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Total Articles: 8

The L-1 Category: 3 Tips to Help Your Petition Withstand Scrutiny When Filing at USCIS

With the annual H-1B visa cap posing considerable staffing issues for U.S. employers requiring highly skilled workers, multinational corporations may increasingly turn to the L-1 visa to meet their need for knowledgeable, qualified professionals.

USCIS Adopts Matter of I-Corp and What it Means for L-1B Visas

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a policy memorandum directing USCIS personnel to adopt the Administrative Appeals Office’s (AAO) reasoning in Matter of I-Corp. Specifically, pursuant to Matter of I-Corp.,1 USCIS is directed to deny visa petitions that are based on an illegal or otherwise invalid or unenforceable employment agreement.

USCIS Rolls Out the Blanket L Revised Form I-129S Effective Date

Over the summer, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an updated edition of Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition. The new edition is dated “6/2/16.” Blanket L visa applicants with consular appointments have been required to use the new version since August 29, 2016. However, USCIS had been slower to provide an effective date for use of the new form with USCIS change or extension of status filings until just recently.

The New L-1B Adjudications Policy, Effective August 31

The recently issued U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) final policy memorandum on L-1B visas clarifies the requirements for a sponsoring multinational organization transferring international personnel to the United States to demonstrate that an employee possesses “specialized knowledge.” This policy memorandum follows from the “Immigration Accountability Executive Actions” reforms that President Obama ordered in November 2014. The policy memorandum takes effect on August 31, 2015, and provides important evidentiary guidance to employers seeking to utilize this visa category. It also consolidates and supersedes prior authoritative guidance issued by the Legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the USCIS on the definition of “specialized knowledge”. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296) abolished the INS, established the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and authorized the USCIS to take on many of the adjudicative functions of the INS.

UUSCIS Final Guidance on L-1B Adjudications Offers Some Comfort—But No Cure—for Employer Concerns

On August 17, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy memorandum aiming to clarify the standard required for L-1B specialized knowledge visas.

Ever Evolving L-1B Adjudication Standards

Immigration law practitioners have been receiving Requests for Evidence (RFEs) on most L-1B (Intracompany Transferee-Specialized Knowledge) petitions for new issuance as well as L-1B renewals. These RFEs, requiring burdensome responses, in fact may misinterpret the term “specialized knowledge.”

DHS Report Signals New Challenges for L-1 Intracompany Transferees

The L visa allows qualifying multinational companies with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate abroad to transfer managers and executives (L-1A) and employees with “specialized knowledge” (L-1B) to work in the United States. To qualify, the transferee, within the three-year period preceding entry into the United States, must have been employed abroad in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity by an affiliated entity of the U.S. employer for at least one continuous year. Since the creation of the L visa category in 1970, the L-1 statutory provisions have been modified several times and, in recent years, L-1 cases have been subject to heightened scrutiny both by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. consulates abroad.

L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa for International Companies

The L-1 Intracompany Transferee visa category is a valuable visa category for international companies wishing to transfer key employees to the company’s U.S. operations. The L-1 visa category authorizes the transfer of managers, executives and individuals with specialized knowledge from a foreign company to a U.S. related company. There are two L-1 visa categories. The L-1A visa category permits the transfer of managers, and executives, while the L-1B visa category permits the transfer of individuals working in a specialized knowledge capacity.
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