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Posts Tagged ‘American LLC’

26th August 2010

Fee Increases for the L1 Visa

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The United States L-1 visa can be a very useful travel document for those who wish to work in the United States for a multi-national corporation. In recent months, many of the fees associated with visa processing have increased. For example, the Consular Processing fees for the K1 visa and the K3 Visa have risen as demands upon resources required an adjustment of costs payable by customers. Other visa categories were also subjected to fee increases.

The L1 visa is the latest subject of a fee increase as noted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in this quotation from a press release distributed through their network:

WASHINGTON—On Aug. 13, 2010, President Obama signed into law Public Law 111-230, which contains provisions to increase certain H-1B and L-1 petition fees. Effective immediately, Public Law 111-230 requires the submission of an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions postmarked on or after Aug. 14, 2010, and will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2014.

These additional fees apply to petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the United States with more than 50 percent of its employees in the United States in H-1B or L (including L-1A, L-1B and L-2) nonimmigrant status. Petitioners meeting these criteria must submit the fee with an H-1B or L-1 petition filed:

• Initially to grant an alien nonimmigrant status described in subparagraph (H)(i)(b) or (L) of section 101(a)(15), or

• To obtain authorization for an alien having such status to change employers. USCIS is in the process of revising the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), and instructions to comply with Public Law 111-230.

To facilitate implementation of Public Law 111-230, USCIS recommends that all H-1B, L-1A and L-1B petitioners, as part of the filing packet, include the new fee or a statement of other evidence outlining why this new fee does not apply. USCIS requests that petitioners include a notation of whether the fee is required in bold capital letters at the top of the cover letter. Where USCIS does not receive such explanation and/or documentation with the initial filing, it may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) to determine whether the petition is covered by the public law. An RFE may be required even if such evidence is submitted, if questions remain. The additional fee, if applicable, is in addition to the base processing fee, the existing Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee, and any applicable American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) fee, needed to file a petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), as well as any premium processing fees, if applicable.

A Request For Evidence (RFE) is analogous to the 221g refusal in that both are requests for further documentation. These types of requests essentially “freeze” the application or petition until the Petitioner, Beneficiary, or their attorney provides the requested documentation or evidence. That said, waiting too long to respond can cause problems as the case could be deemed to have been abandoned. Generally, such forms are issued when the adjudicating officer feels that further evidence is necessary in order to decide the case.

Those interested in learning more about RFEs and visa refusals should see: US Visa Denial

To learn more about L1 visas in the context of American LLC formation please see: US Company Registration.

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3rd July 2010

In an effort to provide information upon which individuals can make informed decisions the following is a brief overview of the concept of limited liability and its practical applications. The following is a direct quote from Wikipedia:

Limited liability is a concept whereby a person’s financial liability is limited to a fixed sum, most commonly the value of a person’s investment in a company or partnership with limited liability. In other words, if a company with limited liability is sued, then the plaintiffs are suing the company, not its owners or investors. A shareholder in a limited company is not personally liable for any of the debts of the company, other than for the value of his investment in that company. This usually takes the form of that person’s dividends in the company being zero, since the company has no profits to allocate. The same is true for the members of a limited liability partnership and the limited partners in a limited partnership.[1] By contrast, sole proprietors and partners in general partnerships are each liable for all the debts of the business (unlimited liability).

Although a shareholder’s liability for the company’s actions is limited, the shareholder may still be liable for its own acts. For example, the directors of small companies (who are frequently also shareholders) are often required to give personal guarantees of the company’s debts to those lending to the company. They will then be liable for those debts in the event that the company cannot pay, although the other shareholders will not be so liable. This is known as co-signing.

The legal structures used by individuals in an effort to enjoy limited liability have changed over the course of recent years. In the relatively distant past, many American jurisdictions required a great deal of formality when granting limited liability. In recent years, legislative measures have been taken in an effort to make conferment of limited liability more available to larger numbers of people and enterprises.

The creation of the Limited Liability Company (also known by its acronym LLC) was a watershed moment in American jurisprudence. To quote Wikipedia again:

A limited liability company (LLC), also known as a company with limited liability (WLL), is a flexible form of business enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. It is a legal form of business company, in the law of the vast majority of United States jurisdictions, that provides limited liability to its owners. Often incorrectly called a “limited liability corporation” (instead of company), it is a hybrid business entity having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship (depending on how many owners there are). An LLC, although a business entity, is a type of unincorporated association and is not a corporation. The primary characteristic an LLC shares with a corporation is limited liability, and the primary characteristic it shares with a partnership is the availability of pass-through income taxation. It is often more flexible than a corporation and it is well-suited for companies with a single owner.

It is important to understand that limited liability does not imply owners are always fully protected from personal liabilities. Courts can and do pierce the corporate veil of LLCs when some type of fraud or misrepresentation is involved, or under certain situations where the owner uses the company as an “alter ego.”

As can be inferred from the above quotation, Limited Liability Companies are an optimal tool for business in the global information age as they provide flexibility as well as mobility for an individual or small group of individuals seeking to provide goods and services to niche markets in the international arena. That said, there are certain legal issues that must be addressed when incorporating any venture and, as straightforward as a US LLC may first appear, there are formalities that must be adhered to when one wishes to organize an American LLC.

For related information please see: US Company Registration.

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21st June 2010

This blog frequently discusses the formation and incorporation of Thai companies, but we rarely discuss corporate formations in the United States of America. Relatively few foreign nationals are aware of the many benefits that come from setting up a corporate structure in the United States.

One of the most advantageous aspects of setting up a company in the United States is banking. American banks are some of the most efficient and customer-service oriented financial institutions in the world. For this reason, many Americans and non-US Citizens routinely use US banks in order to enjoy all of the amenities of truly “global” service. Simply because an individual is not physically in the United States should not mean that he or she should not be accorded comparable banking advantages when competing in the global marketplace. Furthermore, lack of American citizenship should not be a bar upon an international businessperson’s ability to conduct their affairs, banking or otherwise, efficiently and on a global scale.

Limited Liability is another major benefit to those wishing to conduct business in the international, supranational, and multinational spheres. In many jurisdictions of the United States of America the Limited Liability Company has been used as a means of providing limited liability to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A US LLC can also be utilized by foreign nationals doing business in a US jurisdiction so long as the legal formalities are met. That said, those interested in setting up a company in the US are well-advised to seek counsel from an attorney licensed in the jurisdiction where the business is to be conducted.

US Immigration is likely one other point of interest to those seeking a corporate presence in the United States of America. If a US visa applicant has a bona fide business reason for traveling to the United States, then a US business visa may be obtained from a US Embassy or US Consulate overseas. For those who simply need to conduct a meeting or undergo specialized training, a US B1 visa may be the appropriate travel document. However, those wishing to remain for a relatively long period of time working in the USA may apply for a visa category such as the E2 visa or the L1 visa (either the L1A or L1B sub-category). In some cases, an H-1 visa may be the appropriate visa for an individual working and conducting business in the United States. Depending upon the category of the US visa being sought, an applicant’s unique qualifications and skills must be adjudicated by a US Consular Officer with appropriate jurisdiction.

For more information about company registration in Thailand please see: Company in Thailand or US-Thai Treaty of Amity. For further information about setup of a Company in the USA please see: US Company Registration.

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