CA9 Upholds USCIS’s Denial of [L-1A] Multinational Manager Petition

Via AILA

Family, Inc. v. USCIS, (9th Cir. Dec. 4, 2006)

USCIS may properly, but not exclusively consider an
organization’s small size as one factor in assessing whether its
operations are substantial enough to support a manager.

Appellants, a corporation and its president, a native and citizen of
South Korea, sought review of the district court’s summary judgment
order affirming USCIS’s denial of their immigrant petition for
classification as a multinational manager under INA §203(b)(1)(C). The
corporation, Family, Inc., owned a dry cleaning operation that employed
Appellant, his wife, three pressers and a cashier. USCIS determined
that Appellant did not carry his burden of establishing that he was
acting in a managerial capacity. Specifically, USCIS determined that
“in light of all the evidence submitted, including [the company’s]
small size, Appellant was ‘likely to be involved in the performance of
routine operational activities of the business’ rather than in managing
the business.”

The court rejected Appellant’s argument that USCIS “exclusively and
improperly” relied on the company’s small size in determining that his
duties did not meet the statutory definition of “managerial capacity.”
See INA §101(a)(44)(A). The court agreed with Appellant that the size
of a company cannot alone justify USCIS’s finding that he is not
operating in a managerial capacity. However, the court concluded that
the plain language of the agency’s denial of the petition indicated
that it considered all of the evidence before it and did not err by
considering the company’s size as one factor in drawing its conclusion.
Furthermore, the court found that the facts in the record support
USCIS’s determination that Appellant was likely engaged in ordinary
operational activities as opposed to managerial activities. The court
held that USCIS’s decision was supported by substantial evidence.

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