L-1 Visa Process and Complications
The biggest problem that clients face when their applications are submitted to the USCIS is the shaky definition of the term, “specialized knowledge”. The problem lies with the fact that “specialized” can be highly subjective, jumping in significance from one officer to the other. This frequently results in RFE’s from the USCIS requiring the applicant to submit additional evidence demonstrating his specialization. This problem has even reached the eyes of the inspector general from Homeland Security, who claims that reform will be likely in the coming future.
An international company can use an L-1A Visa to transfer a foreign employee to a U.S. office or headquarters if that employee has an executive role within the company, or the company can use an L-1B if this employee has the aforementioned, “specialized knowledge”. Officers that were interviewed, stated “we were told that when adjudicating specialized knowledge petitions, the general principle is ‘you know it when you see it’.” Due to this free reign of executive decisions on the officer’s behalf, standardized results became very inconsistent, leaving the applicants feeling bewildered about their denials.
USCIS approved more than 33,000 L-1 visa petitions in 2011, down from a peak of about 57,000 in 2007. India, England, Japan, Canada, and Mexico accounted for over 75% of entries into the United States on L-1 visas between 2003 and 2010. L-1 applications are already complicated for USCIS officers, and the majority of officers claim that they are not properly trained to adequately adjudicate them.
Some officers even go further to claim that the entire bureaucratic visa process is distracting them from their true mission, which is to keep drugs, terrorists, and undocumented immigrants out of the country. The sad truth is that we have lost sight for what the immigration authorities of the United States were initially set out to do. If intelligent, talented, and ambitious individuals want to immigrate to the United States to help it prosper and succeed, we should take proactive steps to put down the endless red tape that has barred so many worthy individuals from doing so.
If any you have any questions, the team here at Buda Law Group will gladly answer them. Please reach out to us to find out more or get a competitive quote on our legal immigration services.
John B. Buda, Esq.www.budalawgroup.net office: 310-452-1872 [email protected] 3301 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite 205 Santa Monica, CA 90405