L-1A

 “CEO of Two” - SUCCESSFUL L-1A Extension

·         Nationality: Chinese

·         Adjudicated by: US Consulate

·         Industry: Rubber (Material Goods)

·         Company: Startup

·         Position: CEO

·         Case: L-1A Extension

·         Challenge:

o   Only 2 Employees in U.S. Office

o   Parent Company in China was state owned

o   Client just recently had his case denied

o   Client was no longer in the US and we had to work across time zones

o    

Mr. Wong* is a hardworking businessman who came to the US to establish an American subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned rubber and material goods company. He was operating in the US for nine months before he had to apply for a visa extension which, if granted, would allow him to stay for another two more years. In order to qualify for an L-1A extension, though, he would have to prove that he meets the requirement for an L-1A visa, meaning he would have to prove that he is either an executive or a higher-level manager (showing that he was not just involved in the mundane day-to-day operations of the business).

Through no fault of his own, the odds were heavily stacked against Mr. Wong’s chances of renewal. Between the stress of several employees quitting without warning and the hardships of adapting to an international market, his first year of operations in the US was not as fruitful or smooth as he had hoped. There was not much promising revenue data he could present as evidence that the company was thriving; it was difficult to make a definitive argument that his business in the US would eventually take off.

Furthermore: when Mr. Wong applied for his L-1A extension, he was operating out of a very small office with a staff of only two people (an office assistant and an account manager). Considering that the overall size of an applicant’s business is often one of the most crucial factors immigration officers account for in their L-1A decisions, it was going to be extremely difficult for Mr. Wong to demonstrate his value in an executive or managerial capacity with such a small workforce. In fact, many of Mr. Wong’s business colleagues and peers (most of who managed more successful, larger-scale operations than he did) warned him that even they had major difficulties getting their L-1A applications accepted.

Most importantly, however, was that his L-1A petition was recently denied. Frustrated and with his entire career and job on the line, he heard that Tsang & Associates had a reputation for solving complex cases and reached out to us as his last resort.

What made matters even more difficult was that the client already left the U.S. and our team had to work and interview his team across time zones and review all documents electronically.

Every minute our client spent away from his duties in the US was another minute of missed business opportunities for him, and so our team managed to assemble a comprehensive and compelling case for him in less than a month. Whereas most L-1A applications at our firm do not exceed five hundred pages, Mr. Wong’s unique circumstances warranted over eight hundred pages—not including the response to the request for evidence.

The team at Tsang & Associates did a thorough audit of his company operations and was able to prepare a convincing application showing the managerial and executive responsibilities of the applicant despite the weak data.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

Mr. Wong’s position leading a three-person office certainly did demand him to fill more than one role, which generated some confusion as to whether he actually was an executive or a manager eligible for this type of visa extension. We were able establish that the executive and managerial duties Mr. Wong was performing were not mutually exclusive by referencing previously affirmed case law and successful appeals of the same sort. In fact, we insisted that his combined responsibilities as both an executive and a manager of the company made him more than qualified for an L-1A extension.

The multi-faceted nature of Mr. Wong’s managerial functions also meant that he would occasionally get involved in the day-to-day operations of the business (doing work that is normally handled by lower level managers). To prove that he was not directly involved in most of the hands-on work, we laid out an intricate breakdown of the rather unconventional business model Mr. Wong’s operations were adhering to. Through an elaborate series of flowcharts, presentations, and thorough analyses, we explained that Mr. Wong had contracted three big companies to handle distribution of his products across three different regions of the US. Then, having drawn up a picture of the overall operation, we proceeded to provide insight upon all of the finer details: we explained every step of the production process, from how the rubber products are manufactured to how Mr. Wong is training his contractors to sell them. We conducted interviews with every employee, manager and contractor all the way up the chain of command, gathering information to be able to convey the structure of this company as clearly and efficiently as possible. We also received letters of recommendation from his Chinese affiliates and co-executives, irrefutably affirming him as the indispensable executive of their US subdivision.

