L-1A Extension Approved Despite Three Previous Denials from Other Law Offices
Applicant: Ms. Wang
Case: L-1A Extension
Dates: Petition Package filed in September 2018
Approval received in December 2018 after response to RFE
· Ms. Wang faced tremendous issues after her initial L-1A approval that caused slow employee and financial growth.
· Ms. Wang filed 3 L-1A extension petitions and all of them were denied. She was devastated as no law firm believes that she will have another chance.
· Ms. Wang only had 3 employees under her due to the business challenges. Her circumstances make it extremely difficult to prove her executive/managerial duties.
· Work progress at Ms. Wang’s company were not properly recorded. A lot of her work reports and products were lost.
· Ms. Wang relied heavily on the overseas parent company to sustain the U.S. business, which minimizes the functions of the U.S. company.
· Ms. Wang is emotionally beaten and would sometimes refuse to cooperate due to her loss of hope.
· Ms. Wang contacted several law firms and none of them would consider taking on her case.
Rejection hurts. People respond to rejection in many different ways, but there’s no denying the pain it causes. Whether it’s in love, business, education, or elsewhere, rejection can be hard to overcome. When the government of a country rejects your application, it can feel like the entire weight of that country is stopping you from moving forward. And when you call multiple law offices and they won’t take your case, it is easy to see how someone could become morose about their prospects to resolve their case positively. This is the story of a woman facing the weight of those rejections and the story of second chances.
Ms. Wang came to us in June 2018 for a consultation. When we met her, it was obvious that she was despondent. She seemed hopeless, her voice was down. Her company was doing well in China, their business was in an upswing. She had come to America through an L-1A Intracompany Executive or Manager visa previously to build a new branch of their business here. She had high hopes for her time in America and had even brought her daughters with her and put them in school. However, her business in America faltered. Her industry here was much different than it was in China, and it turned out she was unready to do as well as she expected when she first moved here. L-1A visas typically provides one to two years of time to prove your business model works here while supporting your role as an executive or manager, and then you get an extension. When she applied for her extension, it was rejected three times at three different law offices. Her company here only had a staff of seven, a small amount for someone claiming to be an executive. Because it was a small company, staff often quickly switched jobs, muddying the waters of what everyone did and who reported to whom. On top of the slow growth, small size of the company, and the changing roles of the staff, they often didn’t keep official records for things like meeting minutes or recorded operations like work reports. They certainly had a reporting system, but it was informal.
Keys to Success
It was the combination of the informality of their operations procedures and the slow growth that scared away other firms and what caused Ms. Wang’s extension applications to fail. She had been working with different law offices for that attempt and it did not succeed, and when she called around to other law offices and they saw the challenges of her case, they would not bring on her case, thinking it hopeless. Thus, it was no surprise that when she came to us she sounded defeated. We looked at everything she gave us. It was clear she was no fraud. There were meetings taking place, work was happening, it just wasn’t in the format that USCIS officers are used to seeing. We decided to take on her case despite the mountain we would need to climb. The challenges in her case are ones that most law office would not want to face, including training the client for business records, holding frequent customized consultations, identifying useful documents from piles of seemingly useless files, creating diagrams to visualize the organization’s management systems, and many more.
Where other offices will only write arguments based on what they are given, we went the extra mile to help them organize their documentation and visually present the procedures and results through graphs and analysis. We always have a custom solution to the needs of our clients, we don’t use templates. Other law firms, when Ms. Wang’s case didn’t fit their templates, refused to try. What we did to help her was examine the entire company, including the enterprise in China. We drew work flow charts to truthfully reveal that not only was she managing the entire U.S. expansion operations, but she also managed was being done in China. We showed how the entire company was coordinating to help accelerate their growth in the U.S. We looked at the informal meeting records and work reports and recommended ways of presenting them in more organized ways. All the while, we were expecting a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS. We expected an RFE in this case because of the initial lack of documentation involved in her business, but we also knew that it could provide us an advantage.
An RFE will show the immigration officer’s attention, what they specifically are looking for in the case of Ms. Wang. Once we knew that information, we could focus down on obtaining every shred of evidence for those tastes.
“When the RFE came, the client was hopeless. She had applied for a tourist visa simply to come back to talk to her daughters, to let them know that their mother might not be able to stay. But then, due to the work we did to truly reflect the value of the company’s supporting documents, she was approved. They actually came to our office as a family recently. It was beautiful to see her with her children, a family reunited. It’s a great chance for them to showcase themselves and Ms. Wang now has a second chance at creating a successful business.” – Attorney Joseph
When the RFE came in mid-December and asked for proof about her executive status, we were able to focus on that task and provided more than fifteen pages of analysis and seven graphics showing her work and place within the company structure. When the RFE asked for official records, we were able to provide records of meetings in the structure that we recommended Ms. Wang to provide. We knew that with the officer expressing exactly what they were looking for, we could provide that information professionally and completely. Through several consultations with Attorney Joseph and cooperation with our paralegal teams, Ms. Wang is able to transform her business from chaotic management systems to a rising start in the industry. With better work reporting systems, her professional staffs began to grow in capability and leadership skills. Tsang & Associates not only cares for our clients’ immigration status, we sincerely want our clients to thrive and become their visions.
Ms. Wang was approved for her L-1A two-year extension one week after the response to RFE, less than half a year since law offices after law offices rejected her case. During the time her case was going on, the business she was running saw better growth. She now has a second chance to prove that her business will be profitable here in the United States and she can remain with her children going forward.