AAO Approves L-1A Visa
Administrative Appeals Office approved a new office L-1A extension for a function manager.
On certification from the California Service Center (CSC), the Administrative Appeals Office approved a new office L-1A extension for a function manager, finding that the CSC erroneously focused almost entirely on the size of the U.S. company without considering the reasonable needs of the organization as a whole. The term “function manager” applies generally when a beneficiary does not supervise or control the work of a subordinate staff but instead is primarily responsible for managing an “essential function” within he organization. See section IOI(a)(44)(A)(ii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § IIOI(a)(44)(A)(ii).
The petitioner established that the beneficiary devoted more than half of his time to managerial duties.
The record establishes that, “the beneficiary has been given significant discretion in decision-making and that he is clearly a member of the senior management team working closely with the parent company’s executives in determining the direction of the business in the United States and the Americas.
While the beneficiary is required to apply his business expertise in carrying out his job duties and performs some operational or administrative tasks, the petitioner has established by a preponderance of the evidence that the majority of the day-to-day managerial tasks associated with the function he manages are performed by his staff of ten direct and indirect subordinates and by external service providers. (Matter of Chawathe, 25 I&N Dec. 369376 (AAO 2010). As the statutory definition discusses managerial capacity as function of the duties that the beneficiary “primarily” performs, the petitioner need only establish that the beneficiary devoted more than half of his time to managerial duties. The petitioner has met that burden.
Case Study – L-1B Visa Petition
The Charges: The Director of USCIS denied Petitioner’s L-1B petition and concluded that the evidence was insufficient to prove that the Beneficiary possesses “specialized knowledge”.
The petitioner is a Taiwan based company that provides direct technical and engineering support to its foreign U.S. based customers. The Director of USCIS denied Petitioner’s L-1B petition on behalf of the beneficiary and concluded that the evidence was insufficient to prove that the Beneficiary possesses “specialized knowledge” as required under 8 C.F.R.§214.2(l)(1)(ii)(D). The Director noted that the Beneficiary’s knowledge was not any more advanced than other engineers of the foreign employer.
The ultimate question is whether the Petitioner has met its burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that the beneficiary’s knowledge or expertise is “advanced or special” and that the beneficiary’s position requires such knowledge.
The Verdict: The Administrative Appeals Office sustained Petitioner’s appeal, finding that the beneficiary has advanced knowledge of the foreign employer’s processes and procedures.
The Administrative Appeals Office sustained Petitioner’s appeal, finding that the totality of the evidence established that it is more likely than not that the beneficiary has advanced knowledge of the foreign employer’s processes and procedures. The AAO noted that, “[A]s both “special” and “advanced” are relative terms. Determining whether a given beneficiary’s knowledge is “Special” or “Advanced” inherently requires a comparison of the beneficiary’s knowledge against that of others in the petitioning company and/or against others holding comparable positions in the industry.” In this matter, the AAO found that the beneficiary holds advanced knowledge of the foreign employer’s processes and procedures related to product and design of manufacturing and that this specialized knowledge will be critical to the Beneficiary’s technical support role in the U.S.