While we had successfully clarified Mr. Wong’s position as the executive and head manager of his company, his shaky first year of operations still left room to doubt the viability of his business venture. Fortunately, the interpretations of immigration laws are meant to be flexible—as to accommodate every person’s unique legal situation—and so we were confident that by providing a glimpse into the company’s future, we could make the presiding officer reconsider our client’s L-1A eligibility. We collaborated with Mr. Wong to articulate his business plan for the next few years, to calculate his projected profits, and to define his expansion strategies now that his workforce had finally stabilized. All of this information compiled together painted a promising picture of the company’s trajectory—pending the approval of Mr. Wong’s visa renewal.

In the end, our relentless efforts were indeed enough to convince the immigrations officer to finally approve Mr. Wong’s L-1A extension. Against all odds, his previous denials were reversed—an almost unprecedented outcome for someone in his position. Mr. Wong was elated to be able to return to his US operations completely free of any legal burdens.

OUTCOME

Our client’s L-1A application was accepted and approved within two weeks of the request for evidence.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.

SUCCESSFUL L-1A REFILE CASE

·         Nationality: China

·         Adjudicated By: USCIS

·         Industry: High-tech start up and investments, venture capital

·         Company: Startup, established in 2016

·         Position: Managing Partner

·         Case: L-1A Refiling, after first filing was denied (No RFE Issued).

·         Challenge:

    • First L-1A filing had been denied only a few weeks prior

    • Company was involved in venture capital, a complicated business for a layperson.

    • Company had a complex ownership structure with a Chinese company owning a Delaware company, which owned a second Delaware company, which in turned owned the petitioning organization in San Francisco.

    • Company income was low, generally a typical of venture capital firms.

    • The Beneficiary had only worked at the Chinese parent company for barely more than one year.

Mr. Wu was feeling tremendous pressure. As a young professional with a bright future, he’d found himself stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare. He’d accepted an important promotion to a United States-based venture capital firm with accounts in the $500,000 to $2 million range awaiting his oversight. Yet, his L1-A visa status as an intra-company transferee was stalled and so, therefore were his projects. His new employer was unhappy about the delay, and Mr. Wu believed his career trajectory was in jeopardy. The process had already taken a year. Would it take another year to be resolved? The stress for Mr. Wu was building, and he was feeling discouraged. Fortunately, he was in the capable hands of Tsang & Associates.

An L-1A visa allows company executives and managers to transfer to the U.S. on a visa for up to 7 years. Each organization is unique, and thus it’s vital for the petitioning U.S. business entity to hire the right company to present specifically tailored evidence to support its particular L-1A petition. Mr. Wu’s case posed unique and specific challenges. The company had a complex ownership structure, their income was low (typical for venture capital firms) and complicating matters, Mr. Wu had only worked at the Chinese parent company for barely more than one year.

After preparing Mr. Wu’s case, Tsang & Associates felt confident the petition would be successful and filed his L-1A in February 2018. Two weeks later, the case received, what the firm believed to be, an unreasonable Request for Evidence (RFE). The RFE challenged Mr. Wu’s one continuous year of employment abroad, his professional duties at both the China office and proposed responsibilities in the U.S. This response occurred despite Tsang & Associates having submitted 54 exhibits giving detailed explanations for Mr. Wu’s role in China, proposed role in the United States, the relationship between the two companies, and a business plan with high potential.

Law firms cannot choose the officer who reviews any case submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and therefore approval can fall victim to randomness and happenstance. However, hiring the right law firm dedicated to rapid response, sound logic, and a clear presentation can ultimately win a case, even if the first attempt is denied.

Tsang & Associates believed Mr. Wu’s case would ultimately be successful and immediately crafted a second petition at no additional cost. The firm aggressively responded to the RFE with an additional 25 new documents, including providing new company letters, new organizational charts, payroll and financial records, and investment contracts proving Mr. Wu’s duties and responsibilities in his capacity as Managing Partner of the Chinese parent company.

