For foreign companies overseas who dream of expanding their business to the U.S., the Intra-Company Transfer visa (L-1) can often be the solution. SMA specializes in L-1 visas, allowing for companies to begin a start-up business in the U.S. and to send a manager or executive to execute the company’s business expansion plan. This visa can be renewed for up to a total of seven years and can also serve as a platform for a green card application.
The company can transfer executives, managers or employees with specialized knowledge, with the requirement that that person currently be working, or have worked for at least one continuous year in the past 3 years for the foreign entity before applying. The foreign company must be related legally to the U.S. company, which acts as the sponsor of the visa. This valid legal relationship usually are a parent/subsidiary relationship. In order to assist start-up companies, SMA works with other specialized attorneys to assure that all the required pre-application steps have been implemented, including the incorporation of the U.S. entity, the drafting of its legal operating documents, assistance on the business plan which is needed for the visa petition, and finally assistance with the visa petition procedure until the visa is procured.
For already established multi-national companies which may have a policy of international rotation of managerial level personnel or need to move employees with specialized knowledge to implement or assist with the opening of new offices or installation of new technologies, SMA is also there to help.