The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a policy memorandum to clarify about the L-1 category visas, often used by Indian technology services companies for intra-company transfers.
The policy memorandum clarified that a qualifying organisation “employ a principal L-1 beneficiary abroad for one continuous year out of the three years before the time of petition filing”.
The memorandum further clarified that the L-1 beneficiary must be physically outside the United States during the required one continuous year of employment, except for brief trips to the United States for business or pleasure.
L-1 visas are issued for intra-company transfers. For instance, when an Infosys executive moves from India to the company’s office in the US, it will be on an L-1 visa. But if the same executive is going the US for working at client site, then he will be issued an H-1 visa.
The petitioner must also meet all these requirements at the time of filing a petition, the USCIS further said.
The Indian IT industry has for long been awaiting greater clarity on the use of L-1 visas.
The fate of L-1 visas has been uncertain due to rising rejection rates, soaring visa fees and a fewer number of renewals.
The US government is reviewing all immigration and visa programmes as part of its Buy American Hire American, subjecting applications to greater scrutiny.