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L-1 Visa Programs and Issues of Discrimination

Jun 6, 2014 12:37:46 PM / by Staff Attorney

L-1 visas allow foreigners to live and work in the United States for a short period of time. They are available for employees of international companies who wish to transfer from a foreign office to an office in the United States. If you wish to transfer to a position in the United States with an L-1 visa, it is important that you receive guidance throughout the application process, particularly when acceptances have gone down across the board.

Who is Eligible for an L-Visa?

If you wish to apply for an L-1 visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a manager, executive, or a worker with specialized knowledge;
  • You must be employed by an international employer who has an office in the United States; and
  • You must have worked there for at least one continuous year within the past three years.

The L-1B visa program was designed specifically for those who have a specialized skill while the L-1A program is for executives. There are many benefits that come with being an L visa holder. For example, spouses of L visas holders may seek an L-2 visa. The L-1B visa can even lead to a green card and permanent residency.

Filing for an L-1 visa can be a complicated process and the smallest mistake can lead to a denial of your request. An experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer will be able to successfully guide you through this challenging process and take steps to overcome issues of discrimination.

Possible Discrimination in L-Visas

L-1 visas should be available for applicants regardless of the applicants' nationalities; however, a recent study found that immigration authorities may have been discriminating against certain applicants.

According to the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), the United States authorities in charge of issuing L-1 visas have been discriminating against people of Indian origin. Denials for all nationalities have increased somewhat over the years, but denials for applicants of Indian origin have risen sharply, the study states. India-based employers have said that securing L-1B visas for their employees has become more difficult in recent years, regardless of whether the employees are eligible for the program.

Topics: Work Visas

Staff Attorney

Written by Staff Attorney


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