Visa

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 P1A & P1S Visa: FiGURE SKATER

 

o    Applicant: Amanda & Kristine

o    Nationality: Hong Kong  

o    Visa: P1A and P1S

o    Sport: Figure Skating

o    Challenges:

-Amanda’s mom, Kristine, wasn’t her trainer, coach, or agent, usually required for P1S visa.

            -They were on tight schedules with Amanda’s competitions

            -They had no connections or ties to the U.S.

            -They didn’t have letters from an agency to prove Amanda was renowned

   -Time was very limited. Needed to obtain visa in 3 months or else Amanda would miss her competition

-Amanda was warned that she can no longer come to the U.S. on a tourist visa because of her frequent visits and competitions.

 

Young Hong Kong resident Amanda Yang had a passion for figure skating. Amanda turned this passion into a successful competitive career that was supported and facilitated by her mother, Kristine. Amanda’s mom took care of all the necessities of being a successful competitive skater that don’t involve putting on a pair of skates and stepping on ice. Entering competitions, booking travel, booking accommodations, scheduling practices, Kristine did it all. As a result of their success, Amanda and Kristine found themselves frequently visiting one of the most competitive countries in the world for sports of almost any kind: the United States.

 

However, what initially was a sign of success became a source of trouble when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer warned them that their frequent travel without a visa made them suspicious in the eyes of U.S. immigration officials. This was an alarming development as Amanda had a major skating competition coming up in just a few months. As she always did, Kristine jumped in to figure out how to rectify the situation. Many attorneys she contacted suggested Amanda obtain a F-1 U.S. student visa, under which Kristine could be registered as an F-2 dependent. This didn’t satisfy them, as Amanda had no interest in being a student again. Skating was Amanda’s passion and that is to what she intended to dedicate herself.

 

Just when they were giving up hope, they were referred to Tsang and Associates by a fellow performer whom we assisted in a similar case and they quickly flew to the U.S. to meet with our team. It was unquestionable that the best alternative was to apply for a P-1A and P-1S visa for them as the child was an international athlete and the mother was her agent.

 

Keys to Success:

The requirements necessary to obtain a P-1A visa status from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are as follow:

·         Applicant must be coming to the United States to participate in a specific event, competition, or performance.

 

·         An explanation and itinerary of the event.

 

·         Two documents that show the applicant has high achievements and is renown in their field in more than one country.

·         A copy of a contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport.

·         An I-129 form and supporting documentation filed by a prospective employer establishing intent to work.

·         The U.S. employer must submit a consultation from an appropriate labor organization. The consultation must describe the work or services to be performed in the United States and the applicant’s qualifications for such work. If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused.

 

 

High Level of Achievement, Skill, and World Renown

Our first obstacle to tackle was compiling evidentiary documents that would establish Amanda’s high skill and achievement as a professional skater. After extensive research and communication with various skating organizations, we were able to obtain an endorsement for Amanda from the Professional Skaters Association, the largest figure skating coaches association in the world.

In concert with this accomplishment we needed to establish that Kristine was essential and relevant support to Amanda in order for her to qualify for the P-1S visa status that would allow Kristine to chaperone her trips. This was a more complicated task as the P-1S is primarily reserved for a trainer, coach or agent in some contractual form. We circumvented this issue by submitting documents that established that Kristine was involved in all facets of Amanda’s career from her training schedule to playing the role of agent when it came to entering her in competitions.

 

Consultation from Labor Organization

Finally, although Amanda had no ties to the U.S., we were able to secure her a consultation with a labor organization that helped establish that connection. Having worked diligently many hours, Tsang and Associates filed the case in October 2016 and was able to the gain approval for Amanda and Kristine’s visas by January 2017, right in time for her tournament and a new year of competition.

 

OUTCOME

Having gained visas allowing them three years to come and go freely, mother and daughter were elated to be able to pursue Amanda’s skating dreams without the worry of immigration issues. They came into us discouraged about their prospect for success in rectifying their immigration status, but we believed in our clients and our capacity to navigate the law for them and opened the door to the American dream. They were thrilled.

 

SUCCESSFUL H-1B RFE CASE

·         Year: 2014

·         Nationality: Spain

·         Adjudicated By: USICS

·         Industry: Engineering

·         Company: Multimillion dollar corporation with hundreds of employees

·         Position: Engineer

·         Case: H-1B Petition

·         Challenge:

    • The position being filled was a corporate strategy analyst, which did not involve any management or supervision of any lower-level employees.

    • The position of corporate strategy analyst did not show up in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013-2014 Edition, a handbook that USCIS uses to determine if the proposed position meets the requirements of an H-1B visa.

