Intra-Company Executive Visas: A way to Jump-Start our Economy
Our economy had been struggling to create jobs, and one way to move forward is to increase hiring by allowing international companies to more easily expand into the United States. The law allows a company located outside the United States to petition for one of its executives or managers to come to the United States to oversee the company’s expansion. The law allows an executive, a manager, or a person with special knowledge to assist in that expansion. This post will focus on international executives , with the promise that upcoming posts will focus on the others.
A company wanting to expand into the United States must meet several requirements to petition for one of its executives. One of the first things is that the person must be coming to the United States to hold an executive capacity. The act defines executive capacity as an assignment under which the employee: 1) directs the management of the organization; 2) establishes goals and policies; 3) Receives general supervision from others. See INA §101(a)(44)(B)(2012). Another requirement is for the person to work for a “qualifying organization”, a company that is affiliated with the overseas company. Companies are affiliated within the meaning of the Act if they have a high degree of common ownership and management between the two companies. Matter of Tessel, Inc., 17 I&N Dec. 631, 632 (BIA 1981). These are only two of the most important requirements under the law.
There is an additional requirement for “new offices”, companies that have been doing business in the United States for less than one year. These companies have to show that they have secured physical premises in the United States for the new company and must show that the company will be able to support an executive position within that first year. The company will also have to submit its organizational chart, among other things. The visa petition for new offices will be approved for an initial first year. The visa is limited to seven years.
The recent trend by USCIS is to issue several Requests for Evidence, which has made companies more reluctant to take advantage of these visas. I believe that the government should ease the burden of proof on these companies, especially when our economy still struggles to generate jobs.
If you are an international executive or company looking to expand its operations into the United States, please contact us at 1(888)963-7326.