British Expats

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-   US Immigration, Citizenship and Visas (https://britishexpats.com/forum/us-immigration-citizenship-visas-34/)
-   -   L1A visa approved in the current environment (https://britishexpats.com/forum/us-immigration-citizenship-visas-34/l1a-visa-approved-current-environment-935063/)

Sir Humphrey Sep 29th 2020 8:13 am

L1A visa approved in the current environment
 
Hi everyone

A few weeks ago, I was offered an opportunity to relocate to our company’s HQ in US. My company is a large American multi-national and has L1 blanket approval. However, the Presidential Proclamation 10052 created huge uncertainty about the feasibility of the move for us. As we were discussing the move the US gov’t issued some exceptions to P.P 10052 primarily concerning travel that would be in the national interest – there are some specific criteria laid out for each visa category

We applied for the L1A and L2 (for family) under this national interest exception and are happy to report that our visas were approved recently!

I know that there is a lack of information on the whole L1/H1 type visa processes in the current environment and thought it could be useful others to share this. See some additional details on the process:

Part of the criteria is that you need be a senior level exec or manager filling a critical business need for an employer in a critical infrastructure sector. The US Gov’t has issued a list of critical infrastructure sectors

Additionally, when you fill out your DS-160 application you cannot just go ahead and book your appointment. The Embassy reaches out to you and asks for additional information that you need to submit to make a case for why you believe the national interest exception applies to you. Once they have reviewed the additional information, they will then determine whether to grant you an appointment or not. We found the US Embassy to be very responsive and they came back the same day confirming we could book our appointment after we had shared the additional information

Overall the process was quick and my company and the lawyers were on the ball which was very helpful

Now the hard work for the move starts!

civilservant Sep 29th 2020 12:11 pm

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 
Care to share what 'critical infrastructure' you work in?

christmasoompa Sep 29th 2020 3:16 pm

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 
Congrats! I think you're the first person on the forum to have got an L1 under the new exemptions, so your experience will no doubt be useful for others.

Best of luck with the move.

Pulaski Sep 29th 2020 4:41 pm

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12915811)
Care to share what 'critical infrastructure' you work in?

Here's a challenge for today - try to find a business that doesn't fall under one of the critical infrastructure exemptions. :rofl: .... Other than entertainment, food service and hospitality, of course. :(

Sir Humphrey Sep 30th 2020 7:43 am

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 
Thx christmasoompa!

Agree with Pulaski that there are a broad no of sectors covered under this. Assuming your company is covered under this what you have to do is make a case i) why your position is critical to the business and ii) why do they need to hire you specifically - in other words why someone else already in the US cannot be hired. For e.g. have you you spent multiple years with the company abroad and have developed specific knowledge and expertise within the company

chas325 Oct 2nd 2020 4:30 pm

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 

Originally Posted by Sir Humphrey (Post 12916206)
Thx christmasoompa!

Agree with Pulaski that there are a broad no of sectors covered under this. Assuming your company is covered under this what you have to do is make a case i) why your position is critical to the business and ii) why do they need to hire you specifically - in other words why someone else already in the US cannot be hired. For e.g. have you you spent multiple years with the company abroad and have developed specific knowledge and expertise within the company

Congratulations on the visa - did you then have to wait for permission to travel, as well? Got my L1A interview next week.

Sir Humphrey Oct 3rd 2020 3:12 am

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 

Originally Posted by chas325 (Post 12917471)
Congratulations on the visa - did you then have to wait for permission to travel, as well? Got my L1A interview next week.

Thx chas325! Have not been told we need to seek permission to travel. It maybe because where we are currently based there are no restrictions to travel to the US

chas325 Oct 3rd 2020 8:10 am

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 

Originally Posted by Sir Humphrey (Post 12917793)
Thx chas325! Have not been told we need to seek permission to travel. It maybe because where we are currently based there are no restrictions to travel to the US

ah ok - I thought if you’d been in the UK in the 14 days prior you can’t travel to the US?
I guess we’ll see what they say on Tuesday!

Sir Humphrey Oct 3rd 2020 10:55 am

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 

Originally Posted by chas325 (Post 12917871)
ah ok - I thought if you’d been in the UK in the 14 days prior you can’t travel to the US?
I guess we’ll see what they say on Tuesday!