    • The Beneficiary had a professional background that lacked any clear specialization or specific area of expertise, as he held merely a bachelor’s in business administration

Strong legal advice and an impeccable command of the law can be the difference between H-1B approval and denial.  However, even with the strongest, most experienced, and most dedicated team, challenges can arise because of weaknesses in the case. A longtime client who was a multimillion dollar engineering company in southern California came to our firm with a new beneficiary, a Spanish national who had only a standard business background. Certainly, Mr. Martinez had no engineering background. The engineering firm waned to hire him as a “corporate strategy analyst”.  To make matters more difficult, this category did not appear in the Occupational Outlook Handbook for the relevant year. This handbook is used by USCIS to determine whether someone qualifies for an H-1B position. Furthermore, the beneficiary was not managing any other personnel, despite having a business management background. Still, we were confidant that we could win the case

KEYS TO SUCCESS

First, with respect to his lack of managerial experience, we highlighted the fact that the requirements of H-1B do not specifically require any managerial or executive duties. The requirements are that an H-1B position should demonstrate the necessity of “specialized knowledge”, as demonstrated by the requirement of a higher education degree. In order to demonstrate this fact, we broke down what is job entailed, which specifically involved the following details:

  • Develops and manages annual operational plans

  • Assists the President/CEO in developing corporate strategic plans

  • Supports the Board of Directors conducting financial analysis

  • Assists Mergers & Acquisition team with search and evaluation

  • Participates in the review of corporate agreements, such as NDAs, LTAs, joint ventures, licensing, purchase agreements and acquisitions

  • Participates in special business planning projects

  • Supports Board activities and projects as required

 

 

Additionally, while the job designation did not appear I the Occupational Outlook Handbook, we were able to demonstrate that the position is included in a supplementary database called O*Net, which confirmed the job tasks listed above, as well as the stipulation that a college education is a requirement for this kind of position. Further, while the job title of corporate strategy analyst did not appear in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, USCIS cares more for the description of the job functions and responsibilities more than the job title itself. With this in mind we demonstrated that the position that Mr. Martinez was being assigned to was very similar to that of Management Analyst, which is listed in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. In the handbook Management Analyst is described as requiring at least a bachelor’s degree, and often as much as an MBA, as was the case for Mr. Martinez’ new job. It also described job duties that were almost identical to those of Mr. Martinez. We were therefore able to use this as evidence that his job both required an advanced university degree, as well as to corroborate the extensive and complicated nature

“When the RFE came in, I thought my case was done for.  Thankfully, Joseph and Chen- Cho were able to find why USCIS was in the wrong and helped me win my case”- Mr. Martinez

OUTCOME

Despite the fact that this was a completely new kind of RFE, our firm was able to secure a favorable response and we won the H-1B case. The case was ultimately approved on December 3, 2017. Our client was overwhelmingly happy about the outcome, as well as thrilled and relieved on account of the fact that he expected the case to be denied, much like similar cases.

Moreover, most of the cases that had received this form of RFE were denied. Months later they were overturned by the Administrative Appeals Office on much the same grounds that our case had argued for this client. With hard work and common sense, we were able to avoid a denial in this case.

 

*Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Successful E-2 Case

●       Applicant: Mr. Kuan

●       Nationality: Taiwan

●       Industry: Bicycle Distribution

●       Position: General Manager

●       Year Incorporated: 2015

●       Number of Employees: 1

●       Number of Dependents: 1

●       Investment Amount: $130,000

●       Challenges:

o   No customers in the U.S. (US Company cannot engage in sales)

o   Consulting Business based in San Francisco (Consulting is always hard for E2)

o   The applicant has prior immigration violation.

o   Ownership Structure of US business was questionable because family ownership

o   Applicant’s limited English proficiency called for countless hours of interview preparation to confidently communicate all aspects of the U.S. business plan

 

Mr. Kuan came to Tsang & Associates by recommendation from a friend who had a difficult yet successful E-2 case with the firm. Kuan faced several challenges but also had all the needed resources to persuade his case to be granted an E-2 visa. He came from a business background in large-scale management due to his family-run business of bicycle manufacturing in Taiwan. Kuan intended to start a U.S. branch in San Francisco that would not create competition with its international manufacturing distributors, yet prove the branch viable to the parent Taiwanese company. Kuan came to Tsang & Associates with no U.S. business plan, broken English, existing USCIS suspicion, and a dream to operate and live in San Francisco with his family.

