Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

L1-A Start Up / Existing US Branch

Some latitude in duties is permitted during a start-up operation, but the beneficiary will be given only one year to satisfy the qualifying conditions. The initial L1 visa will be granted for one year.

Establishing a Management or Executive Position For the New Office

As mentioned above, when entering the US to start up a new branch it is important to submit documentary evidence in the petition to show that within the first 12 months an office will be set up that would support an L1 management or executive position.  In other words, the office would have to be staffed by subordinates or hired contractors over whom the L1 beneficiary would manage.

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Securing the US Office

Even though no visa would have been approved or even applied for at this stage, it is a requirement that the petitioner have already secured, typically, by way of lease, the physical premises needed for the new office. In these cases, it would certainly be wise to insert into the lease term that the petitioner be excused from the lease if the visa petition is subsequently denied.


The petitioner will have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of USCIS that the home country has sufficient capital to fund the new US office.  Company accounts and a business plan will play an important role here.

After the First Year

Coming up to the end of the first year the petitioner will have to make a new filing for the beneficiary. This new application would not only have to re-satisfy all the original conditions for the L visa but also that the beneficiary would qualify for the period ahead.

  1. Evidence that the US and the foreign company are still related to each other.
  2. Evidence that the US branch has commenced trading.
  3. A statement of the beneficiary’s duties completed during the first year.
  4. A statement of the beneficiary’s proposed duties for the period of the extension (next two years).
  5. A statement of the staffing structure now in place. Positions filled.
  6. A statement of the likely future staffing structure. Positions to be filled.
  7. Proof of wages paid to-date to all staff mentioned.
  8. Trading accounts of US Company.

Next Chapter –
L1 Visa Home –

Select Your Chapters Here

1 – Managers, Executives & Specialists
2 – The One Year Within Last Three Rule
3 – Start Up or Existing US Branch
4 – Temporary Intent vs. Dual Intent Rule
5 – Duration of L Visas
6 – Petitions Denied, Revoked or Withdrawn
7 – Continuing to do Business in Home Country
8 – Parent, Branch, Subsidiary and Affiliate
9 – Employment vs. Source of Paycheck
10 – Full-time/Part-time L1
11 – Managerial, Executive or Specialist Duties
12 – Working While Awaiting Renewal of L Status
13 – Spouse of L Visa Holder’s Right to Work
14 – Summary

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.

Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.

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