Below please find a copy of a January 2011 AAO [Administrative Appeals Office] decision which overturns a denial issued by USCIS in an L-1 “New Office” extension case.
L-1 “New Office” petitions are commonly used when an established foreign company wants to expand in the United States and send a manager/executive or specialized knowledge employee to work for the NEW U.S. entity.
New Office L-1s are granted for one year by showing, among other things, physical premises in the U.S. and the financial viability of the U.S. entity.
One of the hidden pitfalls of the New Office L-1 is securing an extension of L-1 status for the transferee. Commonly, the USCIS will determine the U.S. enterprise is not sufficiently developed to establish the transferee will continue to be employed in a qualifying capacity [manager/executive/specialized knowledge].
The decision below, which includes my highlights and handwritten notes, offers an excellent discussion of the issues surrounding the New Offices L-1 extensions.
AAO New Office L-1A Decision_1-2011
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Michael Ryvin, Partner
Ryvin Wallace Group