Tag Archives: l-1 visa

The Importance of a Well-Drafted Business Plan in L1, E2 and EB5 Visa Matters

The United States government expects to see a well-drafted business plan as support for applications in both the E Treaty Visa category and the EB5 Immigrant Entrepreneur category. Additionally, USCIS often kicks back a request for a feasibility study in L1 “New Office” petitions, which is something that is normally included in a well-drafted business plan. Hence, it stands to reason that inclusion of a well-drafted business plan is essential as supporting documentation in an L1 “New Office” Petition.

As evidence of the critical importance of a well-drafted plan is the fact that the United States government frequently denies L1 visa, E2 visa and EB5 visa petitions and applications due to their lack of a plan that is both comprehensive and credible.

Business plans that are not comprehensive and are more in the nature of a summary or overview of the business are generally not acceptable for L1 visa, E2 visa, and EB5 visa purposes. Instead, in any one given case the United States government expects to receive and review a quality product that, at minimum:

a.) Fully describes the enterprise, its products and services;

b.) Analyzes the market in detail, including potential customers and competition;

c.) Outlines a marketing strategy;

d.) Projects sales, costs, and income over a period of 5 years, showing the basis for these projections; and

e.) Presents complete details regarding the enterprises organizational structure, including complete job descriptions and a staffing timetable.

In short, the United States government expects to see a business plan that is as comprehensive as one that would be presented to a bank for purposes of seeking funding. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that one seek the services of a professional who is familiar with the relevant immigration regulations to draft ones plan if one hopes to stand a strong chance at success in an L1 visa, E2 visa or EB5 visa petition or application.

When selecting the right firm to draft a visa-specific business plan, a company or investor should seek out a firm that possesses both experience in the writing of bespoke business plans as well as the appropriate legal expertise to tailor the plan to the specific requirements of the L1 visa, E2 visa or EB5 visa categories.

To ensure that all the required elements of a well-drafted business plan will be covered to the satisfaction of the United States government, the company or investor should satisfy themselves that all of the following services will be covered by the fee that they will be paying for the business plan writing service:

a.) Setup of business plan according to target visa category;

b.) Gathering of information and documentation regarding company ownership, objectives and mission;

c.) Working with business owner to determine concise statement regarding company’s success formula;

d.) Work out with owner the visa-appropriate management and staffing plan (i.e., executive/management mix for L1 visa; marginality avoidance for E2 visa; creation of 10 full-time positions over a 2-year period for EB5 visa;

e.) Draft an easy to read service summary;

f.) Collaborate with client to create feasibility study, which covers target market, customer/client potentiality in geographical area (with growth projections), and competition analysis;

g.) Gather financial information to draft financial plan and Tables, including Start-up Summary (as applicable), Sales Forecast, Operating Expenses, and 5-year Projections.

Once the business plan has been developed into its penultimate draft, it should undergo a final review by the responsible immigration attorney to secure an opinion as to the viability of the plan, from a financial perspective. (Obviously, if the responsible immigration attorney is drafting the business plan, his or her opinion will be rendered simultaneously with the creation of the penultimate draft.) Once the responsible immigration attorney has rendered his opinion that the plan is fiscally viable, the plan can be finalized and signed off for inclusion in the visa application package.


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L2 Visa Extension & Renewal Process

An L-2 non-immigrant visa is a dependent visa category available for the immediate family members, i.e., spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of L-1 visa holders who wish to enter the U.S.

L-2 visa holders can live in the United States for the entire length of time authorized in their spouse’s L-1 visa. L-2 visa holders are responsible to extend L-2 status if their spouse’s L-1 visa has expired, and they intend to continually live in the United States with their spouse. You may travel in and out of the U.S. on L-2 visa as long as you maintain valid status, and the principal L visa holder maintains his or her status. You may attend school in the U.S. while on L-2 status.

Under U.S. immigration law, L-2 visa holders can apply for work authorization upon entering the United States. L-2 spouse of an L-1 visa holder can obtain a general Employment Authorization. The employment authorization must be applied separately by the L-2 spouse. The L-2 child is not permitted to work.

To extend your stay in the United States, you should file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status, with USCIS before your visa expires. If you are unsure of your current departure date, check the date on Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, to find out how long you are allowed to stay in the country. USCIS recommend that you apply to extend your stay at least 45 days before your authorized stay expires, but the USCIS Service Center must receive your Form I-539 application by the day your authorized stay expires.

If an employer files a Form I-129 to extend the status of L-1 visa holder, and the L-2 spouse and/or unmarried children under age 21 also want to extend L-2 status, they will need to file a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status. While the dependents of L-1 cannot be included on Form I-129 they can all be included on one Form I-539 to extend L-2 status.

After you have submitted Form I-539 application to extend L-2 status, USCIS will mail you a receipt. This receipt will provide a number assigned to track your Form I-539 application, as well as the projected processing time. An extension of stay is not automatic. USCIS will look at your situation, your status, the reasons you want to extend L-2 status, and will decide whether to grant your Form I-539 application.

If your application is received by USCIS before your status expires, and if you have not violated the terms of your status and meet the basic eligibility requirements, you may continue your previously approved activities in the United States (including previously authorized work) for a maximum period of 240 days, or until a decision is made by USCIS on your application or the reason for your requested extension has been accomplished.

If your Form I-539 application for an extension is approved, you will be issued a replacement I-94 with a new departure date

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