Employers that hire foreign nationals should be aware of a little publicized fact – the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) is coming down hard on L and H1-B visa applications. See a post at Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy for more information. The report Siskind references, “Data Reveal High Denial Rates for L-1 and H-1 Petitions at USCIS,” can be found on the National Foundation for American Policy website.
USCIS is issuing many more time-consuming Requests for Evidence to obtain additional information from visa applicants. Ultimately, USCIS denies many of these applications. Nothing has changed in the regulations, but USCIS is interpreting the regulations more stringently.
This, while the same Service ignores foreign nationals here illegally with children born in the U.S.
I am not advocating the splitting up of families – clearly, we need comprehensive immigration reform in this nation that addresses many aspects of our immigration system. But immigration reform should recognize the legitimate needs of businesses for foreign workers – particularly employees of their foreign affiliates.
Much has been written about the need for more H1-B visas to bring in foreign workers with specialized knowledge. L visas cover inter-company transfers – workers of foreign affiliates of U.S. companies. L visas should be even easier to obtain than H1-B visas.
Businesses should have substantial leeway to bring in foreign employees with knowledge of their business. Employers know better than USCIS which of their foreign employees are needed here in the U.S. They should have the flexibility to move workers between their affiliates.
We ought not penalize employers that are spending the time and money to bring their workers here legally, while ignoring other aspects of current immigration law.