L1 Visa - crunch time

Old Apr 19th 2012, 9:09 pm
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Default L1 Visa - crunch time

Hi all.

My lawyer has suggested that I would be good to go for the L1 visa through my UK company which has scared the life out of me ! We also knew it, have talked about it for the past year but now it seems to becoming the possibility of a huge reality.

I really would love to hear from parents who have gone down this route as obviously with the L1 , there is the risk of not getting it renewed after a year - massive child disruption as they are all still in school.

It would be great to hear experiences, advice etc.

Thanks so much
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 12:21 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

not parents but we did the identical thing....all i can say is start planning for renewal the day after you get the visa. we started about 4-5 months out and it still went to the wire,even with PP. good luck its scary at times but now we are settled its worth it
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 1:11 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

My hubby is L1A and we are L2. Our Visa's were initially for 3 years which gave us a bit more breathing space. We bought a house 6 months after moving, renewed our Visa's at the end of 3 years for another 2 and our Green Cards are now being processed (we hope to have them in August). If we had only been given 1 year to begin with I think we would have still come but might not have bought a house. Our son was nine when we moved so even if we had gone back after a year I don't think it would have been a huge disruption to his education. What age are your kids?
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 1:34 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Originally Posted by Victoria34 View Post
Hi all.

My lawyer has suggested that I would be good to go for the L1 visa through my UK company which has scared the life out of me ! We also knew it, have talked about it for the past year but now it seems to becoming the possibility of a huge reality.

I really would love to hear from parents who have gone down this route as obviously with the L1 , there is the risk of not getting it renewed after a year - massive child disruption as they are all still in school.

It would be great to hear experiences, advice etc.

Thanks so much
You should explain in your post that you are not being transferred over by an existing company on an L-1, but that YOU run a company in the UK, are intending to open an office/business in the US and then transfer yourself over.

Your situation is very different to those who have been transferred over by their existing companies.

Most L-1 transferees from existing companies get 2 or three year L-1 visas, with all the benefits that established companies give -removal costs, repatriation agreements, known salaries, health cover.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 2:19 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Originally Posted by Victoria34 View Post
Hi all.

My lawyer has suggested that I would be good to go for the L1 visa through my UK company which has scared the life out of me ! We also knew it, have talked about it for the past year but now it seems to becoming the possibility of a huge reality.

I really would love to hear from parents who have gone down this route as obviously with the L1 , there is the risk of not getting it renewed after a year - massive child disruption as they are all still in school.

It would be great to hear experiences, advice etc.

Thanks so much
I think that IMO a lot would depend, for me, on the age of the kids.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 9:00 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Originally Posted by lisa67 View Post
I think that IMO a lot would depend, for me, on the age of the kids.
+1 on this....

We moved to the US on an L1 and stayed for 2 years, then moved back to the UK. Our son was 10 when we moved to the US and 12 on the return move. For us that was a great age - he was young enough for the move to be easy and old enough to have benefited from the experience.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 11:51 am
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Let me give you my 2 cents as I moved out here on a L1A with three kids, set up the office, hired staff, did a renewal after one year and now have green cards. Whole process took just under 17 months.

It is relatively easy to get a L1A as a start up as the USA is up for anyone who can create jobs. The problem is the renewal.

My thoughts on this is that when you get your visa based on your business plan as long as you do everything you say you were going to do the first year then you will get the renewal.

Sounds easy but I am sure most people are "creative" on the business plan to make sure they get the visa and of course come renewal time they didn't do what they said they were going to do and run into problems.

Here is your plan:

Hire a very good lawyer who specializes in L1A start ups, do a realistic business plan, meet (or preferably exceed) your first year targets, the day after you get your renewal apply for a green card
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Hi all - thank you all so much for taking the time to respond.

My situation is basically I run a small limited company in the UK in an industry I have been in for many years, so in essense, along with the plans to expand the company is the US, I've ticked the boxes to apply for the L1. Obviously this only verifies me for the one year renewal which is my main scare factor.

The kids are aged 8,9 and 14 so would be massively disruptive to them if we didn't get the renewal. I've no idea how easy (or hard) it is to get that.

The company does have opportunities out there but we know it will be costly as will not have the benefits other companies would provide.

Its such a gamble.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Originally Posted by Victoria34 View Post
Hi all - thank you all so much for taking the time to respond.

My situation is basically I run a small limited company in the UK in an industry I have been in for many years, so in essense, along with the plans to expand the company is the US, I've ticked the boxes to apply for the L1. Obviously this only verifies me for the one year renewal which is my main scare factor.

