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L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Old Aug 19th 2014, 4:03 pm
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Question L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Hi all,

I'd be extremely grateful for any advice, past experiences, or candid feedback on the following:

I'm just about to start the apparently long and painful process of applying for a US Visa under an L1-A application.

I run a small business in the UK, of which 70% of it's income is derived from online sales in the USA.

I have been advised to create an american company and begin funnelling the USA income through this entity. Other recommendations include renting business premises, employing indigenous USA staff and writing a business plan (no idea what value the latter adds?!).

Are there any Brits on the forum who have first hand experience of going down the L1-A route? If so, I'd be really keen to hear your thoughts or any advice for a newbie :-)

I'm specifically interested to hear what type of company you formed (the USA corporate tax system looks pretty high compared to the UK), what company / personal tax %'s you pay and also any recommendations on the best US states and locations for families.

My wife and I have two children under 10 and we're keen to settle somewhere relatively peaceful but with a good social scene so we can meet other families. I know that's a pretty general statement but please do chip in if you live in a family-friendly area as we're currently exploring all locations :-)

Thanks in advance
Martin
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

The UK branch will continue to operate, with employees there in the UK, right?

My first thought was, if it's an online business, why do you physically need to be in the USA?

Yes, you need office space and employees in the USA.

As for the best place to live, that depends on your business. If your answer is that the business can be run from anywhere, that brings us back to why you need to be inside the USA.

You say you were advised to do an L1 visa. By whom?

You're a business owner, but you don't understand the need for a business plan?

Rene
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Thanks Rene,

The UK business will continue employing staff in the UK, yes.

The reason for the move is to expand our (the business) trading presence in the US.

Re: business plan. I've written several over the years and they only serve a purpose when raising finance. Most small business owners write them on start up then forget them :-)
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Originally Posted by Martin Smith View Post
Hi all,

I'd be extremely grateful for any advice, past experiences, or candid feedback on the following:

I'm just about to start the apparently long and painful process of applying for a US Visa under an L1-A application.

I run a small business in the UK, of which 70% of it's income is derived from online sales in the USA.

I have been advised to create an american company and begin funnelling the USA income through this entity. Other recommendations include renting business premises, employing indigenous USA staff and writing a business plan (no idea what value the latter adds?!).

Are there any Brits on the forum who have first hand experience of going down the L1-A route? If so, I'd be really keen to hear your thoughts or any advice for a newbie :-)

I'm specifically interested to hear what type of company you formed (the USA corporate tax system looks pretty high compared to the UK), what company / personal tax %'s you pay and also any recommendations on the best US states and locations for families.

My wife and I have two children under 10 and we're keen to settle somewhere relatively peaceful but with a good social scene so we can meet other families. I know that's a pretty general statement but please do chip in if you live in a family-friendly area as we're currently exploring all locations :-)

Thanks in advance
Martin
I moved here on an L1A and then did AOS to a GC, I was employed by a parent who established a company in Ireland and later decided to transfer me to the US parent.

The process was all pretty quick and efficient.

Assuming you have had your business more than 1 year I believe you can look at he new office route:

L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager | USCIS

My advice is that unlike other countries the information you need to do this is held by immigration lawyers and not available freely online, so get a good US immigration lawyer and they should be able to take care of it for you if you qualify.

What type of entity you decide to form depends mainly on tax considerations (as well as liability), I would also seek professional advice here, it really hinges on if you are the only owner or if there are non US owners of the parent who wont move. The slight wrinkle for you here would be that as you will be taxed on your worldwide income in the US a US parent may work out better, but not sure you can flip that if you have a visa based on the other structure.
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Oh, sorry - forgot the last question.

The L1-A appears to be our only viable option for obtaining a Visa. While my wife and I are both university educated and hold other professional qualifications, our skills (accountant and nurse) are not in high demand, nor do we have US parents...
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Your business plan will be important. It will show how you intend to establish and start the business, and then a plan to grow the business over the next few years. When it comes time to renew the visa, the plan will be reviewed and visa renewal can hinge on whether you've met those goals. .. so don't forget about them.

Rene

Last edited by Noorah101; Aug 19th 2014 at 5:58 pm.
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Old Aug 19th 2014, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Individual legal consultation may very well be in order.
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Old Aug 20th 2014, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
Individual legal consultation may very well be in order.
Yeah, I completely agree.

Could you perhaps recommend a decent immigration attorney and / or an accountant?
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Old Aug 20th 2014, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

"No, no, no, it ain't me babe." Bob Dylan


Having said that: J Craig Fong in Pasadena, California. [Formerly in Hollywood].

Last edited by S Folinsky; Aug 20th 2014 at 5:26 pm.
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Old Aug 24th 2014, 4:25 am
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

+1 for J Craig Fong

J did my L1A and green card - top lawyer and all round nice person

Please remember its relatively easy to get the initial start up L1A visa.... the hardest part is getting it renewed and green card process....
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Old Aug 24th 2014, 11:02 am
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Originally Posted by digbydog View Post
+1 for J Craig Fong

J did my L1A and green card - top lawyer and all round nice person

Please remember its relatively easy to get the initial start up L1A visa.... the hardest part is getting it renewed and green card process....
Nice one - cheers Digby.

I'll give Craig a buzz tomorrow. I see that you're based in NJ. Did it not matter that Mr Fong is over in California?

Also, any advice for a smooth renewal? I know Rene emphasises the need for a solid business plan. Is there one major thing I *should* focus on at application to make the renewal process easier?

Thanks in advance for any advice, tips or tricks
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Old Aug 24th 2014, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Originally Posted by Martin Smith View Post
I'll give Craig a buzz tomorrow.
His first name is J. Yes - like the letter. He doesn't go by his middle name.

Ian
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Old Aug 24th 2014, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: L1-A Visa application and process (UK citizen)

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
His first name is J. Yes - like the letter. He doesn't go by his middle name.

Ian
Got it - thanks Ian
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