These Pitfalls focus on the issues posed by the initial set up of the company and the potential threats after the L-1A has been approved. While the issues may seem small, they render big consequences.
Pitfall #1: Insufficient Time to Set Up Company
At the time of the filling, the L-1 petition must be approvable. Often, there is not enough time and so we advise our client to first visit on a B-1 visa to allow one year to first set up the company. Otherwise, the application process will be rushed and likely insufficient.
As the company’s temporary legal department, Tsang and Associates has assisted the set up process by hiring employees, creating a company website, and documenting collected data from the company.
Pitfall #2: No Business Plan or Poorly Drafted Plan
A strong business plan is crucial, especially for smaller businesses or new start-ups. An L-1 business plan should create a five-year outlook of what is projected financially, marketing tactics, a competition overview and even specific industry and market analysis.
At Tsang and Associates, we help build or strengthen our client’s L-1 business plans to enable them to get approved for their visa.
Pitfall #3: Unprepared for Consular Interview
Oftentimes, clients assume that after the L-1A is approved there will be no more problems. However, in our experience, over half of applicants with approved L-1As get denied or are subject to further processing, which could take 3-6 months before receiving the visa. This is because they are not well prepared to answer the questions the officer at the consular interview will ask, and will either give an incorrect answer or give no answer at all.
Tsang and Associates assistance helps the client be prepared and is able to suggest beneficial additions, such as cover letters that read like advertising materials.
Pitfall #4: Fraud Investigation - Failure
When Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) officers make a visit to collect information as part of a compliance review, we want to make sure that our clients do not fail this investigation.
In our experience, there have been officers that show up, asking for employees to open their computers on the spot. The officer had wanted to see organizational charts, work product, and the CPA's payroll documentation. In addition, the officer wanted to see the seating of the office and visit the warehouse. Due to our thorough preparation, the company was able to provide everything to the officer's satisfaction and successfully passed the fraud investigation.
Tsang and Associates help L-1 employers should be prepared for FDNS site visits. We help them identify procedures in advance to prepare for an unannounced FDNS worksite visit and notify all personnel of these procedures. Even honest L-1 employers must be prepared.
Pitfall #5: Translations
It is mandatory that all foreign language documents must be submitted with a corresponding and certified English translation.
Tsang and Associates acknowledge that business plans and documents are generally produced in the national language of the foreign entity. We will fulfill this translation task for our clients.