L1-A Options

Old Jan 2nd 2013, 4:16 pm
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Default L1-A Options

Hi

I have successfully made the move from the UK to the US on an L1-A visa and have been here now for 6 months.

It is myself and my Husband, we have really settled in and have made the enquiry for my company to begin the Green Card application process.

I worked for my company for 4 years before moving here, I had a number of off shore staff under my supervision but without the manage title, I've only had the manager level title since I have been here so i am concerened that this may go against me ?

The company lawyers tell me that unless I am earning a 6 figure sum or get a promotion then my chances are less likely of success...?

My question is, if we for whatever reason are rejected in our GC application what other options would be available to us long term ?

I know that we have 6.5 years left on our visa but I also know that the GC applications can take some time so I am trying to be as prepared in advance as I can be, to know my options, if any...

Thanks
Laura
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Old Jan 2nd 2013, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Hi there.

I moved to the US under L1A (small company). My Green Card application was under Functional Manager (EB1C) as I had no direct reports but showed that my role had an influence across the whole company, etc.

The whole process (start to finish) took 8 months - so I would have thought if you got an L1A you should be able to get a Green Card.
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Old Jan 2nd 2013, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by lauraeast View Post
I've only had the manager level title since I have been here so i am concerened that this may go against me ?
It won't.


The company lawyers tell me that unless I am earning a 6 figure sum or get a promotion then my chances are less likely of success...?
They're lying to you.


My question is, if we for whatever reason are rejected in our GC application what other options would be available to us long term ?
Re-apply.

Ian
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Old Jan 2nd 2013, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by lauraeast View Post
Hi

I have successfully made the move from the UK to the US on an L1-A visa and have been here now for 6 months.

It is myself and my Husband, we have really settled in and have made the enquiry for my company to begin the Green Card application process.

I worked for my company for 4 years before moving here, I had a number of off shore staff under my supervision but without the manage title, I've only had the manager level title since I have been here so i am concerened that this may go against me ?

The company lawyers tell me that unless I am earning a 6 figure sum or get a promotion then my chances are less likely of success...?

My question is, if we for whatever reason are rejected in our GC application what other options would be available to us long term ?

I know that we have 6.5 years left on our visa but I also know that the GC applications can take some time so I am trying to be as prepared in advance as I can be, to know my options, if any...

Thanks
Laura
Something tells me that your company lawyers are being less than helpful, probably due to the fact that a) you have only been with the company in the US for 6 months and b) that once you get your Green card you are free to leave their employ.

You certainly don't need the 6 figure salary and since you already justified your experience in order to get an L1A approved, then I don't see that you would have a problem getting the Green card.

I did not have reportees but managed a function when I was transferred. You now have have reportees and the Manager title - really don't see what the issue is.

Did you get the company to agree to go for the Green card for you?

I know that some people on the forum have found that their companies were somewhat reluctant to go for the Green card for them. Mine would not consider an application before 6 to 9 months.

My application took 12 months in total - that was 10 years ago, believe it is quicker now.
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Old Jan 3rd 2013, 12:09 am
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Thanks for the replies.

My company agreed to sponsor me for a green card but they normally do that towards the end of the visa expiry, which worries me with application times. I've read conflicting info that L1A go into the EB1 bucket and others say not, I guess it very much depends on all the individual circumstances..

I tried to get them to put in writing that they would begin the process after 1 year but it was taking so long to get it from them it was delaying us coming out here and we were of the mind that if it didn't happen then it didn't happen.

I have no intention of leaving them and even offered to sign an agreement that I would be in their employ for however many years but they said they could not do that.

I know that I can reapply for the GC if I get rejected, how many times can I apply, will each rejection affect the next application? If I am not able to get one by the end of my visa what options are there if any?

Thanks

Last edited by lauraeast; Jan 3rd 2013 at 12:09 am. Reason: spelling
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Old Jan 3rd 2013, 5:16 am
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by lauraeast View Post
If I am not able to get one by the end of my visa what options are there if any?
You leave the US.

There's a reason people advise folks get stuff like this in writing in their relocation plan before moving, because you've got more bargaining potential then but have nothing now and it's not in the companies interest to get a greencard for you as soon as possible.

You might want to talk to your own immigration lawyer so you understand where you stand with your visa and what the options are because the company lawyer is working for the best interest of the company and not you because they are the paying client.
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Old Jan 3rd 2013, 6:11 am
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by lauraeast View Post
Thanks for the replies.

My company agreed to sponsor me for a green card but they normally do that towards the end of the visa expiry, which worries me with application times. I've read conflicting info that L1A go into the EB1 bucket and others say not, I guess it very much depends on all the individual circumstances..

I tried to get them to put in writing that they would begin the process after 1 year but it was taking so long to get it from them it was delaying us coming out here and we were of the mind that if it didn't happen then it didn't happen.

I have no intention of leaving them and even offered to sign an agreement that I would be in their employ for however many years but they said they could not do that.

I know that I can reapply for the GC if I get rejected, how many times can I apply, will each rejection affect the next application? If I am not able to get one by the end of my visa what options are there if any?

Thanks
The company lawyers are correct about that. Unless you are a CEO or some other very high paid professional (athlete, movie star, etc.), generally the courts have held that such contracts are unenforceable as a form of enslavement.

The reason for the court ruling is that the company would have a disportionality large amount of control over your life for a very small amount of money (the green card). So it appears that your company is using a legal tactic of delaying applying for the green card to accomplish the same thing.

