EB5INVESTORS.COM 39 to qualify, then the L-1 and EB-1C visa options can reframe their immigration objectives and keep their sights on the United States. At a time when competing citizenship-by-investment programs worldwide are stealing what remains of EB-5’s luster, the L-1 and EB- 1C are well worth promoting to candidates who are a match for USCIS’ criteria. WHO QUALIFIES? The L-1A is an intracompany transferee visa reserved for executives or managers of foreign companies that have an affiliated or subsidiary U.S. office, or will soon develop one. Not every EB-5 seeker can simply shift gears and pursue the L-1A. On the contrary, if access to significant financial assets is someone’s sole claim to pending EB-5 status, then it’s best to play the USCIS waiting game. But if a visa seeker owns or is employed by an overseas business, has worked in that capacity for at least one year and performs executive or managerial functions within the organization, he or she may be a prime candidate for the L-1. There are additional rules, including how recent t he appl ica nt’s e mploy me nt ove r sea s mu st b e (the minimum 12 months of employment must be continuous and all within the past three years), but if an attorney’s review suggests the L-1 is suitable, it should be a less time-consuming route than a standard EB-5 petition. Some applicants could conceivably qualify as either an executive or a manager, depending on how the U.S. entity is structured. However, selecting one path (either executive or managerial) and making a compelling argument for it is the optimal strategy, as USCIS will deny petitions where the roles are unclear. STRUCTURING THE BENEFICIARY’S POSITION IN A NEW OFFICE The L-1 v i sa do es not have st r ic t job-c reat ion parameters the way an EB-5 case does. There’s no minimum investment and no requirement that a petitioner be credited with 10 new full-time jobs. That said, the personnel plan is nevertheless an essential component for securing an I-129 approval, especially in a so-called “new office” case where the foreign company has not yet established any U.S. The L-1 visa does not “ have strict job-creation parameters the way an EB-5 case does. There’s no minimum investment and no requirement that a petitioner be credited with 10 new full-time jobs.