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Questions and Answers About EB1c Immigration Application and L-1 Visas

Law Offices of Yu & Associates

Question: We are a company based in the Netherlands who would like to start a subsidiary in the US. How long does it take for the new company to be set up and what documents are required? Which type of US company has the lowest tax rates and costs? If we later want to apply for L-1 visas for our executive employees, are there any requirements for the annual income or number of employees? What kind of documentation is needed for an L-1 visa application?

Attorney Yu: It usually takes about 3 to 10 business days to set up a company in the US, unless you use expedited processing. The processing times vary by state. The documents needed to set up a company in the US are not complicated. We can provide you with detailed guidance and a list of required documents. As for which type of company is best for you, you should discuss with us in detail and then decide after careful analysis. If you are just setting up a company in the US, there are no requirements for the annual income or number of employees at your parent company in the Netherlands. However, if your company wants to sponsor an L-1 application, your company needs to develop business in the US and show it is able to do business in the US. Documents which are needed for L-1 include: the parent company's registration documents; business licenses or permits; financial reports; employee pay stubs; company organizational chart; and company brochures, etc.

Question: To set up a company in New York, do we need to rent office space? What are the taxes? Will we need to employ locals? Will we need to pay salaries and taxes in both the Netherlands and the US? What is the minimum monthly tax for a manager paid in the US?

Attorney Yu: When you first set up a company in the US, you need to have an address for your company. When you plan to apply for L-1 visas as a multinational company, then you do need a dedicated business location. Tax liabilities for individuals and businesses depend on many factors; it is not something that can be easily answered. Basically, both individuals and businesses must pay taxes at both the Federal (national) and state level. Once the company is set up, you should hire an accountant/CPA to handle your tax matters. Your US subsidiary company can employ US citizens or green card holders, or you can apply for work visas such as H-1 visas for alien workers. Whether you need to pay salaries and taxes in both the US and the Netherlands will depend on your company's financial and tax planning.

Question: Can this sort of new start-up company apply for an L-1A visa? If so, what's the shortest possible time for processing the application?

Attorney Yu: If you meet the requirements, then you could apply. With Premium Processing, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will decide on the petition in 15 days. With regular processing, it usually takes three to six months to receive a decision.

Question: If our company sponsors one of our executives to apply for an EB-1C green card from L-1 status, is the EB-1C green card a conditional one or a 10-year permanent green card?

Attorney Yu: After the US subsidiary company has been in operation for one year, the L-1 employee can apply for a green card through the EB-1c immigration application for multinational mangers and executives, and the green card to be obtained is not conditional or temporary. It will be a 10-year permanent green card.

Question: So if we obtain an L-1A visa, then one year later we can apply for an EB-1c green card? Do we need to prepare materials for the EB-1c green card application including the parent company's performance record? And also what requirements would USCIS review regarding the performance of the US subsidiary company?

Attorney Yu: Information on the parent company's performance is required for the L-1 visa petition, and also for the EB-1c green card petition. Moreover, the business revenue of the US subsidiary company is more important. The petitioning company needs to present evidence to prove its sound business performance, and USCIS will look at whether the company is operating normally and will prospectively grow its business.

Question: Should the relationship between the subsidiary company and the parent company abroad be maintained? What if we close or sell the parent company in the Netherlands? Will this affect the US subsidiary and our EB-1C green card application?

Attorney Yu: Closure of the parent company will affect the renewal of the L-1 visa and EB-1C green card application for multinational managers and executives, but we would need to analyze the situation to provide solutions. You need to show both the parent company and the U.S. subsidiary exist and are doing business regularly.

Question: Will the L-1 employee's English language skills affect the extension of an L-1A visa or application for an EB-1c green card?

Attorney Yu: The English language capacity of the executive employee is not a requirement that USCIS needs to review and judge. Language skill is not an element that is required for these types of petitions.

Question: What are the differences between the L-1 work visa application and EB-1c for multinational executives and managers?

Attorney Yu: The requirements and criteria for the L-1 work visa application and EB-1c green card application for multinational executives and managers are not much different. They are almost the same, but the USCIS is stricter in reviewing and adjudicating the EB-1c green card application cases.

Question: We plan to send the executives to the US for about two months on a B-1 visa to do a preliminary survey of the market and prepare for setting up the US company. In those two months, we also hope to establish the company and set up the company bank accounts. After we have obtained the L-1A visas, we plan for them to return to the Netherlands to work things out and then return to the US. Is this workable? Or what should we do for setting up a company in the US?

Attorney Yu: There are two possible ways. You can stay abroad until the company is set up and your L-1 visa is approved, and then enter the US in an L-1 status. Alternatively, you can come to the US as a B-1 visitor to set up the company and change to L-1 status in the US. The key point is whether your company can provide the required documentation for the L-1 petition (including the parent company's documentation). Please see our firm's website for detailed information on the required documentation. Please also see our website for the things to be prepared for setting up the company in the U.S.

Question: The performance of the company in the Netherlands doesn't look very good. It is operating at a loss. In this kind of situation, will it be very difficult to obtain an L-1A visa?

Attorney Yu: If your financial situation is weak, you have to improve the performance of the business. All you need to show is that your company is operating normally and has the capability to develop business in the US. We will discuss with you in detail and provide a strategy on how to prepare the case and guard you through the whole application process.

The above is a general introduction to immigration policies, and should not be construed as individual legal advice. For specific legal questions, please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates. Attorney Xiaohui (Sharon) Yu is a graduate of New York University School of Law, one of the top five law schools in the US, and has practiced law at some of the top firms in the US, UK and China.

Tel: 301-838-8986, Fax: 202-595-1918; E-mail:, Address: 110 N. Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850. (All rights reserved.)

Ó Yu & Associates LLC, 110 North Washington Street, Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. Tel: 301-838-8986