In an L-1 visa context, an overseas company that seeks to send employees to the U.S. under an L-1 visa is required to be related to the U.S. company in a specific manner. Both the U.S. office and the foreign entity must continue to share common ownership and control.
They must be the same company; or related as parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary: What these terms define are very precise and require concise analysis of the ownerships of both the foreign and the U.S entity.
• Parent means a firm, corporation, or other legal entity which has subsidiaries.
• Branch means an operating division or office of the same organization housed in a different location.
• Subsidiary means a firm, corporation, or other legal entity of which a parent owns, directly or indirectly, more than half of the entity and controls the entity; or owns, directly or indirectly, half of the entity; or owns, directly or indirectly, 50% of a 50-50 joint venture and has equal control and veto power over the entity; or owns, directly or indirectly, less than half of the entity, but in fact controls the entity.
• Affiliate means
1. One of two subsidiaries both of which are owned and controlled by the same parent or individual, or
2. One of two legal entities owned and controlled by the same group of individuals, each individual owning and controlling approximately the same share and proportion of each entity.
A contractual relationship (i.e. licensing/franchising) is generally not sufficient to establish the necessary relationship to qualify for the L visa. The qualifying relationship must be established through documentary evidence.
Does your organization qualify? Contact us and schedule a consultation.