The Trump Govt. has decided to tighten rules for intra-company employee transfers from foreign office (say in India) to offices in the US.
Indian tech companies largely rely on the H1B Visa to send their employees to their US offices. However, they also extensively use L1 Visas.
The L1A Visa is for managers, while the L1B Visa is for professionals with specialized skills.
The Trump Govt’s fall agenda states that the Dept. of Homeland Security will revise the definition of “specialized knowledge” to maintain the integrity of the L1 Program. The DHS will also clarify the definition of employee-employer relationship and employment. The DHS will also ensure that L1 Visa holders are paid appropriate wages. September 2020 is the target date for the proposed draft rules.
The DHS moves ahead with its plan to revise the definition of “speciality occupation” to attract the best and the brightest from across the world through the H1B Program.
There has been a recent spate of H1B rejections on the grounds that the job did not fall under a “speciality occupation”. Surprisingly, this has even happened for cases where the employee was already on an H1B in the same or a similar job.
The rejection rate for both H1B and L1 Visas have increased over the years. The H1B approval rate was as high as 95.7% in 2015, which dropped to 84.8% by the end of September 2019. Similarly, the L1 approval rate in 2015 was 84% which has dropped to 72% this year.
Another proposal could stop B1 Visa holders from working in the US for short durations. A long-deferred proposal is to ban the work rights of H4 EAD holders.
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