Tsang & Associates filed the second application in May 2018 and received an immediate approval in June 2018 with no request for evidence the second time. Mr. Wu expressed his extreme pleasure that he’d hired the right law firm. With our experience and detailed strategy, Tsang & Associates saved the day.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

Tsang & Associates felt very confident that Mr. Wu’s case had merely been unfortunate when it came under the purview of an extraordinarily inflexible and intransigent immigration officer. Our firm believed the atypical nature of venture capital may have been too complicated for the original officer to understand.

Therefore, to ensure that the new officer would know the complex nature of Mr. Wu’s business and job duties, Tsang & Associates wrote new drafts of the attorney brief and company letters. The documents were clear and detailed about what venture capital is and how it works, as well as the necessity of having an experienced manager and executive, like Mr. Wu, at the helm of the U.S. company.

Our extensive initial filing and RFE provided us with a wealth of documentation to prove the case, in terms of Mr. Wu’s proposed managerial and executive duties in the United States, managerial and executive responsibilities in China, one year of employment in the qualifying company abroad, and ownership relationship between the China office and the US office.

Finally, our firm included as the final exhibit the denial letter to emphasize all of the aspects of the case that the previous reviewing officer never touched upon, such as the company’s organizational structure. It was also crucial for demonstrating to the new reviewing officer that the prior denial was issued despite an extensive evidentiary record.

While the previous RFE did not challenge the company’s ownership structure, we nevertheless submitted more than a dozen documents describing and demonstrating its complex organization. In this case, the parent company owned a Delaware company that owned another Delaware company, which in turn held the petitioning organization. Furthermore, our response the RFE included an explanation of the consequences of denial, detailing that the company could only perform its business plan if it had an experienced manager and executive from China coordinating between the two companies.

 

Overall, our second submission would include a total of 85 exhibits. Typically, a successful L-1A petition would not likely include more than 50 exhibits and sometimes fewer than that. In this case, Tsang & Associates didn’t want to take any chances. Our submission was a conglomeration of all the previous exhibits submitted in the original filing and RFE response. The firm did not include anything new or additional, as we were very confident in our chances of success.

In the end, it took less than three weeks after the second filing for the entire case to be approved.

OUTCOME

Mr. Wu was extremely satisfied and honored our firm with a gift box and red envelope. He told us that he had always had total confidence in the expertise of Tsang & Associates. He is now happily working as the Managing Partner at the company’s prestigious office in San Francisco. Mr. Wu’s career trajectory is back on path thanks to the dedicated attorneys and staff at Tsang & Associates.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Tagged: RFEL-1AVisa

A SUCCESSFUL L-1A CASE

·         Nationality: Chinese

·         Adjudicated By: USCIS

·         Industry: Aluminum wheels and textiles imports

·         Company: Startup, established in 2016

·         Position: President

·         Case: L-1A Extension

·         Challenges:

    • Company had negative profit

    • Company had fewer than 8 employees

    • Many of the employees were only recently hired

    • Some of the employees did not have bachelor degree

    • Business plan had drastically changed compared to the original filing

    • The applicant’s salary was limited to under $80,000

A textbook example of how we converted a dilemma to a solution is the case of Mr. Ni.* He was the president of a Chinese firm with one division that manufactured aluminum wheels; and another that manufactured textile baby products. He was the “heart and soul” of his company, which had established a subsidiary in the U.S. He transferred to that hub of the firm in 2016; Tsang and Associates filed an I-129 L-1A (nonimmigrant work visa) extension for him in 2018.

However, after a year of starting up his business the company did not grow as expected. Because of the low number of employees and profits, the company faced the very real possibility of having the L-1A visa denied and the owner and operator would be forced to leave the U.S. and shut down the business.

Luckily, the client was our own and we had an early start in preparing for this difficult application.

overcoming the obstacles

There were two challenges confronting us (1) Mr. Ni’s company lost approximately $300,000 in 2017 and many of the staffs were only recently hired, (2) because of the delayed start in actual operation there were very few documents to show the size and scale of an international operation that require an executive or manager.

Our team, however, was accustomed to such legal hurdles, and formulated a strategy that we were confident would prevail for our client.