 

Keys to Success

In order for one to be successful in their E-2 visa application, there are several requirements that are necessary according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations:

1)      The treaty investor must possess the nationality of the treaty country

2)      The corporation must be a bona fide U.S. Corporation, a real operating enterprise and not a fictitious paper organization

3)      Capital invested must be substantial and irrevocably committed to the enterprise

4)      The investment cannot be marginal

5)      Investor must have ability to develop and direct the enterprise

6)      Investor must have intent to depart following the end of E-2 status

More than Marginal Revenue

For an E-2 visa, the annual business revenue cannot be marginal, meaning that Kuan’s business needed to produce $170,000 - $200,000. However, the San Francisco branch could not engage the public due to the Taiwan manufacturer’s international contracts, which is where the challenge arose in proving above marginal revenue. Tsang & Associates looked at Kuan’s biggest customer: the Taiwan manufacturer, of which Kuan owned significant shares. The focus shifted onto the manufacturer acting as a fiscal sponsor able to consistently provide funds to sustain the U.S. operation. In order to prove sponsorship, Tsang & Associates created a thorough and clear business plan with production lines and outlines of services that the branch would provide to the parent Taiwan company. Afterward, Tsang & Associates created a contract with a Memorandum of Understanding to show partnership between the two companies. All of these key documents were able to be obtained through Kuan’s partial ownership of the Taiwan factory.

 

Real and Operating Enterprise

Kuan’s brother was already in the United States operating a small version of the San Francisco branch. The applicant’s case became suspicious to USCIS with clear immigrant intent because Kuan’s brother transferred shares of the U.S. branch over to him, suggesting that his brother was helping him immigrate. Part of the detailed business plan Tsang & Associates cultivated had thoroughly outlined the partnership between Kuan and his brother with the parent Taiwanese manufacturer being a family-run business. The branch would hire high-end employees such as designers and technicians in Silicon Valley to generate ideas, portfolios, apps, and designs. Tsang & Associates set everything up so that all Kuan needed to do was set foot in the U.S., lead his team, create products, and share final concepts with the Taiwan manufacturer to materialize and distribute worldwide.

 

USCIS Interview Preparation

The consulting business Kuan was building in San Francisco is usually frowned upon by USCIS because it has no customer interaction or storefront shop. Having no customer-based services made the operation somewhat intangible due to its legal existence solely through paperwork. Another challenge Kuan faced was being able to effectively communicate his intent to depart and dismiss concern for clear immigrant intent. Tsang & Associates helped Kuan prepare to answer all questions confidently after multiple practice interviews, business plan walkthroughs, and copious amounts of English coaching.

APPROVAL

 

With the brand of a global company behind him and all the external resources and credentials he needed, Kuan was granted the E-2 visa and his family was able to legally enter the United States. The E-2 visa was approved within three days. Everyone was very happy with the giant success and the attorney later bought a top of the line bicycle for his triathlons.

