July 2016 Peace Bridge Recap

Peace Bridge Over Niagara River with ReflectionDuring the month of July, Berardi Immigration Law entered 20 appearances with our clients at the Peace Bridge port of entry. This month, most of our clients were submitting petitions for TN, L-1A or L-1B status, but a few of our appearances were a bit non-traditional in nature as well.

New Office L-1, Take Two

Several years ago, our team prepared “New Office” L-1 applications for a Canadian company which planned to open an affiliated manufacturing company in the U.S. At that time, we successfully secured L-1 status for their executives/managers for a one-year period, the maximum period of time allotted under L-1 regulations for individuals working for newly-formed U.S. companies. Following this approval, the company put their U.S. plans on hold and instead focused on their Canadian operations. They never used their L-1 status and did not reapply the following year.

This year, the company decided to resume their expansion plans into the U.S. and they asked us to assist once more with securing L-1 status for their leadership team. Technically, a company should only have to reapply as a “New Office” once. Despite having incorporated their U.S. operations over seven years, our clients were required to submit a second “New Office” petition because there were not yet any employees or revenues generated by this office in the U.S. Our clients were approved for a one-year period and we look forward to helping them secure status for a three-year-period in 2017.

B-1 “After-Sales” Service Application

In furtherance of their U.S. expansion plan, the same Canadian company had leased essential manufacturing equipment to their new U.S. operations to begin production. The Canadian company now needed to send one of their Canadian employees to the U.S. to install, service and provide training on this particular equipment to newly-hired workers in the U.S. facility. This employee would remain on Canadian payroll and would only enter the U.S. for short periods of time.

Fortunately, there is a provision of the Business Visitor (B-1) regulations that allows individuals to enter the U.S. to perform these kind of services (or to train workers to perform the services) on commercial or industrial equipment or machinery. However, several elements must be met to qualify for this type of admission. There must be a contract incidental to the sale/lease of the equipment or machinery that allows the seller’s/lessor’s employees to perform these services. In addition, the individual providing these services must have demonstrable specialized knowledge of the equipment. The equipment or machinery must also have been manufactured outside of the U.S. Lastly, the individual’s stay in the U.S. must be temporary in nature and he/she cannot receive a salary or other compensation from a U.S. source in connection with these services.

After advising our clients on necessary contract language and all legal requirements, we prepared an application for the employee and appeared with him at the Peace Bridge, where he was successfully approved for this category and admitted into the U.S.

If you are interested for applying for employment authorization under the NAFTA category, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!

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