About your only other option if you don't want to take the chance of waiting too long and not getting a green card is to apply for positions at other companies that will hire you on a H1-B visa (however your spouse couldn't work while on a H2 visa) with a guarantee that the company would immediately apply for green cards for your family as soon as you start to work for them.
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Old Jan 3rd 2013, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
About your only other option if you don't want to take the chance of waiting too long and not getting a green card is to apply for positions at other companies that will hire you on a H1-B visa (however your spouse couldn't work while on a H2 visa) with a guarantee that the company would immediately apply for green cards for your family as soon as you start to work for them.
Make that H4.

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Old Jan 3rd 2013, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
The company lawyers are correct about that. Unless you are a CEO or some other very high paid professional (athlete, movie star, etc.), generally the courts have held that such contracts are unenforceable as a form of enslavement.
They could have put in a non compete, sure that isn't enforceable in CA, but it can be in other states such as MA. Reality of it means you're unemployable for the duration as the hiring company would have to pay you a salary to be kept on garden leave if they wanted to poach you.
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Old Jan 3rd 2013, 7:59 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Thanks again all for your input.

I had been on here reading a number of times whilst the whole process was unfolding so I was well aware of the risks of not having a time frame for a GC in writing. It will be sad if we did have to go back to the UK but it is what it is adn we knew the risk at the time.

This forum helped me an awful lot to raise questions that I would never of dreamed of so a big thank you for that !

I will follow up on the GC application status with the company lawyers and go from there...

Thanks again
Laura
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Old Jan 3rd 2013, 9:29 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by lauraeast View Post
Hi

I have successfully made the move from the UK to the US on an L1-A visa and have been here now for 6 months.

It is myself and my Husband, we have really settled in and have made the enquiry for my company to begin the Green Card application process.

I worked for my company for 4 years before moving here, I had a number of off shore staff under my supervision but without the manage title, I've only had the manager level title since I have been here so i am concerened that this may go against me ?

The company lawyers tell me that unless I am earning a 6 figure sum or get a promotion then my chances are less likely of success...?

My question is, if we for whatever reason are rejected in our GC application what other options would be available to us long term ?

I know that we have 6.5 years left on our visa but I also know that the GC applications can take some time so I am trying to be as prepared in advance as I can be, to know my options, if any...

Thanks
Laura
hmm, the lawyers chances of success or yours it sounds like they want a nice easy petition to submit
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Old Jan 3rd 2013, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
They could have put in a non compete, sure that isn't enforceable in CA, but it can be in other states such as MA. Reality of it means you're unemployable for the duration as the hiring company would have to pay you a salary to be kept on garden leave if they wanted to poach you.
From my understanding, is not enforceable in any state since I believe that was a US supreme court ruling. The ruling basically stated that the benefits to the employee has to be equal to or greater than the cost to the employer. If they wanted to get around the law, they delay applying for the green card or sign a contract with the employee that guarantees a very large bonus if they remain with the company for a number of years. However even if they promise a large bonus, there still has to be the if clause allowing the employee to leave at anytime.

Do such contracts exist that don't follow the ruling? Yes but they are not enforceable.
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Old Jan 6th 2013, 3:54 am
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Mmm I'm not sure I agree with some of the replies above.

My husband came over as L1A and is now a PR. He was a global manager in the UK and transferred to the USA. During the green card application process, USCIS asked very, very specific questions about the company structure, shareholding and so on, plus they wanted very clear information about his position in the UK, whether he truly was a 'manager' and if his role was as a true decision maker. I was quite surprised by this because,as far as I was concerned, it had already been covered under the L1A process. But that is not how USCIS always see it. If you look at the requirements for L1A to PR it is quite clearly laid out what USCIS require.

Here is what their website says:



You must have been employed outside the United States in the 3 years preceding the petition for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation and you must be seeking to enter the United States to continue service to that firm or organization. Your employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer.

Manager or executive I believe really does mean manager or executive at a high level.

That has been our experience anyway.
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Old Jan 7th 2013, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
From my understanding, is not enforceable in any state since I believe that was a US supreme court ruling. The ruling basically stated that the benefits to the employee has to be equal to or greater than the cost to the employer. If they wanted to get around the law, they delay applying for the green card or sign a contract with the employee that guarantees a very large bonus if they remain with the company for a number of years. However even if they promise a large bonus, there still has to be the if clause allowing the employee to leave at anytime.

Do such contracts exist that don't follow the ruling? Yes but they are not enforceable.
If you have a reference or link, that would be very helpful for the future...
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Old Jan 8th 2013, 4:48 am
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Default Re: L1-A Options

Originally Posted by lauraeast View Post
Hi

I have successfully made the move from the UK to the US on an L1-A visa and have been here now for 6 months.

It is myself and my Husband, we have really settled in and have made the enquiry for my company to begin the Green Card application process.

I worked for my company for 4 years before moving here, I had a number of off shore staff under my supervision but without the manage title, I've only had the manager level title since I have been here so i am concerened that this may go against me ?
IIRC L1A holders usually file under the EB1C category, which is really comparatively quick and easy. But the requirements are a bit more stringent than L1A, e.g. for EB1C you must have been a manager for 1 year prior to arriving in the US. I believe it's possible to get around this if you can show you were a 'Functional Manager'.

I would suggest getting advice/information from lawyers outside the company. The company lawyers are there to serve the interests of the company (which is keeping you on L1 as long as possible) and may well not volunteer important information (speaking from experience....).

You have less leverage now you're actually in the US, but keep making your case, if you really do want the green card. Unless you pester them enough, there's not much incentive for them to move it forward.
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