Immigrants seeking to enter the United States on a work visa—like the L-1 or EB-5—are required to undergo a rigorous application process whereby documents are reviewed by United States Citizenship & Immigration Services. The bar is set high for many of these applicants; those applying for an L-1 visa, or employee interagency transfer from abroad, for example, must meet stringent standards related to their work functions, and prove their move will be a net positive for the business which with they are affiliated. Each year, a steady stream of applicants are denied admission to the U.S. A major reason for this can be tied to incomplete business plans, which are an integral part of the applicant’s petition to enter the country; these are documents that lay out facts about the business entity and include concrete, well-researched information about how the business will be affected by the employee’s involvement domestically.
There are several missteps applicants might make pertaining to business plans, including:
- Providing unclear business descriptions
- Presenting an industry analysis doesn’t depict the field being described in a positive enough light
- Failing to properly research and offer data relevant for the market analysis
- Being vague about the amount of employees that will be hired, especially for EB-5 visas and E-2 visas
- Over-inflating or being unrealistic about financial projections for the company in question
Incomplete or Unclear Business Descriptions
The business description is the vehicle by which applicants will present factors such as the type and history of a company, its goals and achievements, the number of employees on the payroll, details about management, etc. If an applicant submits a business description that doesn’t contain this information and more, it may contribute to a visa denial or RFE; therefore, it’s integral to provide as much data as possible to show the business is thriving—and the employee’s investment in the venture is a good idea.
Poorly Presented Industry Analysis
A poorly presented industry analysis may be another reason for a denial. It’s incumbent upon the applicant to show that the industry in which the business is operating is viable, and importantly, that the business’ standing in that industry is competitive—and even tops others in the market. The industry analysis also must be detailed; it should contain a comprehensive guide to the field being examined, including economic and market conditions, and current and potential competitors and challenges. Overall, it should highlight why the business is performing positively in its field.
Market Analysis Problems
Similarly, a thorough market analysis is key. Often, applicants submit market analyses that lack details or a coherent look at the state of the current market—including size, demographics and other information about the customer base, as well as barriers to entry and a close look at the competition.
Information about employment factors, especially jobs created, is particularly important for those applying for EB-5 and E-2 visas, whereby visa approval is in part based on the creation of new jobs as a result of foreign investment. A key error applicants might make here is failing to provide enough specifics, such as the total number of prospective new hires, jobs descriptions, and intended salaries and benefits.
Another area of relevance for a business proposal is a clear, honest look at financial projections. Too often, applicants provide financial estimates that are inaccurate or imprecise. The proper information that should be laid out includes sales estimates for at least five years, as well as potential profits or losses, all things that provide a feasible outlook for how the business will perform financially. The applicant also can provide substantive data pertaining to monetary goals and potential setbacks.
Importance of Seeking Professional Help
Since the business plan is a key element of the petition for a visa, it’s advised that applicants and business entities seek professional help from experts like immigration lawyers, who have extensive knowledge in crafting these plans and compiling the detailed information USCIS requires. Immigration lawyers also can assist applicants who have been asked to respond to a request for additional evidence (RFE), or who are reapplying for a work visa after an initial denial.
Contact KPPB Law For More Information
To learn more about U.S. visas and the immigration process, and to take advantage of our array of immigration services, please contact KPPB Law by giving us a call or sending us a message online today.