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Dealing with L-1 Visa Denials


If your L-1 visa has been denied, don’t lose hope. You still have two options.

An L-1 visa, a temporary work visa, is issued by the USCIS to enable an intra-company transfer of a manager or an executive or a professional with specialized skills from a foreign office to its affiliated office in the United States. An employer can use this visa to transfer managers or executives from its offices abroad to the US or, in the case of a foreign company, to establish a new office in the US. To get this visa for the employee, the US employer needs to file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

The L-1 visa has several advantages and is a frequently used means to get a work visa to the US. Considering this, the USCIS seems to be reviewing these cases closely and instances of regular cases being denied seem to be increasing. This could be due to President Trump’s 2017 executive order, which calls for stricter scrutiny of all those who want to enter the US.

So what can the employers do when their petition is denied? They can either appeal to the USCIS or file a new petition with the USCIS once again.

Filing an appeal can be time consuming. And since an appeal to the USCIS is to request them to reconsider their own decision, chances of the decision being overturned are likely to be low. The whole process can take anywhere from 8 to 14 months.

The other option is to file a fresh petition for the same employee, making sure to address the reasons for denial of the first petition. The processing time for L-1 visas is currently about a month. If the petitioner opts for premium processing, it can be shortened to 15 days. However, if the USCIS asks for more information, then the processing time can get extended by a few months. But this time is still lesser than what is taken for an appeal.

To ensure you make the right decision about your next step, it is best to work with an authorized immigration lawyer. Professional help may also help you determine if you have any other option other than the L-1 visa. If you meet certain requirements, you may be eligible for the H-1B visa. A qualified lawyer will help you determine the right path to take for the best and earliest possible outcome.

Need Counsel for Immigration? Call Today!

Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the circumstances surrounding delays in processing L-1 visas. These issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to a rejection of your application or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Call our law firm for a free consultation today at: (949) 478-4936.
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