       SUCCESSFUL E-2 VISA CASE    Applicant: Mr. Hung  Nationality: Taiwanese  Business: Marketing and Distribution of Electronic Photo, Video, and Athletic Devices  Position: Principal Investor/ General Manager    Year Incorporated: 2005   Number of Employees: 2  Investment Amount: $200,000   Challenges:  Multiple levels of ownership, making it difficult to show that Mr. Hung owned half of the company     Short term negative projections financially     Mr. Hung* came to Tsang and Associates hoping that we would be able to assist him in forming an E-2 visa application as a treaty investor for his company. His company, focused on marketing and distributing consumer electronic goods, had expanded product lines for retailers, E-tailers, and national accounts, selling goods such as cameras, DVD/TV portables, scanners, and converters. He hoped that through a plunge into the U.S. marketplace, he would be able to build up a solid and substantial consumer base and facilitate even greater growth and success. As such, we helped him file an E-2 Treaty Investor visa application on September 11, 2014 and received approval within 2 days.   Keys to Success   In order for one to be successful in their E-2 visa application, there are several requirements that are necessary according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations:   The treaty investor must possess the nationality of the treaty country  The corporation must be a bona fide U.S. Corporation, a real operating enterprise and not a fictitious paper organization  Capital invested must be substantial and irrevocably committed to the enterprise  The investment cannot be marginal  Investor must have ability to develop and direct the enterprise  Investor must have intent to depart following the end of E-2 status    Nationality of Country   When Mr. Hung came to us at Tsang and Associates, we believed strongly in his case. First off, Mr. Hung was a Taiwanese national, which qualified him as from a treaty country. However, the company was registered in the United States and was completely owned by another company, a company majority owned by Taiwanese nationals. Mr. Hung invested in the parent company and was given a share of the controlled company. We proved through the stock transfer ledger, that Mr. Hung was transferred 51% of the U.S. company’s controlling shares by the controlling company, thus making Mr. Hung 51% owner of the company; this figure satisfied the requirement of ownership interest for treaty country ownership.   Real and Operating Enterprise   We also had to show that the corporation was a bona fide U.S. Corporation. In order to do so, we highlighted that the company was founded in 2005 and had been engaging in successful business within that period of time. We provided the company’s previous tax returns and copies of various purchases and invoices related to the company, fully establishing that the company was indeed doing business.   Substantial and Irrevocable Investment   We also were required to prove that the investment made by Mr. Hung was substantial and irrevocable due to USCIS fears that the investment is simply just a “risky undertaking”. As such, we demonstrated that Mr. Hung made a substantial capital investment of $200,000 into the company derived from his personal funds. In using the federally regulated proportionality test that related the amount invested with the percentage owned, we indicated that as Mr. Hung owned 51% of the company and invested $200,000 that qualified as a substantial investment. We showed through the company’s five year plan, that it planned to aggressively expand its area of operations and product portfolio stemming from this initial investment. Thus we were able to demonstrate that Mr. Hung was “unquestionably committed to the success of the business”.   More than Marginal Investment   Moreover beyond being substantial, we showed that the investment was “more than marginal”. According to federal regulations, an investment is considered to be more than marginal in the cases that it either provides income that exceeds what is necessary to support the individual and the family or that it would make a significant economic contribution in the future. We addressed this in both ways. In tackling the first qualification, difficulty arose because according to the company’s projections, they expected to have negative profit years for the following two years. Assuming negative profit, the revenue generated would not be sufficient to be considered more than marginal to sustain Mr. Hung. However despite this, we continually emphasized the huge profits to be made beyond the first couple years, numbers that approached $2 million in profits. We even hired a Certified Public Accountant in order to prove that the investment would assure a good return on investment. In addition, we showed that the investment directly created at least 3 full time jobs and was expected to create 16 additional jobs within the next five years, thereby qualifying the investment further as being “more than marginal.”   Ability to Develop and Direct the Business Enterprise   Furthermore, we had to prove that Mr. Hung was coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise, meaning that he would have to have a controlling interest in the company. According to USCIS regulation, ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify. Thus we had to demonstrate that Mr. Hung, while serving as the principal investor and Chairman of the company, would be instrumental in directing the business’s overall growth strategy and maintaining effective client relations with business associates. We detailed Mr. Hung’s extensive experience within the business realm and electronics industry, as he had been an integral part of several other ventures and developments. We then explained his proposed duties in the United States, which included overseeing all financial aspects of the company’s operations, working directly with outside accounting professionals, being engaged in the development of new products, and being responsible for directing and managing the sales and marketing aspects of operations.   Intent to Depart   Lastly, we stressed that Mr. Hung had an unequivocal intent to return to Taiwan following his E-2 status. We provided evidence in the form of real estate holdings and financial statements demonstrating his ties to Taiwan that helped to establish his social and financial connections abroad.   Interview Preparation   Following our work with the petition, we also helped prepare Mr. Hung for the upcoming interview. At first, Mr. Hung was extremely concerned that he would do poorly on the interview. He was not sure if he could satisfactorily explain his stake in the ownership of the U.S. company. Even greater concern for him was the fact that the company had negative projections in terms of profit in the short term; he feared that the immigration officer would hone in on this detail and make this a justification for denial. However after much preparation with our attorney, Mr. Hung felt much more comfortable. Hours of practice interviews and anticipating questions and answers allowed him to believe that he would perform well. Indeed, Mr. Hung ended up feeling confident in every answer that he gave the immigration officer and he passed.   Outcome   We submitted the petition on September 11, 2014 and received approval within 2 days.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Electronics Distribution and Marketing Company General Manager applies and is approved for an E-2 Treaty Investor visa. Even though he had short term negative projections financially, we demonstrated the long term success of the company and his role in its development and direction.

