ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Old Jun 1st 2012, 8:56 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by Boiler
Who offers services to clients?
We do.. I assure you its a very legitimate service we offer. it just isn't anything tangible. I don't want to divulge too much information on here which I'm sure some of you can appreciate..
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 8:59 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by 7uke
I don't want to divulge too much information on here which I'm sure some of you can appreciate..
No problem... as long as you're prepared for vague answers!

Ian
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:00 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by Weeze
If you have been working for the company for a year, they can apply for the L1 visa. They have to show why they need you rather than an American employee.
For an L1, they don't.

To the OP, you might be boned come the future if you have long term plans for the US.

You might want to consult with a immigration lawyer of your own to understand what you have been doing and what the visas mean to you, because you'll face the issues not the company when it all goes wrong.
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:00 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm
No problem... as long as you're prepared for vague answers!

Ian
OK thanks. If it helps with clearer answers, it's business services/ solutions
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:04 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by 7uke
OK thanks. If it helps with clearer answers, it's business services/ solutions
If you are the person who is going out to a client's location and performing the services, then you are working while on the VWP, and that's not allowed. As I mentioned before, only limited business activities are allowed on the VWP. To my layman's ears, it sounds like you're actually working, rather than just doing some minor start-up activities. Looking for office space would be a start-up business activity. A 1-time meeting with a client to see what they need would be a business activity.

Actually performing the services that the company offers, would be working.

Rene
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:06 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by 7uke
OK thanks. If it helps with clearer answers, it's business services/ solutions
If you're operating the company in the US and providing services/solutions to the customers in the US, then you may have already violated the VWP.

What is the difference between your activities in the US now vs. what you would do if you had an L1 in your hand?

If the work is the same, and your response is "so I can live there and not have to come and go every 90 days" then I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that you've been working illegally under the VWP.

Do any of the personnel in the US have authorization to work?
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:06 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by 7uke
We do.. I assure you its a very legitimate service we offer. it just isn't anything tangible. I don't want to divulge too much information on here which I'm sure some of you can appreciate..
It really doesn't matter what the company is doing.

What matters is what you are doing, while you are sitting in the USA. It doesn't matter that you are paid pounds, into a UK bank account. You are still in the USA, for which you need work authorisation to do so.

Other things to worry about is what you're doing for medical insurance and now that you're been here 7 months, what you're going to be doing for taxes.
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:07 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by Noorah101
If you are the person who is going out to a client's location and performing the services, then you are working while on the VWP, and that's not allowed. As I mentioned before, only limited business activities are allowed on the VWP. To my layman's ears, it sounds like you're actually working, rather than just doing some minor start-up activities. Looking for office space would be a start-up activity. A 1-time meeting with a client to see what they need would be a business activity.

Actually performing the services that the company offers, would be working.

Rene
I agree with this. From what you've said (the amount of time spent in the US, the fact you're being paid, the activities you're doing) I'd say you've been lucky to get admitted for as long as you have (or indeed at all).

I'd advise caution in making any future trips until you have the appropriate visa. With that in mind, look in to getting a visa ASAP so you can continue working.

James
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:21 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

How can you offer anything as a visitor?
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:31 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by Boiler
How can you offer anything as a visitor?
Since he declared that he'd be in the USA on business, they probably marked his passport VWb (Visa Waiver business), rather than VWt (Visa Waiver tourist).

The debate is...was he really just here on business allowed under the VWP, or was he actually working.

Rene

Last edited by Noorah101; Jun 1st 2012 at 9:56 am.
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 9:51 am
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Default Re: ESTA Visa.. Then L1 Visa?

Originally Posted by Noorah101
Since he declared that he'd be in the USA on business, they probably marked his passport VWb (Visa Waiver business), rather than VWt (Visa Waiver tourist).

The debate is...was here really just here on business allowed under the VWP, or was he actually working.

Rene
Thanks Noorah101. You've provided me with some good information.
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