RFE

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-1B RFE CASE    Petitioner: Tire Company  Industry: Tire Manufacturing  Beneficiary: Mr. Wong  Position: Accountant  Nationality: China  Age: 25  Applying for: L-1B Intracompany Transfer (Specialized Skill Workers)  Challenge: Difficult Request for Evidence regarding Mr. Wong’s qualifications and possession of specialized knowledge   Tire Company desperately sought to bring Mr. Wong* to their American branch office through an intracompany transfer, specifically for a worker with specialized knowledge. Mr. Wong was seen as crucial and vital to any future growth that would be experienced by Tire Company in the United States. Recognizing the difficulty and growing denial rate of L-1B petitions, Tire Company came to Tsang & Associates for assistance in devising a persuasive application on behalf of Mr. Wong. We filed the L-1B application on March 10, 2015 and received a Request for Evidence (RFE) from the USCIS on March 24, 2015 requesting more sufficient evidence regarding Mr. Wong’s specialized knowledge positions both in the United States company and in the China company, as well as his qualifications for the intended services, claiming that the evidence we presented was not enough. We responded to this RFE quickly and ultimately received the approval of the L-1B visa on June 3, 2015.   Keys to Success   The first point of contention was Mr. Wong’s employment in a position that involved specialized knowledge in the United States. This request was to fulfill the requirement set by law that the beneficiary must be seeking to enter the U.S. to serve in a capacity that requires specialized knowledge. In supplementing our original documents for evidence, we asked both the U.S. company as well as the China company to write letters detailing Mr. Wong’s extensive uniqueness and value to a company by playing the role of accountant, stressing that he would implement the same processes and methods that he learned in China into the United States office. We made known the importance of the responsibilities Mr. Wong would undertake in the American branch, detailing each individual task he would perform; we showed that they were critical for the successful growth of the company, a role that could not be matched by one who hadn’t been involved with the company already. We demonstrated that Mr. Wong’s duties heavily involved trade secrets and proprietary financial information that one outside of Tire Company would not know, thus making Mr. Wong’s proposed role to be necessarily filled by someone with specialized knowledge.  Secondly, the USCIS deemed that we did not provide sufficient evidence regarding the qualifications of Mr. Wong to perform the aforementioned duties. In tackling this response, we reiterated the qualifications of Mr. Wong even before being hired by Tire Company, highlighting his various accolades and certificates that formed an impressive list, as well as his extensive education. However, to supplement this, we provided the details of Mr. Wong’s specialized training. We pointed to Mr. Wong’s training regimen over the course of his two years at the company. We even asked a well-respected professor to provide his opinion on the value of Mr. Wong to Tire Company, indicating that he plays an indispensable role to the company through his knowledge of specific accounting and software systems along with having an advanced knowledge of Tire Company’s processes and procedures. We provided Tire Company’s software guide, demonstrating its uniqueness and its difficult learning curve. We noted that software used in China and in America are quite different, and that Mr. Wong is uniquely able to understand and use both; we stressed that even small errors may lead to significant consequences for Tire Company.  Lastly, the USCIS requested evidence showing that Mr. Wong’s position abroad required specialized knowledge. First, we brought attention to the employment verification letter and letter of appointment from Tire Company which gave a complete description and breakdown of what his duties were in China. We then proved that his special and advanced knowledge was used in China by pointing to the letters from both the U.S. company and China company which detailed his position within the company. We also emphasized that Mr. Wong has actually been using his knowledge in his daily performance in exceeding expectations within the internal auditing process and financial dealings. We noted that the information Mr. Wong uses could only be taught over the course of two years and that the training Mr. Wong had received was intended for his impending transfer to the U.S. company. We ultimately proved that Mr. Wong’s knowledge of Tire Company’s international market was unmatched and his experience in the international tire industry was unparalleled, vital, and crucial to the success of Tire Company in America.   Outcome   All in all, we submitted a 161 page response to the RFE. The USCIS deemed our response to their RFE to be satisfactory and approved the case on June 3, 2015 after our response to the RFE.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

After receiving a Request for Evidence regarding an L-1B Intracompany Transfer for Specialized Skill Workers, we proved that our client's accounting skills were indeed sufficient qualification for his proposed duties in the United States. We showed the uniqueness of his knowledge and his extensive experience with  vital company specific software.