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US brings in new norm on L-1 visa, provides leeway

A leeway has been built in for the employees already working for the sponsoring company on an H-1B visa, as they may be able to adjust the time requirement.

TNN|
Dec 03, 2018, 12.14 PM IST
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TNN
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Companies like TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra are among the top applicants for L-1 visas.
The US Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) clarified last week that an L-1 beneficiary (employee for whom the application is filed by the sponsoring company) must be employed outside the US by the company for one continuous year, within three years before filing of the visa application.

However, a leeway has been built in for the employees already working for the sponsoring company on an H-1B visa, as they may be able to adjust the time requirement.

“The new L-I policy guidance clarifies ambiguities between the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the implementing regulations. It confirms what a cautious immigration attorney has always been advising clients,” says Cyrus D Mehta, founder of a New York-based law firm.

“Now it is clear that eligibility must be met at the time of filing. This may require some employers to delay their application for L-1 visas until the full one year is met, but having a clear policy at least puts employers on notice so that they can comply and avoid unnecessary denial,” Emily Neumann, immigration advocate and partner at Reddy & Neumann told media.

The L-1A visa is for intra-company transferees who work in managerial or executive positions in a company located outside US, whereas the L-1B visa applies for those employees who work in positions that require specialised knowledge. Companies like TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra are among the top applicants for L-1 visas.
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