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visas

What Is A Treaty Trader Visa?

A treaty trader visa can enable a foreign national to immigrate to Florida for the purpose of starting, developing and directing import/export trade between the treaty country and the United States. A trader can apply for treaty trader visa using immigration lawyers in Florida, who would have knowledge of the application process and requirements, as well as advise you of necessary or applicable Florida legal services needed.


Benefits of A Treaty Trader Visa

You can derive several benefits when using a treaty trader visa, including:

1. Ownership
A treaty trader visa ensures that the holder owns the import and export business in the United States. The ownership can be in the form of individual ownership, majority corporate shareholder or as a major partner.

2. Duration
After the visa is offered, it may remain active for a substantial time if the treaty trader’s visa holder continues with active trade in the United States. Extension is done through the Immigration and Naturalization service of the US State Department.

3. Quick processing
Because a trader treaty visa is considered a non-immigrant visa, it has required that you satisfy certain quota waiting periods. The number of the visas that are awarded depends on the set quota for a particular year or duration. Depending on your country of origin and other immigration matters, you may have to wait before your application can be approved. Your immigration attorney in Florida can assist you with the application process and provide you guidance on the waiting periods. By working with a reputable immigration lawyer in Florida, mistakes in the application process can be avoided.

4. Allows You to Be Employed in The U.S. 
The trader treaty visa grants the principal trader the power to be actively employed in the United States. However, the holder must satisfy certain requirements such as draw salary, benefits or dividends; which are similar to what workers in the United States receive.

Under recent amendments, the spouse of the main trader may also be allowed to work in the United States and receive gainful remuneration. This type of visa may also allow the principal visa holder to import key managerial staff from their countries of origin if they have the expertise to run the import/export business effectively. The number of employees that the holder may be allowed to bring depends on the size and complexity of the business that the holder is running. However, these employees should be vetted and granted permission, all of which a Florida immigration attorney should be able to assist you.

5. Allows You to Attend School
The principal treaty traders and their dependents may be able to attend schools and colleges in America. This applies to attendance of all sorts of educational establishments, from basic elementary education to university education.

6. You can own property
Treaty visa holders have the freedom to buy residential and commercial real estate properties while they remain in the United States. However, if their visa status terminates (whether by choice or required), they may not be allowed to sell these properties. A Florida immigration attorney can advise you on what you should do to keep the visa valid longer should you need to sell. 

Requirements for Treaty Trader Visas
To be eligible for a treaty trader visas, here are some specific requirements that you should meet:

• You must be a citizen and national of a treaty country.

• You must demonstrate that you can achieve set trade volumes in your import/export business.

• You must provide evidence that you have enough finances to run the import/export business.

• The trader must prove that he or she has enough business acumen.

• You must agree that you will depart the United States if your treaty visa is terminated.

Why Get Help From a Florida Immigration Attorney When Applying For Your Treaty Trader Visa?

Applying for treaty trader visa can be complex and time consuming. Documentation and regulations can be very complex, therefore making it essential that they been handled by experienced immigration lawyers in Florida. There are some finer details and a wide range of legal issues that should be taken into consideration. If any of the requirements are not met in the application, the issuance of the visa could be denied.

By working with an immigration lawyer, you can reduce the likelihood of mistakes and improve the chances of your application being accepted. An immigration lawyer can advise you on the requirements and the process of the treaty trader visa or guide you through the immigration process that may be more suitable to your circumstances.

If you have any additional questions or queries contact us at (954).944.2799 or email info@DSALegalGroup.com

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact an attorney.

by N. Apfelbaum

Will Trump Travel Ban Affect L1 Visa Applicants?

The L visa for nonimmigrant intracompany transferees allows U.S.-based employers to petition to transfer certain alien employees from related foreign entities to work in the United States.


In general, a petition for an L nonimmigrant is filed for a single beneficiary. However, certain petitioning entities may be eligible to petition for multiple foreign employees under what is called an “L blanket petition.” If a petitioner gains L blanket approval, it will become far easier to transfer large numbers of L nonimmigrants to work in the United States.

What are the Petitioner Requirements for L Blanket Approval?

The petitioner requirements for being granted L blanket approval are found in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(l)(4)(i). First, the petitioner must meet the basic requirements for being an L visa petitioner. This means l that all requirements pertaining to the U.S.-based petitioner’s relationship with the foreign entity or entities employing the L visa petition beneficiary as well as the requirement that the petitioner be “doing business” in the United States apply equally to applications for L blanket approval. The L blanket regulations then add additional requirements for a petitioner seeking blanket approval.

