Another milestone, folks - the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) was busy this week and I'm blogging a lot about employment-based immigration (which is clearly a deviation from the norm!) Now I will take up the AAO's decision in Matter of Leacheng International, Inc.
Certain multi-national executives and managers can apply for permanent residence if in the 3 years preceding the time of the executive/manager's application for classification and admission into the United States, he has been employed for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof and the he seeks to enter the United States in order to continue to render services to the same employer or to a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that is managerial or executive. The implementing regulations require that the employer have been doing business for at least one year and define "doing business" as "the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a firm, corporation, or other entity and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office."
In the instant case, the employer was essentially acting as an intermediary between a foreign subsidiary of its parent corporation and buyers and suppliers in the United States. The District Director determined that the employer was not doing business because it was not transacting directly with an unaffiliated third party. The AAO disagreed, finding that the fact that an employer "serves as an agent, representative, or liaison between a related foreign entity and its United States customers does not preclude a finding that it is doing business as defined in the regulations." Since the petitioning company "established that it provides services to its foreign affiliate by marketing the foreign entity’s products, locating buyers, maintaining relationships with customers, and facilitating the completion of sales contracts and shipping arrangements in the United States," it had demonstrated that it was doing business. The AAO sustained the petitioner's appeal.
The full text of Matter of Leacheng International can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/eoir/vll/intdec/vol26/3830.pdf