Misconceptions Regarding L-1B Visa Abuse


It seems that Legacy INS, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) and other immigration authorities hold some misconceptions about abuses associated with the L-1B visa program.

This is an important program, which allows foreign employees of domestic companies with global operations to transfer to the U.S.when they have “specialized knowledge” needed at home.

In an attempt to narrow the opening for transfers legislatively created by Congress, immigration authorities have suggested that specialized knowledge must be “noteworthy” or “uncommon,” as well as “advanced” or “narrowly held,” and sometimes even “related to a proprietary process.”

But our immigration authorities should take a closer look at the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s 2006 Report entitled, “Review of Vulnerabilities and Potential Abuses of the L-1 Visa Program.” This report did not find that the L-1B category had been misused by employers, nor did it find that employers improperly used the L-1B category as a substitute for the H-1B program when H-1B visas were scarce.

The Inspector General even concluded that there was no basis for concerns that L-1B workers were displacing U.S.workers, noting that “despite recent increases in the usage of the L-1B category, there continues to be a relatively low number of aliens granted L-1B classification annually.”

 If you are an employer or agent of an employer responsible for intra-company transfers or compliance with immigration rules generally, please do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance at (847)564-0712. You are also welcome to visit the pertinent section of our immigration law Website for additional information about our services.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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