Think Tank Report: Indians See Higher Denial Rate of L1 Visa
The L-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies to send employees who have worked abroad for at least a year and possess ‘specialized knowledge’ to work in the US for up to five years. It seems, however, that Indians are experiencing a significantly higher denial rate of L1 visa compared to the applicants from any other country, an American think tank has said.
“It appears much of the increase in the denial rate has been focused on Indian nationals. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied more new L-1B petitions for Indians in FY 2009 (1,640) than in the previous nine fiscal years combined (1,341 denials between FY 2000 and FY 2008),” the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) said in a recent report.
In its latest report, NFPA said in fiscal 2009, the denial rate of new L-1B petitions for Indians increased to 22.5 percent even though there had been no change in the regulations. In contrast, for Canada, the UK, China, and other countries the denial rate in FY 2009 ranged from 2.9 percent to 5.9 percent for new L-1B petitions.
USCIS did not release country-specific data for FY 2012 and FY 2013 but interviews with employers and attorneys indicate the problems with receiving approvals for L-1B petitions involving Indian nationals have continued, it said. “Preventing companies from transferring their own employees into the US discourages job creation, innovation, and investment from taking place in America,” said Stuart Anderson, Executive Director, National Foundation for American Policy.
According to the report, the continuing high rate of denials and requests for evidence for L-1B petitions has a negative impact on the ability of companies to make products and services in the United States and compete globally.
“It is very difficult for companies to make business decisions when there is so much uncertainty in the L1 visa process,” according to Lynden Melmed, partner, Berry Appleman & Leiden, and former chief counsel at USCIS. “A company is going to be unwilling to invest in a manufacturing facility in the US if it does not know whether it can bring its own employees into the country to ensure its success,” he added.