EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 7, Issue 1 - Page 42

EB5 INVESTORS M AGAZINE 40 presence. Why? Because paramount to proving that the prospective beneficiary will be either an executive or a manager in the United States is showing a sufficient number of direct reports underneath them — ideally, people who themselves handle advanced business tasks, rather than routine administration or office jobs. Sketching out the new organizational chart inside a business plan offers a convenient litmus test. Consider this scenario: A Chinese food company plans to expand into the U.S. restaurant industry and wants to send a ranking executive to oversee this new line of business. In a single-location restaurant, the senior person on staff is likely overseeing frontline employees, like cooks and servers. For USCIS, those duties will not pass muster for an L-1 visa. Instead, the L-1A holder may need to oversee two or more locations (or, in the franchise model, an entire territory) with a middle tier of management in order to convince an adjudicator that they’ll serve in an executive-caliber capacity in the United States. THE IMPORTANCE OF DAILY DUTIES While it may seem impossible to pinpoint exactly how much time you dedicate to different types of tasks each week — much less to accurately hypothesize how your attentions will evolve over the course of an entire year of running a business — that’s precisely the level of detail USCIS wants to see. It is important to the successful presentation of an L-1 visa case that the filing materials establish the beneficiary as an indispensable part of the expansion plans, someone whose background, guidance and input are invaluable. As such, it is crucial to first explain their skill set and outline why the person will be instrumental to the U.S. office, in addition to providing granular details about the various roles he or she will fulfill in the new entity. Ideally, as an accompaniment to the I-129 filing, the applicant’s business plan should include a chart showing a percentage breakdown of which executive- tier tasks this person will perform. Even if this feels like intelligent guesswork — and it typically is, in the case of a new office — this element is critical to the It is important to the successful presentation of an L-1 visa case that the filing materials establish the beneficiary as an indispensable part of the expansion plans... ” USCIS-Compliant Organizational Chart CEO L-1 Beneficiary Service Section Manager HR Manager Marketing Manager Kitchen Section Manager Events Section Manager (part time) smooth adjudication of an L-1 visa. In a managerial case, identifying the management tasks and the people who answer to the beneficiary will strengthen the case. Either way, there needs to be a clear differentiation bet ween executive-level task s and managerial- level tasks for both the subsidiary and the overseas company, as USCIS is firm on selecting one or the other. A BUSINESS PLAN: WHAT DOES IT NEED? The management summary and organizational charts take on an outsized role in an L-1A, but what else is important to establish? Typically, there is a direct correlation between the foreign company and the U.S. entity. For example, an industrial chemicals company in India that sells mainly to American corporations in the South envisions a stronger U.S. presence by way of a new office in Houston. Here, highlighting the parent company’s track record, product line and recent financial performance is helpful, as is showing where the prospective beneficiary sits in the foreign company’s organizational chart. If the U.S. entity will pursue an unrelated line of business, describing that service or product clearly is the best place to start. From there, a compelling market analysis should show not just the scope of the opportunity, but the state of the industry, the prevailing trends and the competitive forces that the new office will face. The business plan should also include a marketing and growth plan describing how the new office will flourish under the L-1A holder’s guidance. Next, the personnel plan will function best with descriptions of duties for all supervised employees, as well as a timeline for onboarding. Lastly, photos of the U.S. office can pay big