       SUCCESSFUL E-2 VISA CASE    Nationality: Taiwanese  Industry: Marketing Firm  Position: CEO, Owner  Year Incorporated: 2016  Number of Employees: 3, including Ms. Chen  Number of Dependents: 1 child, U.S. citizen  Investment Amount: $250,000  Challenges:  Applicant/CEO has prior CBP record showing frequent visits to the United States  Applicant/CEO’s child is a U.S. citizen showing immigrant intent  Applicant had no experience running a business     Ms. Chen* came to Tsang and Associates seeking assistance in forming her E-2 Treaty Investor visa application. She had a child in the U.S. and was looking to stay for an extended amount of time. Previously, Ms. Chen would visit and stay on Taiwanese visa waivers, but was warned by a CBP officer at the airport that her frequency of visitation would be a cause for concern. She came to us to help her incorporate her business and help with the initial startup for her E-2 qualifying business. Her business specialized in marketing Taiwan based imports, focusing on marketing consultation for Taiwanese companies looking to sell in the United States by providing them the resources and the connections to sell internationally that they would otherwise be lacking. This was Ms. Chen’s first business venture, as many of her previous jobs involved consulting companies on marketing strategies and teaching as a professor. After much revision and hard work, Ms. Chen formally became the owner of her very own marketing firm. Once she began business, she sought our help in filing an E-2 Treaty Investor visa application. We filed her petition on July 19, 2016 and received approval on the same day.   Keys to Success   In order for one to be successful in their E-2 visa application, there are several requirements that are necessary according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations:   The treaty investor must possess the nationality of the treaty country  The corporation must be a bona fide U.S. Corporation, a real operating enterprise and  not a fictitious paper organization  Capital invested must be substantial and irrevocably committed to the enterprise  The investment cannot be marginal  Investor must have ability to develop and direct the enterprise  Investor must have intent to depart following the end of E-2 status    Nationality of Treaty Country   When Ms. Chen first came to us, we strongly felt that we could get her E-2 visa approved. First off, Ms. Chen was a Taiwanese national, automatically qualifying her as a treaty investor. Expounding upon this, we showed with the Articles of Incorporation and Share Certificates that Ms. Chen was indeed 100% owner of the company and thus the company completely met the foreign ownership requirement.   Proof of Real and Operating Enterprise   In addition, we had to show that the company was a bona fide U.S. Corporation. This was challenging at first because the company had only recently been incorporated in the United States. We began this process when she first retained us. We helped Ms. Chen formally incorporate her business and helped her obtain the appropriate business licenses and sellers permits. We also helped her establish purchase agreements and contracts with Taiwanese companies looking to expand into the U.S., and we even created a CPA-certified business plan for her company, detailing her company’s projected growth and marketing strategies. We helped her list job openings for her company online, which resulted in the hire of two part-time employees, both of with whom she has become very close. We also helped her create an e-commerce website on which she had already sold numerous products, even before her visa was approved. Using all of this, we fully proved Ms. Chen’s company as “a real operating enterprise and not a fictitious paper organization”.   Substantial, Irrevocably Committed Investment   We also proved that Ms. Chen’s investment was substantial and irrevocable due to USCIS fears that the investment is simply just a “risky undertaking”. We first established Ms. Chen’s total investment by referring to her financial statements. To help fund her company, Ms. Chen sold her house in Taiwan. In combination with her savings, she made an initial investment of $150,000 and eventually added another $100,000. By the proportionality test of federal regulation, because Ms. Chen owned 100% of the company, her investment of $250,000 was indeed substantial. In order to further the irrevocability of the investment, we noted that Ms. Chen had already incurred numerous expenses such as investing in equipment, design, accounting, and legal costs. She had also already signed purchase agreements and bought thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise to begin her enterprise. In addition, she had already signed a 1 year lease for the operating location of the business and hired 2 employees, thus demonstrating her full commitment to the endeavor.   More than Marginal Investment   A business submitted with an E-2 application must prove to return more than marginal revenue. Ms. Chen’s business is based in the San Francisco area, which posed a problem in terms of profit. In such a big city, the cost of living is relatively high compared with the rest of the state. In addition, Ms. Chen’s company must have high enough sales to compensate for the cost of operating, payroll, and eventual expansion. We helped Ms. Chen modify her business plan to expand her company’s offerings and earn a profit in the first year of operation. We helped her create multiple streams of revenue by increasing her company’s brand offerings and adding a marketing consulting service as requested service. Now, Ms. Chen’s company not only serves as a channel for Taiwanese companies to branch into the U.S., but it also sells American sporting goods to companies in Taiwan and offers marketing counseling. We proved Ms. Chen’s company is more than marginal by presenting her purchase agreements with Taiwanese companies, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in product.   Ability to Develop and Direct the Business Enterprise   A key part of the E-2 Visa is that the applicant possesses the ability to direct and develop their business. Although she had no business experience to begin with, we proved that Ms. Chen was more than qualified to start and manage a business by providing copies of over sixty certifications and awards that she had earned throughout her marketing career. Included among these were her Ph.D. in Marketing and her Master of Arts degree in Economics. With such high achievements, we showed that Ms. Chen was fit to direct the operations of her business. Even though she did not have business experience, Ms. Chen displays a solid background in her business’s industry. With vast experience, we proved that Ms. Chen was, if possible, overqualified to run her marketing company.   Intent to Depart   An equally important part of the E-2 visa is that the applicant plans to return to their home country. There were many obstacles to overcome in proving Ms. Chen’s intent to return. She had sold her house in Taiwan to create investment capital, currently had U.S. citizen child, and had previously visited the United States with a high frequency. However, we were able to prove her intent to return by sharing a portion of Ms. Chen’s long-term business plan— she plans to help Taiwanese companies market their products to Taiwanese consumers. To do this, she would return to Taiwan to work closely with companies and their target markets.   Interview Preparation   Beyond the paperwork, we also helped Ms. Chen prepare for her E-2 Application interview. Ms. Chen began the E-2 Application process a bit timidly, as she had never attempted such an enterprise before. She feared her business plan would not be strong enough to impress the Taiwanese immigration officers. We helped her prepare for any and all questions that might be asked of her and her company, requiring her to answer as detailed as possible. She worked through over ten hours of practice interviews, answering a seemingly endless line of questioning. On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Ms. Chen went for her interview. After her hours of preparation, she looked and felt substantially more confident than she had when she first began. After the interview had been completed, Ms. Chen was extremely grateful that we had prepared her for the exact questions that the officer asked, allowing her to pass smoothly.   Outcome   On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Ms. Chen’s E-2 Visa was approved.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Owner and CEO of a Marketing Firm specializing in Taiwan based imports is granted an E-2 Treaty Investor visa even though she had no experience running a business and had frequently visited the United States in prior years.

