EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 7, Issue 1 - Page 43

EB5INVESTORS.COM 41 Restaurant Management Company Hostess Station Instructor Server Instructor Server Instructor (part time) Vice Manager Chef Instructor Chef Instructor (part time) dividends, as will articles of incorporation and details about the lease agreement. For better or worse, at the time of filing, these embellishments take the form of tangible evidence that the applicant’s petition is legitimate. will not only know when to clarify and expand on qualifying job duties, but also to determine which job duties are not qualifying. As with any case, expert legal advice and a thorough review of all documentation prior to filing is your best defense against an RFE. SKIPPING THE GREEN CARD LINE Viewed through today’s cloudy lens of EB-5, the L-1A has several appealing features. For a modest fee, the premium processing option will condense USCIS’ review window from several months to only 15 business days, giving the candidate an answer almost immediately. If approved, the L-1 holder will be granted one year to get the new U.S. office up and running, with the option to file either a renewal extension for the following year or pursue the EB-1C green card (valid for 10 years). Finally, as a dual- intent visa, there is no prohibition on applying for L-1 status even if an applicant has a pending I-526 petition. While a business visa offers little solace to an EB-5 investor dead-set on passive investment (and its retur n), it is potent ia l ly a g reat fit for wea lt hy foreigners who are active international executives. All things considered, despite the hurdles of adjudication here in 2019, the L-1A can be an intriguing alternative for businesspeople from backlogged countries like China, India and Vietnam. REQUESTS FOR EVIDENCE The L-1A is not always smooth sailing, however. Like the H-1B, the L visas have been penalized by the increased scrutiny of USCIS adjudicators since the Trump administration instituted the Buy American and Hire American executive order. Data reveals that requests for evidence (RFEs) and denials have risen steadily ever since 2016, peaking at 51.8 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of 2019. 2 It is very sobering to contemplate that the majority of L-1 filings are now met with an RFE. Common RFEs question the relationship between the parent and the new subsidiary or affiliate; the applicant’s past employment (length of service or role); or the merits of the planned position in the United States. It is not atypical for an otherwise well-prepared petition to be held up by a boilerplate line of text about the new role or by the minutiae of the intended job in the U.S. enterprise. By way of example, a recent RFE had, as its root cause, USCIS’ rejection of the idea that the CEO of a company selling religious products would by himself be responsible for determining market prices in the U.S. In the adjudicator’s view, this was a task beneath his station, even though it was in fact a routine part of his personal to-do list abroad. It was never delegated to a subordinate. A knowledgeable immigration professional W illiam T. D ean   is the VP of immigration at Masterplans, an EB5 Investors Magazine Top 5 business plan writing company founded in 2002. He specializes in networking with attorneys and reviewing petition exhibits and RFEs to help E-2, L-1A and EB-5 visa seekers get the best possible filings in front of USCIS and consular adjudicators. Dean is an award-winning writer and market research expert who has personally authored hundreds of business plans. He was previously a case assistant at the law firm Stoel Rives. He is a graduate of Brown University. Sources 1 https://www.eb5insights.com/2018/11/21/updates-on-eb-5-visa-retrogression/ 2 https://ogletree.com/insights/2019-02-27/uscis-data-confirms-increase-in-rfes- and-denials-especially-for-h-1bs