The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a report to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) regarding the implementation of L-1 visa regulations. The report contains various recommendations to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and USCIS on ways to prevent and deter fraud and abuse within the L-1 intracompany transferee visa program. The report’s findings and recommendations are based on domestic and international fieldwork, including observations of DHS personnel and Department of State consular officials processing L-1 petitions and visas, as well as interviews with 71 managers and staff members of DHS and the Department of State.
The report contains the following 10 recommendations:
- That USCIS publish new guidance that is sufficiently explicit to give USCIS adjudicators an improved basis for determining whether employees of a petition entity possess specialized knowledge.
- That USCIS screen L-1 beneficiaries against a list of persons previously denied visas.
- That USCIS develop broader working level communications opportunities between Immigration Service Officers adjudicating L petitions and Department of State consular offices adjudicating L visa applications.
- That CBP provide thorough L-1 visa training regarding eligibility, L-1 fraud detection, fee assessment accuracy, specialized knowledge, and the Visa Reform Act to all CBP officers processing L-1 travelers at ports of entry or preclearance/preflight stations in Canada.
- That CBP and USCIS establish fraud fee collection guidelines for CBP officers processing L-1 travelers.
- That USCIS require site visits before extending 1 year new office petitions.
- That CBP request that USCIS provide CBP officers at the northern border ports of entry and preclearance locations with access to Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE), a web-based tool that uses commercially available data to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers, to assist in L-1 petition processing.
- That USCIS grant CBP access to VIBE to assist in L-1 petition processing and promote program integrity.
- That USCIS create a regulation on the Visa Reform Act anti “job shop” provisions that will increase consistency in decision making.
- That USCIS update existing guidance on the Visa Reform Act anti “job shop” provisions that Immigration Service Officers can use until a new regulation is created.
The L work visa category allows multinational companies to transfer overseas employees to the United States. In order to be eligible for an L-1 visa, the sponsored manager or executive:
- Must have been employed by the company outside the U.S. in a management or executive capacity for one or more years (continuously) within the three years prior to the transfer, and
- The sponsored employee has been employed outside of the U.S. by the subsidiary, corporate affiliate, or parent company of the U.S. employer… that is sponsoring the employee.
- Must be transferring to a managerial or executive position
The Shapiro Law Group assists U.S. employers with initial transfer visa applications, as well as L-1 extensions. We are familiar with all L-1 rules and procedures, as well as any developments with respect to L-1 visa procedures, which allows us to expedite intra-company transfers and resolve any legal obstacles. Contact us online or call (847) 564-0712 to discuss your employee transfer needs with experienced U.S. immigration lawyers.