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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28944
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I own a business in Australia and our next step is to create

Customer Question

I own a business in Australia and our next step is to create software for our program, that can be used in USA schools. I am about to start an on line doctoral program at a USA University, with a focus on E Learning, and want to trial the program in the
USA and undertake research in USA schools. However I will not get a student visa with the University as it is online, and it is in a different state to the one where I will be trialling the program (California). I have good contacts in SoCal. Is my only option
(as the doctorate will cost $50K) to apply for an L1A visa to set up a branch of our AU business, and have the USA branch opened initially to develop the software? I am a single parent with one 16 year old dependent.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 13 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help.

How much money do you plan to invest in the U.S. business? How many U.S. jobs will the investment create?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand all about the L1A (and E1) and creating jobs etc. I dont need any advice about those. I ideally dont want to set up the business in the USA.However my doctorate is online and so I do not get the student F1 visa. But I want to do the research for the doctorate in the USA.What are my options if I didnt set up a business.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As we already spoke before, about business visas, is it possible to get advice from someone else on this, to get another opinion?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Sure. I can opt out. Good luck.

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Hi, this is Judith. I remember also discussing your options with you some time back. Do you want another expert rather than myself to answer you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Judith,I may have to do a classroom based doctorate on a student visa, and not do the on line one. So the visa issue would be sorted anyway as I would get in the USA on an F1.
However lets say I know I want to study AND set up a USA branch of our Australian business. Ideally in 1 year when Ive made head way on the doctorate. So I would be changing over from the F1 to an La1 visa.Or do I set up the USA branch first, as the L1A visa allows me to study full or part time ? (yes?)When we open the USA branch of our AU business, either now or in a year, we will only need office space, we will not need to be open to the public as will sell mostly on line. Research will be conducted in schools and prisons, not our office space.One main reason to be based in the USA is to manufacture the products locally as we currently have to post from Australia and the shipping can cost the customer more than than product. We will use local companies. However in the first year we would only need to employ 3 people - admin, software design and maintenance, videographer.
Set up is office set up and cost of cameras etc - probably $50K.The other reason is because our target audience for the software (E Learning) will be USA schools and prisons. So we need a physical presence here, to offer support.If I set up the L1A visa NOW (using the fast track option) can the $50K being invested into the doctorate, to benefit the business count ?
The doctorate focus is on E Learning, so that we can develop the software but also have credibility when we launch it in the USA, to schools, prisons etc - students learn to read and spell on line even without teachers..I also want to clarify that it is a better option to set up as a branch of an existing Australian business, with track record, rather than an E2, which expects more of a financial investment.If I do the doctorate online and dont need a visa, I could get the L1A sorted now, and start the business set up in November? Is that easier ?
Do I need a lawyer to submit the paper work if the business is based on a proven business in AU, and if we are to employ 3 Americans initially, invest $50K to start up and $50K to do the doctorate that will mean the software is more readily accepted by schools. I have seen DIY kits to do it - does the info I have provided suggest it would be approved ? I start study on an F1 is the process to change to an L1A in 12 months straight forward?