The kids are aged 8,9 and 14 so would be massively disruptive to them if we didn't get the renewal. I've no idea how easy (or hard) it is to get that.

The company does have opportunities out there but we know it will be costly as will not have the benefits other companies would provide.

Its such a gamble.
I think (education wise) your 8 and 9 year old would be fine - even if it didn't work out and you came back after a year. How does your 14 year old feel about the move? Losing friends, exams lurking on the horizon?. If they are all for the move but it didn't work out how would they feel about possibly repeating a year on return to UK. Would it be possible for them to go to a private british/international school over here so they could avoid that.

I know these are all the things that would be on mind (cos we all put the kids first right!) but then I try to put it in perspective - lots of kids miss school for a year because of illness or travel with parents and it works out fine. If your kids are up for it and quite resilient it is a fantastic experience that most don't get the chance to do (even if it is only a year). On the other hand 3 miserable kids (or just 1) could be enough to ruin the experience for everyone.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Originally Posted by digbydog View Post
Let me give you my 2 cents as I moved out here on a L1A with three kids, set up the office, hired staff, did a renewal after one year and now have green cards. Whole process took just under 17 months.

It is relatively easy to get a L1A as a start up as the USA is up for anyone who can create jobs. The problem is the renewal.

My thoughts on this is that when you get your visa based on your business plan as long as you do everything you say you were going to do the first year then you will get the renewal.

Sounds easy but I am sure most people are "creative" on the business plan to make sure they get the visa and of course come renewal time they didn't do what they said they were going to do and run into problems.

Here is your plan:

Hire a very good lawyer who specializes in L1A start ups, do a realistic business plan, meet (or preferably exceed) your first year targets, the day after you get your renewal apply for a green card
pretty spot on , would agree with this totally.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Chocolate Babz....we do all put the kids first and they my main concern. They really want to go - who wouldn't! But schooling is paramount and if we didn't get the renewal, it would disrupt my eldest with his exams over here. On that note, Flabound/ Digby, do you actually have to show you are making money in the first year from plans that are on your business plan? The existing company can make money over there but with any expansion from a business plan, it is not guaranteed that you can prove a profit in the first year. Its, in effect, starting up a new business.

Or do they settle for proof that you are progressing and are determined to creat expansion and jobs for the Americans?

Thanks again

Last edited by Victoria34; Apr 20th 2012 at 6:05 pm.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Originally Posted by ChocolateBabz View Post
I think (education wise) your 8 and 9 year old would be fine - even if it didn't work out and you came back after a year. How does your 14 year old feel about the move? Losing friends, exams lurking on the horizon?. If they are all for the move but it didn't work out how would they feel about possibly repeating a year on return to UK. Would it be possible for them to go to a private british/international school over here so they could avoid that.

I know these are all the things that would be on mind (cos we all put the kids first right!) but then I try to put it in perspective - lots of kids miss school for a year because of illness or travel with parents and it works out fine. If your kids are up for it and quite resilient it is a fantastic experience that most don't get the chance to do (even if it is only a year). On the other hand 3 miserable kids (or just 1) could be enough to ruin the experience for everyone.
3 kids at private school...reckon on upwards of $70K per year in school fees.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

EEK ! Non -private then !
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Old Apr 28th 2012, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Hello folks,

Originally Posted by Victoria34 View Post
[...]do you actually have to show you are making money in the first year from plans that are on your business plan? The existing company can make money over there but with any expansion from a business plan, it is not guaranteed that you can prove a profit in the first year. Its, in effect, starting up a new business.

Or do they settle for proof that you are progressing and are determined to creat expansion and jobs for the Americans?
We (husband and wife) are following this thread with the utmost interest, as it sounds like a viable way to emigrate to the US and get a GC in a relatively short time and with low risk.

We are enterpreneurs in Brazil (we operate an IT services company), and it would not be difficult to open a US branch and move to the US and generate revenue and profit. The problem is jobs creation, as in our current mode of operation we do most of the work ourselves and have very little staff (just two employees).

Can anyone comment on that?

Thanks in advance,
--
Vall & Mo.
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Old Apr 28th 2012, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: L1 Visa - crunch time

Hi digbydog,

Originally Posted by digbydog View Post
Let me give you my 2 cents as I moved out here on a L1A with three kids, set up the office, hired staff, did a renewal after one year and now have green cards. Whole process took just under 17 months.
This is very interesting. Can you tell us approximately how long ago did all that happen?

Also, can you tell how many employees you hired, and how relevant that hiring was to getting the visa, and the green card?

Thanks in advance,
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Vall & Mo.
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