The L blanket approval-specific requirements are: The petitioner and each of its qualifying entities are engaged in commercial trade or services; the petitioner has had an office in the United States that has been doing business for at least one year; the petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and the petitioner (or other qualifying organization) has either obtained approval for at least ten L1A or L1B managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals over the previous twelve months, or the petitioner has U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million or a combined U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.

The requirements for L blanket approval exclude “new office” L visa petitioners and non-profit petitioners. Furthermore, approved L1B petitions for non-specialized knowledge professional intracompany transferees are not counted toward meeting the requirement for L blanket approval. As we will see, the only type of L1B beneficiary who may be petitioned for under an L blanket petition is an L1B specialized knowledge professional.

Seeking L Blanket Approval and Adjudication Process

An application for L blanket approval is filed on the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The petitioner must establish that it meets the regulatory requirements for L blanket approval. 

If the L blanket petition is approved, the petitioner will have L blanket approval for an initial period of 3 years. L blanket approval may be extended indefinitely provided that the petitioner continues to meet the applicable requirements. An L blanket petition may be approved in part and denied in part where certain organizations under the petitioner’s umbrella are found to meet the requirements while others are not. 

If there is a change in the relationships of any of the qualifying organizations with L blanket approval, the petitioner must file an amended Form I-129 explaining the changes.

Transferring Employee from Abroad Under L Blanket Petition

In order to transfer an individual L1A or L1B employee under an L blanket petition, the petitioner must file the Form I-129S, Certification of Eligibility for Intracompany Transferee under a Blanket Petition. The petition beneficiary must be provided by the petitioner with a Form I-797 reflecting the petitioner’s blanket approval. The beneficiary may then apply for a visa through consular processing within six months of the date on the Form I-129S. A Canadian beneficiary of a Form I-129S may apply for a visa with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a qualifying port of entry in order to seek admission under the L blanket petition.

The consular office will only approve an L1A or L1B visa for a beneficiary under a blanket petition for “clearly approvable applications.” The requirements for a beneficiary are the same as for a non-blanket L1A or L1B petition except for the limitation on the L1B category to specialized knowledge professionals only. A petitioner may not seek to afford L1A or L1B status to a beneficiary through a non-blanket and blanket petition simultaneously. However, a petitioner with blanket approval may opt to file a non-blanket petition on behalf of a beneficiary in lieu of seeking approval under the blanket petition. A petitioner may file an individual L1 petition on behalf of a beneficiary who was denied a visa under the L blanket procedure.

Limitations on L Blanket Validity and Extensions of Stay

An individual may be approved for an L1 visa under an L blanket petition so long as the L blanket approval of the petitioner remains valid. The beneficiary may be approved for an initial period of stay of three years even when the validity of the L blanket petition may expire before that date. However, if the validity of the L blanket approval is slated to expire while the employee is on L1 status in the United States, the petitioner will be required to either seek an extension of the validity of the L blanket petition or to file an individual petition to support the employee’s continued employment in the United States.

In order to seek an extension of stay for an employee under an L blanket petition, the petitioner must file a new Form I-129S on behalf of the employee. This extension request may be filed concurrently with a request to extend the validity of the L blanket petition. However, the applications will be considered separately.

Transferring Employees Under L Blanket Petition

An employee may be transferred from one of the petitioner’s organizations with L blanket approval to another with L blanket approval so long as the employee will be performing virtually the same job duties. If the job duties will be different, the petitioner must complete a new Form I-129S on behalf of the beneficiary and submit it for approval with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director who approved the blanket petition. The petitioner cannot transfer an L blanket employee to an entity that does not have L blanket approval under an L blanket petition.

Conclusion

Large petitioners that meet the L blanket requirements may benefit from seeking L blanket approval. L blanket approval makes it easier to transfer multiple L1A and L1B employees from abroad than filing individual petitions on behalf of each employee. However, it is important to note that, while the L blanket petition makes it easier to seek approval for L1A and L1B intracompany transferees, it does not alter the beneficiary’s requirements for eligibility. For this reason, petitioners may still be required to file individual petitions on behalf of beneficiaries who do not present clearly approvable cases or for L1B beneficiaries who fall outside of the scope of the L blanket procedure.

Petitioners should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance in seeking L blanket approval and in handling individual cases that may present special concerns.

by A. Segal

If you have any additional questions or queries contact us at (954).944.2799 or email info@DSALegalGroup.com

 Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact an attorney.