Understanding and Dealing with Local People Effectively – Using cross-culture communication skills for the exchange visitor (J-1), fiancé visa (K-1), permanent resident (green card) or business executive (L1, or E2 investor).

You’ve come temporarily to study or work in the United States or permanently reside with your spouse. You’ve completed the legal process of obtaining a visa (F-1/J-1 for students, L1 for Executive, E-2 for Owner/investor, or green card) and your visions of accomplishment of your venture look within your reach. But there is still one obstacle to your success and that is to acquire the skill of cross-culture communication.

No one goes to school or works without interactions with other students and employees, teachers and service providers, suppliers of books, equipment, landlords, mechanics, bus drivers, instructors, care-givers, sales people, and fellow sojourners from other countries abroad. In these interactions between “there’s bound to arise one or more of these obstacles to successful communication: 1) confusion,2) misunderstanding, 3) misinterpretation.

It’s natural, even if you are native to the locality, to slip up with your communication signals. What is a “culture” anyway? It’s the uniqueness of a group of people (usually from same location) — it’s their differences, how they are different, distinct from one another in their “deeply held beliefs and instincts about what is natural, normal, right and good.”(see Stroti ref.) Sounds like what would be called “common sense” in any language. And, that’s true: what we’re dealing with here is two different interpretations of what is common sense.

“To succeed in an overseas assignment, expats have to interact effectively with the local people.” Craig Storti goes on to say in The Art of Crossing Cultures, “Cross –cultural encounters don’t always go wrong, of course, any more than same-culture interactions
always go splendidly, but, all things being equal, they are certainly more likely to end badly.” Mr. Stroti goes on to explain why this happens and offers guidelines on how to prevent cultural mishaps.

My future writing plan is to deal more thoroughly with the subject of cross-cultural skill building. But for an overall summary of theory and practice, I recommend Mr. Storti’s book, with its many humorous quotes, as a balance of entertainment with enlightenment.

[Craig Storti, The Art of Crossing Cultures, 2nd Ed., Intercultural Press, Maine; Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London, 2001]

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Common Sense and the L-1A Visa: Why Do Executives and Managers From Abroad Contribute their Skills and Expertise to the US Business Community?

By Kaushik Ranchod, Immigration Attorney

Sometimes the upset of an economic downturn, loss of jobs, bad reports about how “outsourcing” is “causing” Americans to lose jobs, which in turn promotes negative attitudes about foreign investment of money and talent in the US – all these factors cause an overall loss of common sense.

Yes.  Common sense about what is really a gain and what is actually a loss.   The L1A visa program is a perfect example.  Here’s a circumstance administered by the strict rules and regulations of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service USCIS (formerly, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)) which enables local businesses (no doubt they are either branch offices, subsidiaries, or affiliates of a company which has its main office somewhere else in the world) to import business managerial knowledge and executive skills from abroad and apply these benefits to local businesses practices and personnel training – all for paid for by the Petitioner (the out-of-US-employer) seeking legal sanction (and paying USCIS thousands in fees for this service) so that the Beneficiary (the manager/executive ,who will be working under the non-immigration L1A visa) can contribute executive/managerial know-how to the US economy.  And the cost to the U.S. taxpayer?  Zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Continue reading “Common Sense and the L-1A Visa: Why Do Executives and Managers From Abroad Contribute their Skills and Expertise to the US Business Community?” »

L1 Visa Blanket Requirements

L1 Visa Blanket Requirements

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Offers Insight on L1 Visa Blankets

Using a L1 visa blanket can save petitioning businesses a lot of time when trying to bring managers, executives and employees with specialized knowledge to the U.S. Non-blanket applications can take up to four months or longer while those submitted under the blanket can be facilitated quickly. Continue reading “L1 Visa Blanket Requirements” »

Does Your Company Qualify for L1 Visa?

Does Your Company Qualify for L1 Visa?

A San Jose Immigration Lawyer Considers Company Requirements

From my immigration law office in the San Jose area, I work with many companies throughout the U.S. on the L1 visa process. Often when we discuss the L 1 in this blog, the focus is on the individuals who may apply for these visas. Here is a consideration of what is needed for a company to meet the requirements of a L1 visa. Continue reading “Does Your Company Qualify for L1 Visa?” »

Some Aspects of the L1 Visa that Make it Attractive

Some Aspects of the L1 Visa that Make it Attractive

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Looks at What Makes L1 Visa a Good Choice

