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L-1B Denial Rates Continue to Increase – 2014 Statistics

13:58 20 March in News Updates
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L-1B Denial Rates Continue to Increase

The L-1B category is reserved for intracompany transfers who have specialized knowledge. “Intracompany” refers to individuals transferring from a qualifying company abroad to work temporarily for a related company in the U.S.

Although there has been no change in the law or official change in policy, for several years now we have seen a significant increase in the rate of Requests for Additional Evidence (RFE) and Denials in L-1B cases filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Excessive and burdensome requests for additional evidence, some unreasonable denials, and an endemic pattern of inconsistency in adjudications in the L-1 category not only persist, but in the opinion of this writer, are getting worse.

The above delays and uncertainties have made it administratively burdensome, difficult, and more costly for U.S. employers to transfer key employees to the U.S. in a manner timely enough to meet their business needs.

The increased scrutiny of L-1 petitions is not just our imagination. The National Foundation for American Policy published its findings in a report: “L-1 Denial Rates Increase Again for High Skill Foreign Nationals,” NFAP Policy Brief, March 2015. The significant findings:

1. The denial rate for L-1B petitions to transfer employees of Indian origin is a remarkable 56 percent for FY2012 through FY2014, compared to an average denial rate of 13 percent to transfer employees from all other countries during the same period. Only 4 percent of Canadian nationals were denied L-1B petitions, compared to 56 percent of Indian nationals, between FY2012 and FY2014.

2. Surprisingly, USCIS denies L-1B petitions at a higher rate for employees already working in the U.S. and extending their status (41 percent in FY2014) than initial applications (32 percent).

3. Time-consuming Requests for Evidence (RFE) from adjudicators for L-1B petitions have continued at a high level – 45 percent in FY2014. In FY2004, only 2 percent of cases received a Request for Evidence.

The L-1B denial rates for the nationalities filing the highest number of L-1Bs are India (56%), China (22%), Mexico (21%), France (19%), Germany (15%), Japan (15%), UK (16%), and Canada (4%).

To read the full report, and an article about the possible reasons behind the increase, please see: USA Today: Feds Deny More Visas for Specialized Foreign Workers.

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