L-1A Intracompany Transferee Qualifying Organization

In the first two articles discussing the L-1A visa we covered the one year abroad requirement for a qualifying beneficiary. In this article, we’ll take a look at what a Qualifying Organization is as defined by the code and interpreted by USCIS.

8 C.F.R. §214.2(L)(1)(ii):

(G) Qualifying Organization means a United States or foreign firm, corporation, or other legal entity which:

(1) Meets exactly one of the qualifying relationships specified in the definitions of a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary specified in paragraph (l)(1)(ii) of this section;

(2) Is or will be doing business (engaging in international trade is not required) as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary for the duration of the alien's stay in the United States as an intracompany transferee; and

(3) Otherwise meets the requirements of section 101(a)(15)(L) of the Act.

(H) Doing business means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.

(I) "Parent" means a firm, corporation, or other legal entity which has subsidiaries.

(J) "Branch" means an operating division or office of the same organization housed in a different location.

(K) 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 and controls the entity; or owns, directly or indirectly, 50 percent 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.

(L) 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 or proportion of each entity, or

( 3 ) In the case of a partnership that is organized in the United States to provide accounting services along with managerial and/or consulting services and that markets its accounting services under an internationally recognized name under an agreement with a worldwide coordinating organization that is owned and controlled by the member accounting firms, a partnership (or similar organization) that is organized outside the United States to provide accounting services shall be considered to be an affiliate of the United States partnership if it markets its accounting services under the same internationally recognized name under the agreement with the worldwide coordinating organization of which the United States partnership is also a member.

A petitioning Qualifying Organization may be a United States OR foreign entity that is doing business in at least two countries, one of which must be the United States. Doing business means that goods or services must be provided in both countries. In other words, an office set up for an agent or representative of an organization will not qualify absent the provision of a product or service for sale.

The Qualifying Organization may operate in both locations under the same business entity, or it may be related to the organization overseas as a Parent, Subsidiary, or Affiliate.

Careful evaluation of “control” is paramount if the relationship between organizations falls under the Parent, Subsidiary, or Affiliate definitions. Control must be provable through documentation such as operating agreements, etc.

The types of documents that you can expect to provide to prove your Qualifying Organization can include operating agreements, articles of incorporation, bank records, sales or service contracts, lease agreements, pictures of your facilities, tax records, and any other probative document needed to support your organization. You should hire a qualified immigration attorney to assist you in the preparation of your L-1A petition.

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