       SUCCESSFUL E-2 VISA CASE    Applicant: Ms. Yang  Nationality: Taiwanese (Republic of China)  Business: Import and Export of High-Quality Wine, Tea, Herbal Supplements  Position: Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer  Year Incorporated: 2016  Number of Owners: 3, including Ms. Yang  Investment Amount: $100,000  Challenges:  3 partners  Lease was only $300/month  Products require several licenses to be imported and sold, some of which are very strictly regulated and Ms. Yang was lacking, such as an alcohol license  Ms. Yang had no experience in starting a business  Ms. Yang had a previous U.S. Customs and Border Protection record for visiting boyfriend  Ms. Yang only invested $100,000 but was earning a $50,000 salary     Ms. Yang* sought assistance from Tsang and Associates in order to help her apply for an E-2 treaty investor visa so that she would be able to expand her company into the United States. Her company was a leading import and export company for exclusive high-end products such as wines, all-natural teas, and herbal products directly from Asia to be sold in the United States, being one of the only importers of these fine products into the United States market. She truly believed coming to the U.S. would open up a reliably lucrative audience for the company. If she was unable to obtain the visa, she would miss out on an excellent opportunity to increase her client base. If Ms. Yang’s visa was approved, she would use her solid business credentials and extensive shipping experience to develop and direct operations in the United States. As such, Ms. Yang came to Tsang and Associates hoping that we could help produce a complete and thorough application. We filed our petition on July 12, 2016 and received approval on July 24, 2016.   Keys to Success   In order for one to be successful in their E-2 visa application, there are several requirements that are necessary according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations:   1) The treaty investor must possess the nationality of the treaty country   2) The corporation must be a bona fide U.S. Corporation, a real operating enterprise and    not a fictitious paper organization   3) Capital invested must be substantial and irrevocably committed to the enterprise   4) The investment cannot be marginal   5) Investor must have ability to develop and direct the enterprise   6) Investor must have intent to depart following the end of E-2 status   National of Treaty Country   When Ms. Yang first came to us, we knew that we could form a strong petition. First of all, we noted that Ms. Yang was a Taiwanese national, which fulfilled the requirement that the national be of the treaty country. Initially, Ms. Yang only owned 50% of the company at the preference of the other partners, but at our attorney’s suggestion, we changed the partnership agreement and share certificate so that Ms. Yang owned 80% of the company. Even though owning 50% of the company would have been sufficient, the more the better for E-2 applications. This shift in ownership thus furthered the qualification for ownership by increasing her role, responsibility, and investment, while two other Taiwanese nationals shared the other 20%. We established that the company was completely under Taiwanese ownership, ultimately meeting the requirement of foreign ownership.   Real and Operating Enterprise   We also had to show that the company was a real and operating enterprise. This was a challenge because the company had not yet expanded into the United States. In order to tackle this requirement, we first assisted Ms. Yang in setting up her business in the United States. We acted as the company’s legal counsel and assisted in filing the company with the Secretary of State, acquiring a business license and seller permits, hiring a CPA to establish a business plan, negotiating contracts with suppliers, and facilitating the rental of an office. Through all this, we had access to signed contracts, the business plan, and photos of the office in order to establish that the company was not a “fictitious paper organization” nor an “idle passive speculative investment merely held for potential appreciation and value”.   Substantial, Irrevocable Investment   The next requirement we had to fulfill was that the investment was substantial and irrevocable due to USCIS fears that the investment is simply just a “risky undertaking.” Initially, Ms. Yang’s investment totaled approximately $100,000 which was a cause for concern; because she initially owned only 50% of the company. In addition, the lease for the office space was very cheap, at only $300/month. In order to tackle this, we showed that $84,756 in expenses had already been accumulated in order to purchase goods and services for the business, mainly for goods that cannot be sold without licenses, furthering its irrevocable nature. We demonstrated that the company had already entered into contracts with the top reputable companies that produce the highest quality items. We then incorporated the USCIS proportionality test in order to show that this amount of investment in conjunction with the high ownership interest was enough to be considered a substantial investment, that the business was not “speculative, but is, or soon will be a successful enterprise as the result of the exercise of sound business and financial judgment”.   