Foreign companies have found it can be advantageous to send an executive or manager to the United States to establish an office stateside. To do so, the worker must meet the requirements for an L-1A nonimmigrant classification.
Just what is the process for approval?
For starters, the company must, on the behalf of the employee, file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and pay a fee.
The following information describes some of the features and requirements of the L-1 nonimmigrant visa program. In this case, the employer must first be certified, and to qualify, the company must:
- Maintain a relationship with a foreign company that can be considered as a qualifying organization; and
- Enter into business as an employer in the U.S. and in a minimum of one other country, or through a qualifying organization.
For the employee coming to the United States to work as an executive or manager, the employee must:
- Have worked abroad for a qualifying organization for at least one straight year during the three years before coming to the U.S.; and
- Seek to come to the U.S. as an executive or manager for the same employer or a qualifying organization.
When foreign employers want to base an employee in the United States as a manager or executive, the employer must show:
- Adequate space has been secured for a new office;
- The employee has met the required one straight year of service; and
- The future U.S. office will do enough business to support that executive or manager within 12 months of the petition's approval.
This is all very complex and difficult to navigate. That's why an experienced attorney should be retained by any employer seeking to open a new branch of its business in Louisiana.