I believe if you are in UK you cannot travel to the US directly. Your employer/relocation company should be able to advise you on potential options. For e.g. we have been told that we can't even transit through UK or Schengen area

Best of luck with the interview!

chas325 Oct 3rd 2020 11:00 am

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 
Thanks, will update on here when I have more info. Our lawyers advised we need to state department to travel once we have the visas. So lets see!

riyagha Oct 7th 2020 12:04 pm


Originally Posted by chas325 (Post 12917911)
Thanks, will update on here when I have more info. Our lawyers advised we need to state department to travel once we have the visas. So lets see!

chas325 How did your interview go? We have L1A blanket application interview scheduled for next week. Would appreciate any pointers?


Originally Posted by Sir Humphrey (Post 12915711)
Hi everyone

A few weeks ago, I was offered an opportunity to relocate to our company’s HQ in US. My company is a large American multi-national and has L1 blanket approval. However, the Presidential Proclamation 10052 created huge uncertainty about the feasibility of the move for us. As we were discussing the move the US gov’t issued some exceptions to P.P 10052 primarily concerning travel that would be in the national interest – there are some specific criteria laid out for each visa category

We applied for the L1A and L2 (for family) under this national interest exception and are happy to report that our visas were approved recently!

I know that there is a lack of information on the whole L1/H1 type visa processes in the current environment and thought it could be useful others to share this. See some additional details on the process:

Part of the criteria is that you need be a senior level exec or manager filling a critical business need for an employer in a critical infrastructure sector. The US Gov’t has issued a list of critical infrastructure sectors

Additionally, when you fill out your DS-160 application you cannot just go ahead and book your appointment. The Embassy reaches out to you and asks for additional information that you need to submit to make a case for why you believe the national interest exception applies to you. Once they have reviewed the additional information, they will then determine whether to grant you an appointment or not. We found the US Embassy to be very responsive and they came back the same day confirming we could book our appointment after we had shared the additional information

Overall the process was quick and my company and the lawyers were on the ball which was very helpful

Now the hard work for the move starts!

Sir Humphrey Thanks for sharing your experience. We have interview next week and was very pleased to know that we are not only ones.

Could you share specific interview questions at the Counselor and any must have questions/documentation to prepare in advance before the interview?

chas325 Oct 7th 2020 12:08 pm

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 

Originally Posted by riyagha (Post 12919608)
chas325 How did you interview go? We have L1A blanket application interview scheduled for next week. Would appreciate any pointers?

Hi,
Was OK - Embassy very quiet. First we went to a window where they checked the passports vs DS160 etc. Scanned the photos we'd taken. They also asked if it was a blanket L1A or an individual (we were individual). Fingerprints taken.

Then we waited again and about 45 mins later got called to another desk for the "interview". I was asked how many reportees i'd have, and how many people in total. Also, which city the office, and what's my job title. They asked how long i'd been with the Group and where the group head office is (it's not an American company).

The officer then told us everything looked fine, and he couldn't see a reason why it wouldn't be approved, but due to the Pandemic they can't tell us there and then as there are extra administrative processes to follow. He wasn't going elaborate so after asking once for further info i didn't ask again. We wondered if it was do with the travel ban...

Anyway, he said we were done and kept our passports and said they'd be in touch but couldn't offer anything other than "as soon as they can".

Hope that helps.

riyagha Oct 7th 2020 12:24 pm

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 
chas325 : Thank you. Really appreciate it. Hope you hear back soon. Please keep us posted.

chas325 Oct 7th 2020 12:25 pm

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 

Originally Posted by riyagha (Post 12919613)
chas325 : Thank you. Really appreciate it. Hope you hear back soon. Please keep us posted.

Will do - yep we hope so too!
Regarding documentation - take everything they listed you need on the booking - we had marriage certificates, birth certificates etc but didn't need any of it. That's not to say you may not need them when it comes to it!

riyagha Oct 7th 2020 12:33 pm

Re: L1A visa approved in the current environment
 
@chas325 : Thank you this is great feedback. One more question, if I may ask. What case did you make to get this interview? I am assuming its a national interest exception.


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