First, we had the advantage that Mr. Ni’s company had experienced recent profits, and we could show the immigration officer the large demand for its main product, aluminum wheels. We were able to demonstrate with a powerful and extensive new business plan showing that the company was on the path of a major breakthrough and that an additional two years L-1A visa would give birth to another great company for the U.S. These were in high demand by U.S. consumers, and we could forecast future revenue based upon this demand.

The next challenge we addressed was the shortage of documentation indicating the integral role Mr. Ni played as a manager and executive for the company. Our solution:  We defined his position within the company through inter-company memos, email, flowcharts and PowerPoint presentations. In addition, our team evaluated the relationship of each employee to the firm in order to illustrate a practical, working view of the way our client managed personnel.

We broke down the duties and responsibilities of each employee and crafted detailed statements for each employee regarding their work schedule and goals. This was critical as every employee in a startup had multiple responsibilities and they often overlap and change—sometimes multiple times within a day.

We compared the company to many of the great startup companies in our nation and showed the similarities between their startup phases.

One key reason for the success of a very difficult extension was clearly demonstrating of the benefit the U.S. will receive once the company succeeds and the great opportunity lost if the case was denied.

OUTCOME

As a result of our team’s efforts in researching the “nuts and bolts” that made up our client’s company, as well as communicating with everyone within it, Tsang and Associates was able to establish the worth Mr. Ni had to his corporation – and to his new country. His L-1A application was accepted and approved within one week of filing.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Tagged: RFEL-1AVisa

 

Successful L-1A

·         Client: Mr. Chao

·         Applying for: L-1A

·         Industry: Import and Export

·         Business: Rubber and Tire Manufacturing

·         Nationality: China

·         Position: General Manager

·         Year Incorporated: 2013

·         Gross Sales: $11 Million

·         Number of Employees: 5

·         Challenges:

o   Two prior Denials from other firms

o   Only 5 employees

o   Import and Export Company (Always hard to prove Executive Duties)

o   Client does not speak English (Always hard during the interview)

 

 

Challenge

 

As the CEO of a startup company with just five employees, Mr. Chao came to us in the midst of an uphill battle in his quest for an L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager visa. His initial application for an L-1A extension had been denied in August 2014 and he was facing the very real possibility of losing his job as well as the entire company. But when he approached us shortly after his denial, in the hopes of applying again, we were confident that even up against difficult odds, we could provide him a path forward based on our experience and expertise.

 

As the head of a company with so few employees, Mr. Chao’s responsibilities often crisscrossed the line between executive managerial duties and day-to-day functions of product production. As the L-1A demands that an employee solely perform the functions of an executive or manager—proof of which was not met by Mr. Chao’s previous attorney in the initial filing—we knew that fully immersing ourselves in the history and operations of the company, as well as becoming experts in his field, would be the best way to make a persuasive case for Mr. Chao.

 

Keys to Success

 

We needed to prove that Mr. Chao’s responsibilities to his company were solely executive and managerial. For us, this began with a deep dive into the company’s background. Rather than rely on the industry-standard checklist that failed Mr. Chao earlier in the process because it fails to consider differences in various businesses and business structures, we wanted to tell the full story of his role in the organization. That meant painting a picture of how the parent company in China operates, the business practices of similar companies across the country, and the future business plan for this particular company. 

 

We presented a clear breakdown of how he managed his time, from simply providing time estimates, such as 35 percent managerial duties, 15 percent establishing departments, 10 percent operational duties, to firmly establishing and delineating Mr. Chao’s management role from his day-to-day employees. We dove into industry reports—how this company works in tandem with the Chinese parent company, and how it relates to the industry as a whole. We provided flow charts of the company’s structure, contracts between Mr. Chao and his employees, proof of managers reporting to him, and a full breakdown of his place as executive of the company. And in doing so, we illustrated exactly why the company’s future plans necessitated that Mr. Chao stay in his executive role. All of this together provided the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services officer a clear understanding of why Mr. Chao’s situation demanded approval of an L-1A.

 

To further strengthen the application, we also solicited a letter of recommendation from an industry expert, who was able to independently confirm Mr. Chao’s role as an international executive.