More than Marginal Investment   In addition, we had to show that the investment made was “more than marginal.” According to federal regulations, an investment is considered to be more than marginal if it either provides income that exceeds what is necessary to support the individual and the family, or if it would make a significant economic contribution in the future. We responded to this in two capacities. First, we helped create the company’s five-year business plan that projected increased profit each year beginning in 2016 at $151,000 until in 2020 when gross profit reaches $755,000. Construction of such a plan was absolutely crucial given that Ms. Yang, without the proper licenses, could not sell her goods. We showed that this growth would provide healthy revenue that not only can support Ms. Yang, but also provide for future company expansion. Furthermore, we showed that Ms. Yang’s company would directly create at least 9 full time and contracted jobs over the course of the five year growth plan. We thus established that the investment in the business was indeed beyond “marginal”.   Ability to Develop and Direct the Business Enterprise   We then needed to prove that Ms. Yang would be moving to the United States to develop and direct her business, meaning that she would have a controlling interest in the company; she could not just be an ordinary skilled worker. Based on her prior experience in the marketing and finance fields, we were confident that she we could prove her directing interest. We demonstrated using her resume and career history that Ms. Yang indeed had previous employment with freight transportation companies and freight forwarders, allowing her to build and maintain strong rapports with overseas importers and shipping personnel. We further noted her experiences as the Vice President of several departments of several companies. We argued that these positions conditioned her for the marketing and business evaluations she would have to make as the CFO and COO of her company. We thus showed that Ms. Yang was indeed qualified to be the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the business. We then detailed her prospective job duties in the United States, including managing the budgets and overseeing all financial aspects of the company, implementing the overall business strategy of the company, and being the driving force behind measures for the company as the leader of her team. We emphasized that Ms. Yang possessed a unique skill set that was vital to the success of the company, allowing her to be heavily involved in developing and directing the business.   Intent to Depart   Lastly, we showed that Ms. Yang possessed numerous, extensive social and financial ties in Taiwan, and she maintained various financial and property interests in Taiwan. We were able to provide financial statements giving evidence of her financial connections abroad and also provide real estate property agreements to further demonstrate her holdings in Taiwan. We also showed that she had a boyfriend who was present in Taiwan as additional proof of her intent to return, further establishing that she did not have any intention of overstaying her visa.   Interview Preparation   Once the paperwork for this case was completed, we further assisted Ms. Yang in preparing for the interview. Initially, Ms. Yang was incredibly fearful that the interview process would go poorly. She questioned if she could adequately explain the cheap office lease, her low investment amount, her lack of business licenses, and her lack of experience in business to the satisfaction of the immigration officer. She was worried that they would deem her not qualified for the E-2 visa. However, we spent numerous hours with her preparing her for the upcoming interview; we conducted practice interviews with her, helped her answer questions with the appropriate details, and built up her confidence. By the end of the preparation, Ms. Yang felt comfortable with her interview. Thankfully, Ms. Yang felt well prepared for each questions that the immigration officer asked her and she passed smoothly.   Outcome   We filed the petition on July 12, 2016 and received approval on July 24, 2016.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Wine and Tea Import and Export Company CFO is approved for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. Despite not having several required licenses and a relatively low investment amount, we proved her commitment to the operation of the company through her sunk expenses and a projected 5 year business plan.

