13 April 2015
Category News Room
13 April 2015,
 0

The Policy Memorandum issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) regarding “L-1B Adjudications Policy” on March 24, 2015 provides newly consolidated and clarified agency standards for adjudicating L-1B intracompany transfer “specialized knowledge” petitions.  Since Congress created the L-1 visa program in 1970, there have been multiple laws, regulations, and policies issued by the U.S. Government defining and interpreting what it means to be an intracompany transferee possessing “specialized knowledge,” or L-1B nonimmigrant.  The March 24 memo (found here: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Outreach/Draft%20Memorandum%20for%20Comment/2015-0324-Draft-L-1B-Memo.pdf) intends to supersede and rescind previous agency L-1B memoranda and replace them with a single, standard guiding document that will control future L-1B adjudications.  In addition to establishing the “preponderance of evidence” test as the controlling standard of proof for all L-1B petitions, the memos lays out a consolidated definition of “specialized knowledge” and details how the definition should be applied.  The memo also provides guidance on qualifying employment and offsite employment by L-1B employees.  This memo has been promised for several years and was again promised as part of the President’s Executive Action announcements.  The contents of the memo are supportive of the approach attorneys saw more consistently from USCIS officers about five or more years ago before review at the Service Centers became more restrictive.  We are obviously hopeful that the introduction of this new guidance will take hold and we’ll see less harsh decision-making from USCIS.

 

** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only.  It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **

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