 

Through these collective efforts to build a complete narrative, we were able to downplay the fact that this company had just five employees—a major reason for the initial application being denied. We told the story of Mr. Chao, a strong and capable executive of a small but successful company, providing stabilizing management and a clear vision of guidance into the future.

 

Outcome

 

By going well beyond numbers and figures, we were able to illustrate beyond a doubt that Mr. Chao’s responsibilities were indeed entirely managerial and executive in nature. After filing for the L-1A extension in October 2014, we gained approval within just two months.

 

Now, not only is Mr. Chao successfully leading his company here in the United States, we have been able to help them successfully apply for and receive L-1A visas for two additional executives. With the company thriving, we are proud to have played our part in Mr. Chao’s story.

       SUCCESSFUL L-1A EXTENSION CASE    Client: Ms. Kang  Applying for: 3 year L-1A Extension  L-1A status since: 2000  Business: Architectural Hardware Importing and Exporting  Nationality: Taiwanese (Republic of China)  Position: Director of Operations  Year Incorporated: 1999  Revenue: $285,000  Number of Employees: 2  Challenges:  Supervised employees were not managerial  Lacked organizational structure     Ms. Kang* came to Immigration Express seeking help in applying for an L-1A extension as a nonimmigrant transferee in order to continue her executive position in the United States. She had been granted L-1A status in the previous year to assist in the startup of the company in the United States and now wished to continue functioning in a similar capacity in furthering its growth even more. Otherwise, the company may simply not experience as much growth as it potentially could. As such, Ms. Kang came to us asking for assistance. We helped her file the petition on October 24, 2001 and received approval on November 13, 2001.   Keys to Success    How we proved the control relationship between U.S. Company and Taiwan Company   We first had to prove that according to USCIS requirements, that the U.S. Company “is the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate of the firm or corporation or other legal entity by which the alien was employed overseas.” We demonstrated that the company opened in the United States continued to maintain common ownership with its Chinese affiliate in Taiwan. We showed through the stock certificate and stock ledger entry for the company that all shares of common stock for the company have been transferred to the Taiwan company. We emphasized that there had been no business changes since the original L-1A approval the previous year. We were able to further prove the subsidiary nature of the company by demonstrating that the Taiwan company had offices in Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, and Manila, doing business in all offices, as evidenced by recent invoices of business and the most recent accounting report. In order to further the U.S. company’s first year of operations and their viability for the future, we included documents such as its bank statements from the previous year, its tax returns for the most recent years, its trade show information, along with a sample of its catalog and advertising mediums.   How we proved that Mr. Pang’s proposed duties in U.S. Company were managerial or executive   As defined by USCIS, managerial capacity consists of tasks including “managing the organization, or a department, subdivision, function or component of the organization” and primarily “supervising and controlling the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or managing an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization.” Executive capacity is defined as “directs management of the organization or a major component of function of the organization”, “establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component or function”, “exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making”, and “receives supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization”. In proving this capacity, we first qualified Ms. Kang by highlighting her credentials in her education as well as her extensive experience in product development, trade regulations, export procedure, promotional strategies, and customer relations. Through a breakdown of her duties in the U.S. Company, we showed that she supervised the Financial Department, Research and Development Department, and the Business Department. We showed that in her extended time, she would be focused on developing domestic and international business connections, promoting the company via different outlets, identifying potential market openings, and developing various strategies for continued success. We emphasized Ms. Kang’s success over the past year in establishing and developing the company in the United States, and we thus proved that she would be functioning in a similar capacity and even more in a managerial and executive capacity in the upcoming years.   Outcome   We filed the petition on October 24, 2001 and received approval in less than 3 weeks on November 13, 2001.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Director of Operations at an Architectural Hardware Importing and Exporting Company applies for and is granted a 3 year L-1A Extension. We proved that her supervised employees were not managerial and we demonstrated her position in the company's organizational structure.

