States for a period or periods totaling at least five years, at least two of which were after 14 years of age. 
6.     If your U.S. citizen parent does not meet the physical presence requirement, the U.S. citizen parent’s own U.S. citizen parent (your grandparent) has to have been physically present in the United States for a period or periods totaling at least five years, at least two of which were after 14 years of age. 
In cases where the U.S. citizen parent died in the preceding five years, and Form N-600K has been properly filed on behalf of the child by the U.S. citizen grandparent or by the U.S. citizen legal guardian, the child does NOT have to be residing in the legal and physical custody of the person as long as the person who has legal and physical custody of the child does not object to the Form N-600K; and 
7.     You are temporarily present in the United States at the time of interview in a lawful status pursuant to a lawful admission. 


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This article has been written by Verdie J. Atienza, Esq., Senior Immigration Attorney, Head of E-2 and L-1 Visas Practice Team at Davies & Associates, New York Office.

Verdie J. Atienza is a Senior Attorney in charge of the firm’s L-1 and E-2 visa practice. He is a dual qualified lawyer in New York and in the Philippines and is qualified to practice immigration law in any state in the United States.