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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7304
Experience:  Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
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Not sure if this should be a business law/employment law question

Customer Question

Not sure if this should be a business law/employment law question or an imigration law question so hope someone can answer this.

I have an LTD company in the UK. Established for a good few years.
I want to open a "branch" of the company in the US. I am wondering what the requirement is to do this and to be able to operate the company in the US.
if things go well, I may want to close the UK company altogether but still operate in the US. Is this also possible?

So, what are the requirements? What is the process?
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer/Pearl. I'll do my best to answer your questions as completely and honestly as I can. Please note that I earn my living by helping customers like you, so once you've received your answer, I ask that you give me a positive rating for my customer service, so that I get credit for my work. Also please understand that the rating you give is not based on the outcome of your question, for which the law sometimes does not have a satisfactory solution. If you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further.

Is the goal to immigrate to the US based on this company?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

well, I wouldn't say a "goal." I would say that I have conquered the UK and now want to take that to the US and if it means me settling there to run the business, then great. Why not? Free world :-)

Obviously, I want to do things PROPERLY and LEGALLY.

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Ahmed,

I'm not interested in providing you with information that is improper or illegal. So no need to worry about that. But there are different options for different goals - immigrant or non-immigrant.

How much do you intend to invest in the new company?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

well as little as possible. I mean since it is an IT based company, things cost less and I already have things I need to start up a business (since I've already done it in the UK).

I am not rich, don't have loads of money. For example in the UK, all I needed to do was incorporate the company, get an accountant and register for taxes and start trading. That's it. Something like this is what I would like in the US (if it exists).

I heard about an investors visa - sorry but that is a no go route for me. (too costly and I just don't have the physical funds either.)

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Ahmed,

Got it. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX a lot.

The only visa that might be available to you is the L1 visa. And since you're the executive, you'd be looking at the L1A for Executive and Managers.

Here is information on the L1A visa: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=64d34b65bef27210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=64d34b65bef27210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD. It is much more efficient for you to look this information over, and then if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them as follow-ups.

Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. The bottom two negative ratings are reserved for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to always be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7304
Experience: Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
Expert James and 8 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I have accepted your answer.

Can you explain what the Blanket petition is and if I need that at all?

I can obtain an office space no problem. Infact, a client of mine has offered to sublet their office space to me if I need it so thats not a problem.

The company in the UK will still be operational and will continue to have business (but will be travelling back and fourth between the US and the UK). But there maybe periods of where the UK branch may not have business (normal cycle of work/demand) but still is operational/alive.

Would I be eligible here for L1A?

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Ahmed,

Thank you for the "Accept." Unfortunately, I have to step away from the system for a few hours, but I will answer your last question upon my return. Will that be okay?

I appreciate your patience and understanding.

Thank you!
Longhorn
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
of course, no problem! I appreciate your help and willing to wait...
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Ahmed,

Sorry for the delay. I came down with something last night and was not able to log back into the system. My apologies for any inconvenience this might have caused.

QUESTION: Can you explain what the Blanket petition is and if I need that at all?

ANSWER: The blanket petition is usually used by large companies who have a lot of employees who might, at some point, be coming to the US on an L1 status. Basically, it is almost like a pre-approval of the company's eligibility to petition employees with the USCIS, leaving the only thing for the employee to do when the company wants to send him is to interview at the consulate, based on an already approved sponsor petition. If your company is not a large company (like Exxon, HSBC bank, etc.) and you don't intend to bring other employees to the US in L1 stats, you won't need the blanket L petition.


QUESTION: I can obtain an office space no problem. Infact, a client of mine has offered to sublet their office space to me if I need it so thats not a problem.

The company in the UK will still be operational and will continue to have business (but will be travelling back and fourth between the US and the UK). But there maybe periods of where the UK branch may not have business (normal cycle of work/demand) but still is operational/alive.

Would I be eligible here for L1A?

ANSWER: Yes, based on this information and description, you could still be eligible. But the relationship between the companies must still exist.

I hope I have answered your questions. Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. The bottom two negative ratings are reserved for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to always be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No problem. So the branch in the UK will remain open and would have my secretary there to do the accounts and any other paper work that needs to be done (i.e contracts etc...)

As for the US, there will just be me as the MD/Exec but also as the technical consultant.

What other requirements are there? Surely its not as straight forward as this?

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Ahmed,

Can you be more specific? The link I provided you should have quite a bit of information about the requirements.

I'm more than happy to assist you, but about which of those requirements are you seeking more information?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am just not convinced that it is as easy as this where I have a branch in the UK.

Then I can open a branch in the US as long as I have office premisis and the branch being of the same foreign organisation.

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Well, obviously, there has to be a relationship between the companies - it can't jst be that you have a company in the UK and a company in the US. So you will need to show a branch, subsidiary, affiliate, or parent company relationship between the two companies.

The L1 visa for new offices is meant for those times when a new affiliate, subsidiary, parent, or branch office is opening in the US, and the company wants to employ a manager or executive. Since this company will have been doing business for less than 1 year in the US, it qualifies as a new office.

Now to obtain the L1 visa based upon opening a new office, your company needs to show that it has a physical premises for the office and that the US company will have available, an executive or managerial position.

I hope I have answered your questions. Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. The bottom two negative ratings are reserved for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to always be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!

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