       SUCCESSFUL L-1A EXTENSION CASE    Client: Mr. Pang  Applying for: Second L-1A Extension  L-1A status since: July 20, 2009  Business: Machine Tool Production and Distribution  Nationality: Taiwanese (Republic of China)  Position: Marketing Director  Year Incorporated: 2000  Revenue: $28,900,309  Number of Employees: 24  Challenges:  Mr. Pang performed several duties that were not executive or managerial in nature  Affiliation was difficult due to indirect control by the Taiwan company     Mr. Pang* came to us at Tsang and Associates seeking assistance in filing for an L-1A extension. He had first gained L-1A status in 2009 and had already been approved for one extension previously. This time, we helped Mr. Pang file for his L-1A extension concurrently with an application for EB-1C classification for permanent residency. The criteria for both L-1A and EB-1C are nearly identical. Thus as Mr. Pang was awaiting approval for his EB-1C petition, he needed to extend his L-1A status during this interim period allowing him to continue to work outstandingly for the U.S. Company. We filed the extension on March 18, 2014 and gained approval within 3 months.   Keys to Success    How we proved the control relationship between U.S. Company and Taiwan Company   We first had to prove that according to USCIS requirements, that the U.S. Company “is the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate of the firm or corporation or other legal entity by which the alien was employed overseas.” In order to demonstrate this relationship, we indicated with the U.S. Company’s Articles of Incorporation and tax returns of the previous three years, that the company is indeed a completely foreign owned U.S. corporation. However, there was a challenge due to the fact that the U.S. Company stock was owned by two companies that had different names than the Taiwan company. We demonstrated through the company’s corporate website, stock certificates, and stock ledgers that these two companies completely owned the U.S. Company but also proved that these two companies were both included under the main Taiwan Company of which the U.S. Company was a subsidiary. Thus we established that the U.S. Company was therefore completely owned by the overarching Taiwan Company, fulfilling the control relationship requirement.   How we proved that Mr. Pang’s proposed duties in U.S. Company were managerial or executive   This was the more difficult part of this case, as this requirement was the reason that the previous two submissions were denied. As defined by USCIS, managerial capacity consists of tasks including “managing the organization, or a department, subdivision, function or component of the organization” and primarily “supervising and controlling the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or managing an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization.” Mr. Pang’s duties included several that were supervisory in nature and not qualified as managerial or executive, such as updating customer information, maintaining good customer relations, and making visits to customers. In order to combat this, we focused on Mr. Pang’s role as manager of the marketing department. We obtained expert opinion letters and employment verification letters demonstrating that Mr. Pang had the responsibility of managing and overseeing all of the marketing operations of the company and therefore formulating marketing strategies that would guide the company by directing activities and development; this proved that Mr. Pang effectively managed a major component of the company. In addition, we showed that in his position as Marketing Director, Mr. Pang essentially determined the direction and success of the organization. We also proved that as Mr. Pang was controlling the work of a Marketing Manager as well as a Sales Manager, Mr. Pang would be employed in a supervisory position over other supervisory and professional employees. Furthermore, we highlighted that Mr. Pang had control of personnel, including the right to hire and fire staff, along with supervising their daily activities.  Executive capacity is defined by federal regulations as “directs management of the organization or a major component of function of the organization”, “establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component or function”, “exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making”, and “receives supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization”. We indicated that in Mr. Pang’s role, he would be making all of the strategies of the marketing plan, making the decisions in this department, and establishing as well as communicating the goals and vision of the company to his subordinates. We showed that as a Marketing Director, Mr. Pang had the authority to exercise discretion over marketing operations, activities, and functions of the company. He was instrumental in managing the company’s complex marketing initiatives.   Outcome   We filed for the L-1A extension on March 18, 2014 and gained approval within 3 months, allowing him to continue to work until he gained his EB-1C approval later that year.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Machine Tool Marketing Director applies and is approved for his second L-1A extension. We proved that his duties were indeed managerial or executive in nature, and demonstrated affiliation between the companies despite indirect control.

