Unlike a lot of you may think, L-1 is not a privilege for big company. A recent adopted decision by USCIS, Matter of Z-A-, Inc established that an L-1A intra-company manager who primarily manages an essential function can also be supported by personnel outside the United States within an international organization. A USCIS officer can no longer deny L-1A classification to such a manager because he or she is not supported by personnel within the United States. This decision recognizes that we operate in a global world, and that an organization may rely on its resources outside the United States to produce products or provide services.
In Matter of Z-A-, Inc, the foreign national manager seeking an L-1A visa extension was the President and Chief Operating Officer of the US petitioning entity whose parent company was in Japan. The Petitioner in the US only employed a sales manager and an administrative specialist (2 subordinate employees in total). However, eight staff members within the parent company’s headquarters in Japan also exclusively supported the work of this manager. The Administrative Appeal Office (AAO) found that “the Beneficiary, in his role as Vice President, will continue to rely on the support of the eight staff members in Japan and two employees in the United States to accomplish non-managerial duties, and that the purpose of his transfer is to oversee the short-term and long-term expansion of the Petitioner’s presence in what is a new market. Given the overall purpose of the organization and the organization’s stage of development, the Petitioner has established a reasonable need for a senior-level employee to manage the essential function of developing its brands and presence in the United States, notwithstanding that the Petitioner employs directly only two other employees in the United States.”