Maximizing Chances of "New Office" L-1 Petition Success


Officers of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) inspect new office L-1 petitions by small companies very closely, searching for indicia of fraud.  In order to overcome adjudicators’ presumption of fraud and maximize chances of success, the petitioner should:


New Office L-1 - Focus on the Business Plan



Present a highly detailed business plan, which incorporates the following features:


  • Analysis of company’s core competencies and strengths – Provide thorough explanation of competencies which have led to company’s success abroad;

  • Discussion of market opportunity – Provide basis of U.S. business opportunity, including analysis of market segment growth, prime customer prospects, and potential partners and suppliers

  • Discussion of competition – Identify competing businesses, their strengths and vulnerabilities, their pricing strategy, and their products

  • Discussion of marketing strategy – Specify advertising, pricing, and customer outreach plans

  • Detailed operational plan – Provide explanation of the business’ daily operations, location, equipment, travel needs, etc.; 

  • Permits and licenses – If the business requires permits or licenses, provide information on these requirements and an explanation of the timeline for obtaining them;

  • Personnel plans – Provide explanation of the number, title and functions of personnel needed over course of each of the first 3 to 5 years of operations, including job descriptions for all intended positions;

  • Financial plan and projections – Estimate expenses and necessary capital for operations.  Include profit and loss projections for 1, 3 and 5 years.  Discuss size of initial investment and ability of foreign company to pay beneficiary and start business operations; 

  • Organizational structure of foreign entity – Describe foreign company’s organizational structure.


New Office L-1 - Secure Physical Premises


Secure physical premises for business and document (e.g. photos of space, lease, title, etc.) its existence.


New Office L-1 - Financial Resources


Present evidence of financial resources and commitment - Accompany petition with robust evidence of foreign entity’s financial resources, capitalization of U.S. company and/or evidence of commitment of foreign resources to U.S. company.  There is no “magical number” for purposes of evidencing financial commitment.  However,  a low financial commitment  will invite significant scrutiny from USCIS.