       SUCCESSFUL L-1A EXTENSION CASE    Client: Mr. Wong  Applying for: L-1A Extension  L-1A status since: February 7, 2014  Nationality: Taiwanese (Republic of China)  Business: Machine Manufacturing  Position: General Manager  Year Incorporated: 2014  Revenue: $4,000,000  Number of Employees: 4  Challenges:  Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) after initial filing  We had no details of two previous submissions from other attorneys     Mr. Wong* came to Tsang and Associates seeking to file for L-1A extension in order to continue to work to build up the company’s new office in the United States. He had already had two other attorneys file for his case; however, we did not have any knowledge of what had already been submitted, forcing us to blindly submit our petition. Mr. Wong had been sent to the United States earlier in the year in order to open up a new chapter in the company’s story. Seven months had passed since the initial start-up and Mr. Wong needed to continue to be there to facilitate its growth and further expansion. Otherwise, the company’s new U.S. branch office would likely be stagnant without someone of Mr. Wong’s caliber to help. After helping Mr. Wong file for extension, we received a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), meaning that we had to overcome USCIS presumptions and intent to deny the extension in order to prove adequately that Mr. Wong was indeed qualified. We received the NOID on September 22, 2014 and responded on October 20, 2014. Approval was received on October 31, 2014.   Keys to Success   When we received the NOID, we noted that its sole focus was challenging whether or not the petitioner had established that the beneficiary is employed in a position that is primarily executive or managerial in nature, as required by USCIS. However we believed strongly that Mr. Wong’s duties were indeed managerial. As such, we had to prove per USCIS regulations, that his duties entailed “managing the organization, or a department, subdivision, function or component of the organization” and primarily “supervising and controlling the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or managing an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization.”  According to the NOID we received, USCIS noted duties such as “coordination of shipping with customs agents for clearance on overseas deliveries”, “training and managing local technical support”, and “directing and coordinating promotion of products and developing new markets” as not being managerial or executive. The NOID stated that “these duties do not appear to be consistent with those typically performed by someone in a managerial or executive position. The duties described are more indicative of an employee who will be performing the necessary tasks to provide a service or to produce a product. An employee who primarily performs the tasks necessary to produce a product or to provide services is not considered to be employed in a managerial or executive capacity”.  Contrarily, we strongly disagreed and made clear that the reviewing officer’s assumptions were incorrect, but not without challenges. This was difficult to prove because there were only 4 employees present in the company, thereby forcing Mr. Wong to perform duties that were not managerial or executive in nature. We had to show that even in performing these ordinary duties, his primary duties were indeed qualified. In addition, we had to present evidence in a way that did not contradict any other previous submission. We had to do this blindly, without information about what was previously submitted. In order to do so, we demonstrated using a letter from the company as well as the company’s business plan, that Mr. Wong’s duties mentioned and much more, were inherently managerial in nature. In addition, we emphasized that the non-qualifying duties Mr. Wong performed were merely a small portion of his overall duties. We explained that Mr. Wong was fully engaged in the broader goals of directing and developing company growth and expansion, lobbying for new business contracts, and dealing with customer and public relations, all clearly managerial functions. Moreover, we proved that Mr. Wong indeed had supervisory duties over professionals, pointing to managerial work reports and the company’s business plan.  Furthermore, we highlighted the need for a manager of Mr. Wong’s caliber and experience, given that the company had nearly $1 billion in annual income. We proved that with the confidence of the officers, directors, and shareholders of the company, Mr. Wong was sent to assure that the U.S. company undergoes a successful commencement of operations and gets established on a sound financial footing with an adequate client base. Mr. Wong served as a liaison with the parent company and was responsible for implementing the goals and objectives of the parent company. In addition, we demonstrated that given the 7 months that Mr. Wong had been in the U.S. on L-1A status, he had not had enough time to show his strength in solidifying the U.S. platform. We showed that the company had achieved and even exceeded all of its milestones and experienced major gains, and is only pushing more and more forward in growth. We thus proved that it was imperative for Mr. Wong to oversee its operations as General Manager on continued L-1A status.   Outcome   We submitted the response to the NOID on October 20, 2014 and received approval on October 31, 2014.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Machine Manufacturing Company's General Manager applies for and is approved for an L-1A extension. After receiving a NOID, we demonstrated his role as a manager was indeed managerial or executive in capacity, overcoming the reasons for the NOID.