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LIA start up without direct employees for first year

LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Old Nov 8th 2019, 11:48 am
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Default LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Hi all,

I assume that some members on the forum may have been involved with an L1 to open a new office? If so, did anyone not have any direct employees for the first year - other than the L1 visa holder of course?

Many thanks

Mic
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Old Nov 11th 2019, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Yes, well, sort of. L1A here. We employed a manager before submitting the visa application, quite legitimately because we didn't know how quickly the business volumes might pick up. It turned out the early months were difficult and so we got rid of him after a couple of months t cut cash burn. Then after 12 months applied for an E2 visa having been able to demonstrate investment (what the company had spent in the 12 months, etc, and got a 5 year E2. Lawyers advised there was no chance of an L1 extension given the company performance and lack of staff - it is basically essential for renewal. So if you get your L1 then you have some time to sort things out, but come renewal you will need to have demonstrated growth with employees, or seek an alternative visa.
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Old Nov 11th 2019, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Originally Posted by vindico View Post
Yes, well, sort of. L1A here. We employed a manager before submitting the visa application, quite legitimately because we didn't know how quickly the business volumes might pick up. It turned out the early months were difficult and so we got rid of him after a couple of months t cut cash burn. Then after 12 months applied for an E2 visa having been able to demonstrate investment (what the company had spent in the 12 months, etc, and got a 5 year E2. Lawyers advised there was no chance of an L1 extension given the company performance and lack of staff - it is basically essential for renewal. So if you get your L1 then you have some time to sort things out, but come renewal you will need to have demonstrated growth with employees, or seek an alternative visa.
Thanks Vindico,
I thought that would be the case, we're looking at needing someone probably half way through year one, probably not from the get-go.
How are things progressing with your adventure?
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Old Nov 11th 2019, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Things are going ok, thanks. The first 12 months was very tough, for a number of reasons both business and personal. But things are turning a corner and we are taking on an additional member off staff. The problem with L1 is the 12 months is not long enough to really get established. Current plan is to stay another 12 months and then move back to the UK once the office here can look after itself with remote oversight, which means a couple of staff. A big learning curve in terms of employing people, and business administration (permits, sales tax, insurances, employment law, etc) which is different from the UK, but have good accountants which helps.

What's your business?Where are you moving to? If you need accountants that can handle your UK as well as US business then I can recommend ours as they operate in both countries and as a result have been very helpful.

Visa process, both originally (and then moving myself, wife and young daughter to the US) and then the 'renewal' were extremely stressful, and expensive, and I never want to do it again. For a while I wasn't sure if it was all going to be for nothing if we ha to shut up shop here, but thankfully things turned a corner and hopefully we will now retain this foothold and grow from here. A fun experience, but stressful.
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Old Nov 12th 2019, 2:24 am
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

My guess is a lot also depends on the size of the mothership entity... if it’s that’s a couple of people with little revenue it would be looked at differently to large overseas employers wanting to onshore and create jobs in the US. Not to say it can’t be done.... my experience was coming as a Director of a 2 person office in Europe to work at the parent in the NYC which had revenues in the 9 figure range.

Last edited by tht; Nov 12th 2019 at 2:27 am.
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Old Dec 2nd 2019, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

yes, myself an my husband did L1 new office startup. had few setbacks in year 1, including change of address of the business and office to a different state. Because of this and lack of employees, our lawyer advised us to apply to repeat the first year new office L1 (rather than the 2 yr extension) and so we are currently repeating the 1st year. got 3 full time employees now and 1 part time, and definitely feel more confident applying for extension (and green card) in next few mths.
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Old Dec 2nd 2019, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Hi - thanks for your message - the on-line info I am reading states we need to invest 500k - 1 million and employ 10 us workers in order to qualify for an automatic green card.

How much do you need to show you have invested and employed in order to get the L1 and hopefully the green card?
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Old Dec 2nd 2019, 10:55 pm
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Im not 100% but that sounds like requirements for eb5 green card? We will be going for eb1c. I would definitely suggest speaking to an immigration lawyer who specializes in employment/investment visas specific to what is viable for you.

*it was a long and complicated process with many detailed business plans and proof of the mechanics and revenue of the existing UK business. We had to have USA leases, contracts executed etc for office/warehouse space (with signs and pictures) before we could even start the application for L1 new office. It really is something you cant do alone (or with advice from a forum). We spoke to numerous lawyers and paid for several consultations. Im assuming also that you have a clear criminal record....as that will also come into play.

Last edited by karenkaren1; Dec 2nd 2019 at 11:05 pm.
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Old Dec 3rd 2019, 7:46 am
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Thanks Karen
Are you able to recommend an immigration lawyer at all? Did you come across anyone that is particular good with UK to US Businesses?

Chris
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Old Dec 3rd 2019, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: LIA start up without direct employees for first year

Originally Posted by ukcclarke View Post
Thanks Karen
Are you able to recommend an immigration lawyer at all? Did you come across anyone that is particular good with UK to US Businesses?

Chris
If you are the UBO’s of the business I would recommend you engage a tax lawyer / advisory firm first. You are proposing most likely becoming a dual tax resident out of choice, and if you also own residential property you could be embarking on an expensive exercise... I would think you need to fully understand that before you get in to the mechanics of how you try to make the visa work. They should AOS be able to advise on how you optimize both the corporate structure and your personal tax’s.
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