I don't usually toot my own horn in this blog, but I am particularly happy with this outcome.
A client was referred to me by a larger law firm. The client (a company in Europe) needed to send an employee to the US for about six months. The client (Company A) was contracted by Company B to provide telecom services, which would be performed for Company C. My new client was worried about losing the lucrative contract with Company B if they couldn't find a solution.
Normally, a multinational transferee would come to the US in L-1 status. However, the contracting arrangement made that option more difficult, because of USCIS restrictions on placing L-1 holders at third-party worksites. Further, the L-1 processing time meant that the assignee might not be approved when needed (assuming he was approved at all).
We considered an E-2 (treaty investor), but Company A was ultimately owned by individuals who did not qualify for treaty status.
The answer was a visa called "B-1 in lieu of H-1B." This is not a very common visa, but perfect for this situation. The visa allows people to come to the US to perform services that would normally qualify for H-1B (specialty occupation) status, if the worker is staying on the foreign payroll, being paid from outside the US and the assignment is very short. The visa is not the same as a regular B-1 business visitor, and requires specific paperwork for the consulate application.
We drafted a detailed letter for the consulate, explaining how the foreign national and assignment qualified and using appropriate legal arguments. To our delight, the visa was approved a few days later!
The client was thrilled (as evidenced by the number of exclamation marks she used ;)) and I was almost as excited!
"They just called D_____ from the Embassy and they told him to go there tomorrow with his passport so that they can put the visa on it !!!
That was really quick!!! I can’t believe it’s true!!! J
Thank you so much Elaine!!!"
For information about this visa, H-1Bs, L-1s, or any other employment-based immigration, contact Elaine Martin for free initial consultation.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.