An individual may start up a company in the U.S. using the L-1 category. The petitioner should submit evidence that sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured. This requires a lease for office space at a minimum. The "new office" must support an executive or managerial position within one (1) year of the approval of the petition. Specialized knowledge personnel can also utilize this "new office" provision.
One of the great aspects of securing an L-1 nonimmigrant visa / status for a manager or executives is that there is a comparable "Green Card" category (to be discussed in more detail below). The first employment-based preference "Green Card" category (EB-1) covers "priority workers," which include L-1A managers and executives. Assuming an individual is eligible for L-1A nonimmigrant status, and does wish to remain in the United States permanently, this is a relatively straight forward procedure. As this would suggest, like the H-1B nonimmigrant category discussed earlier, the presumption of immigrant intent is no longer applicable to L nonimmigrants and a petition for an immigrant visa or an application for adjustment of status (i.e., a Green Card) may be applied for while an individual maintains his L-1 nonimmigrant status.
This guide was developed by Meyers & Meyers, LLP as a resource to help you understand some aspects of Immigration Law, which is very complex. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. We recommend you contact one of our experienced Immigration Attorneys to devise an individualized plan to help you and/or your company achieve your goals. Please contact Meyers & Meyers, LLP at email@example.com for assistance.