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Immigration Issues/L1 when foreign employer closed

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QUESTION: Hi,
I am going to apply for L1 Individual visa through my employer. I want to know few things from your side. My first company was a firm - partnership firm. It was an unregistered firm. I worked there for 5 years. Right now the company is closed.
I Do have the experience certificate. But problem will arise if they conduct back ground verification to verify the validity of the document. There is no one who can validate the experience certificate. Then what shall I do?
The firm- the my first employer was neither that tech savvy. They did not have any portal. It was a sole proprietor firm. Only 7 people used work. Salary used to be given in cash, not even a cheque or bank transfer. They used to deal in second hand office automation equipment repair and sale.
Now during documentation for L1 Individual visa, do I need to mention that this company is now closed? If yes then what all documentation or additional information they might ask for? In what fashion I should mention this to avoid rejection or any bad consequences.
Waiting for your valued opinion.
Regards,
Rahul

ANSWER: Hi,

If you gained the qualifying experience through a company that is now closed, the L1 petition cannot be filed, as it is required that the foreign company remain a viable business during the time that the manager or executive or specialized knowledge worker is based at the U.S. branch or subsidiary or affiliate. Our law firm has general information on L1 visa category here: www.h1b1.com/L1visa.htm

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi,

Let me clarify. I am right now working with IBM as SAP (A software)-Consultant. Prior to joining IBM I did a certification in SAP from Siemens in Delhi ( Internationally recognised Certification).I joined IBM as fresher. And I am applying for L1 Individual visa only after completing one year in working in SAP software for which I did certification.Prior to this consultation job with IBM, I have total 7 years of working experience in various fields.I spent 2 years in BPO industry just before joining IBM and before joining BPO I was in marketing for 5 years. That company where I worked as sales executive for 5 years is closed. I am applying L1 Individual Visa as SAP consultant from IBM, not for marketing or BPO job. In this back ground - Will the closure of my First marketing firm make some difficulty for me?

ANSWER: Hi,

It is OK if the first company closed.

However, the company where you gained the qualifying experience (at least one year during the past 3 years physically outside the U.S.) must still be viable when the U.S. branch or subsidiary or affiliate files L1 petition for you. In other words, there must be some type of relationship (the U.S. company has a controlling interest over the foreign company, or vice-versa) between the U.S. company and foreign company when the U.S. company files L1 petition for you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: During L1 individual visa processing, they will do a back ground verification check, right?

During the back ground verification( Verification of past emplyoment) if they find the first company ( Unregistered Firm) is closed, then what will happen?

Should I declare voluntarily that the first company does not exist any more?
What action should I take during processing of my documents to avoid bad consequences in the present company.

If I declare the first company is closed, then further what all documents or information I need to submit? I dont have salary slip, any colleague's name and contact no, nothing for the first company.There is nothing that they can use to verify the work experience certificate I got from closed company. Then what will happen?

Answer
Based on the facts stated in your email, you are not eligible for L1 filing since there is no foreign company which still exists through which you gained qualifying experience. And yes, documentary proof will be required and the Consulate will investigate.

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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