Approval of L-1B Specialized Knowledge Intracompany Transferee Visas

April 20th, 2012

“Remarkably” I was able to recently obtain approvals for several L-1B specialized knowledge petitions for an IT company.  It was remarkable since USCIS has created such a narrowly restrictive interpretation of specialized knowledge and now defines specialized knowledge as knowledge that is unique or rare in an organization.  They pulled this from an old dusty case that should never have been brought back to life.  What was the purpose of renewing such a rigid view?  Is it politics or USCIS’s unreasonable fear of rampant fraud?  How are US employers supposed to help grow the economy and create jobs if H-1B numbers are capped and L-1Bs are virtually impossible to obtain?  Even in this weak economy, there are many skilled positions that are going unfilled because of a dearth of US workers with advanced skills.  With foreign nationals now deciding to stay in or return to their home countries such as India and China, because of their growing economies, we must become more competitive and try to attract as many necessary and highly educated and skilled workers as possible.

New $2,000/$2,250 H-1B/L-1 Fee for Certain Employers

October 8th, 2010

On August 13, 2010, USCIS implemented a new $2,000 fee, under Public Law 111-230, for H-1B petitioners with 50 or more employees and more than 50% of its employees in H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrant status. This new law also imposes an additional $2,250 fee for L-1A and L-1B petitioners with 50 or more employees and more than 50% of its employees in H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrant status.  The fee applies to new petitions for initial nonimmigrant H-1B and L-1 status and change of employer H-1B and L-1 petitions.  This fee is in addition to the petition fee ($320), Fraud and Detection fee ($500) and the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) fee ($1,500 for employers with more than 25 employees and $750 for those with 25 or fewer employees).  The employer must pay this new fee.