       SUCCESSFUL E-2 VISA CASE    Applicant: Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong  Nationality: Taiwanese (Republic of China)  Industry: Dental Laboratory Engineering  Position: Mr. Hang- Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wong- Chief Financial Officer/ Chief of Human Resources  Year Incorporated: 2012  Investment Amount: Hang- $100,000, Wong- $100,050  Challenges:  Company was not yet incorporated in the United States  Both principal investors (Hang and Wong) each owned 50% of the company and filed simultaneously  Mr. Hang had a dental degree but Mr. Wong did not, causing fears that the USCIS officer may believe that Mr. Wong was just using Mr. Hang to come to the U.S.  Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong were related through their families     Mr. Hang* and Mr. Wong* came to us at Tsang and Associates hoping that we could assist them in establishing their dental laboratory and help them acquire the ensuing E-2 Treaty Investor visas. The company was primarily engaged in making crowns, bridges, dentures, artificial teeth, and orthodontic appliances for the dental profession. They intended to target dental practitioners in Southern California, but were also reaching out to cosmetic dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, and prosthodontists. Both individuals desired to come to the United States in order to facilitate the company’s launch into the U.S. field, utilizing their experiences to stimulate the company’s initial 5 year growth phase. As such, we helped prepare both of their cases and filed two separate petitions simultaneously on January 22, 2013. They received their visas on February 5, 2013.   Keys to Success   In order for one to be successful in their E-2 visa application, there are several requirements that are necessary according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations:   1) The treaty investor must possess the nationality of the treaty country   2) The corporation must be a bona fide U.S. Corporation, a real operating enterprise and    not a fictitious paper organization   3) Capital invested must be substantial and irrevocably committed to the enterprise   4) The investment cannot be marginal   5) Investor must have ability to develop and direct the enterprise   6) Investor must have intent to depart following the end of E-2 status   Nationality of Treaty Country   When Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong first came to us at Tsang and Associates, we were confident that we would be able to get their E-2 visas approved. They each were principal investors investing about $100,000 into the company for 50% ownership and they were both Taiwanese nationals, fulfilling the requirement of treaty country ownership. We proved this using the company’s articles of incorporation and various corporate documents, qualifying the investors and those of a treaty country.   Real and Operating Enterprise   We also had to establish that the company was a bona fide U.S. Corporation. At first, Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong had not yet incorporated in the United States. Thus, we assisted them right from the start in helping them create a business plan for their company and helping them acquire contracts and invoices that we were able to provide as evidence of the company’s business. We also created an organizational chart detailing both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong’s positions as managers and executives. We then provided their office agreements and marketing and sales information to further prove that the company was indeed a “real operating enterprise and not a fictitious organization.”   Substantial, Irrevocable Investment   Next, we were required to prove that the investment made by Mr. Wong was substantial and irrevocable due to USCIS fears that the investment is simply just a “risky undertaking”. In order to do so, we showed through bank wire statements that indeed both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong both invested $100,000 into the company. We utilized the federal regulation proportionality test in explaining that as 50% owners of the company, an investment of $100,000 would be enough to qualify as being substantial in nature. In order to further the irrevocability of the investments, we indicated that the funds committed by the applicants have already been used to secure lease agreements, purchase supplies used for office and workspace requirements, and day to day expenses in anticipation of the company’s launch date. We demonstrated that the funds invested have already been utilized for company advancement, and now there was no turning back.   More than Marginal Investment   Furthermore, we had to show that the investments made would be “more than marginal.” According to federal regulations, an investment is considered to be more than marginal in the cases that it either provides income that exceeds what is necessary to support the individual and the family or that it would make a significant economic contribution in the future. In tackling this requirement, we had a two pronged response. First of all, we hired a Certified Public Accountant to provide financial statements indicating that the investments made are indeed projected to reflect a profitable and lucrative business opportunity; the investment amounts would be exceeded within the first three years of operation and the company would only grow even more. We also showed with the business plan that we helped create that each of these investments would directly create 10 jobs within the next five years. We thus established that the investments were indeed “more than marginal”.   Ability to Develop and Direct the Business Enterprise   We also had to prove that Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong were coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise, meaning that he would have to have a controlling interest in the company. According to USCIS regulation, ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify. As such we detailed both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong’s background and proposed duties in the United States. For Mr. Hang, we broke down his resume and stressed that he had a specialty in Dental Laboratory Technology, also showing that he had extensive professional training and work experience in the health field. We established that Mr. Hang was indeed qualified for his role as CEO based on his direct experience with the endeavor and specialization. We explained his prospective duties to be performed in the United States which included being responsible for day to day management decisions, ensuring that proper processes and systems were in place, planning and directing dental services, and engaging in the continuous development of new products.  Likewise, we also detailed Mr. Wong’s background and resume. We had to prove that even though he was not of the dental profession, he had skills that were integral to develop and direct the company. There were fears that USCIS officers may believe that he was simply using Mr. Hang, his relative, as a means to enter the United States. In order to defeat these fears, we emphasized that he had great experience in journalism and covering medicine and science. We also highlighted his experiences in tourism and the education field which have led to multiple awards and extensive practice in marketing and economic development, working closely with the residents of a given community and local authorities to build up the best strategies and networking. We noted that these diverse experiences in addition to his highly valued skills and attributes were indeed vital to the success in his role as Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Human Resources. We further explained Mr. Wong’s proposed duties which included overseeing all the financial aspects of the company’s operations, controlling purchases and inventory, directing the information and technology aspects of the company, and directing and training the staff to ensure that the business would run smoothly.   Intent to Depart   Lastly, we demonstrated that both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong had no intention of overstaying their E-2 visas, evidenced by their extensive social and financial ties abroad; we proved this by providing their household registration and personal bank account information, indicating their connections to Taiwan even while they are in the United States.   Interview Preparation   In addition to submitting the petition on their behalf, we helped to prepare both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong for their E-2 interviews. When we first started, Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong seemed to be unsure of the interview, worried and concerned. They were extremely worried that the immigration officer would simply believe that Mr. Wong was using Mr. Hang in order to enter the United States given that Mr. Wong did not have a dental background in addition to the fact that they were related. However, we devoted hours of our time in helping both of them go through practice interviews and instructed them on how to provide the most detailed and effective responses to a wide variety of potential questions. After an extraordinary amount of practice, they felt much more confident in their ability to adequately answer any question asked by the Taiwanese immigration officers. On the day of the interview, they were both relieved that the interviews ran smoothly and that they had been prepped for the same questions by our attorney, allowing them to answer without fears and worries.   Outcome   We filed both of their petitions on January 22, 2013 and they received their visas on February 5, 2013.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Both CEO and CFO of Dental Engineering Laboratory file for and are approved for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa simultaneously. Even though only one was skilled in dentistry, we demonstrated the necessity for both to come to develop and direct their company.