In this blog, I’ve written a lot lately about the L1 visa, which is designed for foreign managers or executives and specialized knowledge staff who are coming to the U.S. to work on a non-permanent basis. Those applying for a L1 visa must have been employed for one continuous year of the past previous three years by a foreign company that is legally connected to the U.S. company for which they are coming to work. Continue reading “Some Aspects of the L1 Visa that Make it Attractive” »

L1 Visa Restrictions and Flexibility

L1 Visa Restrictions and Flexibility

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Considers L1 Visa Flexibility

Through my San Francisco immigration law practice, I work with many L1 visa applicants throughout the United States. The L1 visa is available to workers from companies outside of the United States who are coming to this country to work for a parent company, a subsidiary or a company legally connected to the company they are working for in their land of origin. Continue reading “L1 Visa Restrictions and Flexibility” »

Important Aspects of L1A Visa for Executives and Managers

The L1A visa is for managers and executives in foreign countries who are going to come to work for a U.S. company. Here are some facts regarding this visa that in my capacity as an immigration attorney in Sacramento of which I’ve found every applicant should be aware.

Processing Time

Once all of the documents are completed and submitted, the processing time for the L1A visa ranges from two to four months.

If a company needs to expedite the process, they may pay a Premium Processing fee of $1,000. Premium Processing by the USCIS takes 15 days. Continue reading “Important Aspects of L1A Visa for Executives and Managers” »

L1A Visa Requirements

As an immigration attorney in Sacramento, I work with applicants from around the country wanting to secure a L1A visa. This visa is designed for managers and executives who want to come to the U.S. and work in the same capacity.

Who is a Manager?

A manager is someone who oversees specific aspects of an organization, including employees or the running of the organization. They have various powers including the authority to fire or hire employees, supervise the operations of an organization or company and influence the daily operation of a company or a specific division or area of the company. Continue reading “L1A Visa Requirements” »

Investor Visa Application: What Your Immigration Lawyer Can Do

In our law offices in San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento, our immigration lawyers and staff offer a range of services. Working for many years as an immigration lawyer, sometimes I take for granted that potential clients have a sound idea about what services they should expect.

However, for many undergoing the E-2 and L-1 visa process, this is a first-time experience and they may not know what to expect. Here’s a list of what a good immigration lawyer should do for you if you’re applying for an investor visa. Continue reading “Investor Visa Application: What Your Immigration Lawyer Can Do” »

L-1 Visa Documents

Click Here to read Ranchod Content in Spanish

In my law office in San Francisco, our immigration lawyers have been working with various companies and individuals on L-1 visa applications. In order to be approved, applications must meet certain criteria and they must also file all of the right paperwork.

Documents Required for L-1 Application

As an immigration lawyer, one area in which I focus is ensuring that all documents are in order when someone is applying for a L-1 visa. Some of the necessary documents necessary for applying for an L-1 visa after the L-1 petition has been approved is the following:

  • Form DS-156 from the USCIS.
  • A recent passport photograph showing the applicant’s full face. This is taken against a light background and there can be no head covering.
  • A passport that’s valid for travel in the U.S. for at least six months past the termination date of the applicant’s visit.
  • Employee’s copy of INS Form 1-797 Approval Notice.
  • Copy of USCIS Form 1-129, which is the Petition for a Nonimmigrant visa, and supporting documents. This form is filed with the USCIS by the applicant’s employer.

The L-1 Petition

This petition is used by the USCIS to decide if the applicant meets the basic qualifications for the visa for which they are applying. As far as the L-1 visa is concerned, the USCIS will utilize the petition to determine specifically if the applicant possesses the training, experience and background to enter the country in the capacity of a manager, executive or skilled and knowledge worker.

Thus, this petition outlines all of the important information as it pertains to the applicant’s past employment, expertise and education.

Information Required with the L-1 Petition

Along with the petition, applicants must submit a letter from their company that at a minimum attests to the following:

  • Length of time with the company, positions held and present employment.
  • A statement describing what position the applicant will hold in the U.S.
  • An acknowledgment that the company knows of the applicant’s transfer to the U.S. and has approved it.
  • The document must also contain the U.S. company’s full legal name and address. If the applicant will be at more than one location then all of the addresses involved must be listed.
  • An explanation of the need for the transfer
  • The document must be signed.

These are the basic elements that go into a L-1 visa application. In my capacity as an immigration lawyer in San Francisco, I am constantly coordinating various aspects of this process, ensuring that applicants are given the best possible chance to secure the visa they require to perform their duties.

For more information on L1 Visas, please visit the L1 Visa section of our website.

Please contact the Ranchod Law Group with offices in San Francisco, San Jose Bay Area, and Sacramento California, at or at 415-986-6186 if you have any questions regarding L-1 visas or immigration.
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