It’s never a good idea for a business to stand still. In order to be successful, you must move forward and expand. In some instances, you may decide that the best course of action is to expand your small business to the United States. With a wealth of talent and a diverse marketplace, the United States is a great place to expand your business. When expanding your business internationally, there are some important immigration law details to keep in mind.
In order to expand your small business in the United States, you are going to need to send personnel to the country to begin the expansion. These individuals will have to establish your U.S. headquarters and get things off the ground. If you are sending over managers, executives, or employees with specialized knowledge, they can apply for L-1 visas. In order to qualify for these visas, individuals must meet criteria that establishes that they are, in fact, managers, executives, employees with specialized knowledge.
Under an L-1A visa, managers or executives may be able to stay in the United States for up to seven years to expand your business. Once your small business is firmly established, these individuals may also apply for permanent residence status in the form of an employment-based green card. L-1A visas are granted for two years at a time for up to seven years. Individuals applying for an L-1A visa must establish that they played a substantial role in the foreign business and that they were with the company for at least one consecutive year in the last three years.
L-1B visas are for those employees who have specialized knowledge regarding your business. These employees are necessary to aid in the strategic planning and development of the business. Individuals on approved L-1B visas can remain in the United States for up to five years, and there are no immediate options to apply for permanent residency.
When making the decision to grow your company internationally, choices regarding the appropriate visas should be discussed with an immigration attorney. The United States Citizen and Immigration Service office (USCIS) has a reputation for rejecting L-1A visa applications, especially for smaller businesses. An experienced immigration attorney can help make sure your applications are strong and that you are choosing the right steps to maximize the success of your expansion.
When expanding your business to the United States, making the right decisions is key. Having an experienced immigration attorney on your side can help make the process run smoothly. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the creativity, experience, and knowledge to help you grow your small business. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.