CFGI quoted – “New L-1 Visa Form Probes Further into Work History”


“Employers seeking L-1 visas for managerial and specialist employees under ‘blanket’ approval will soon have to use a new, longer form with increased scrutiny of workers' employment histories.

“Beginning Aug. 29, companies with an approved blanket L-1 petition must use the latest version of Form I-129S, which allows employers to secure L-1A or L-1B visas for executive and managerial staff or workers with ‘specialized knowledge’ so these workers can transfer to U.S.-based worksites.

“Large multinational companies that frequently transfer workers to the United States use the blanket L option to prequalify the organization and its affiliates for L-1 visas.

“…Important changes to the new version of Form I-129S include:

  • It asks for more detail about prior employment and wages received in U.S. dollars.
  • “It asks for the percentage of time the transferee will spend doing job duties on a daily basis.
  • “It probes into third-party client worksite scenarios.

“‘The updated I-129S doubled in length…and requires the employer to provide specific details about the applicant's prior employment history,’ said Ian Macdonald, a shareholder in the Atlanta office of Greenberg Traurig and the firm's business immigration and compliance practice group lead. ‘We believe these updates are designed to allow the consular officer to more quickly review employment history details on the front end of the application process…’ 

“…The new information demands on the updated form might also be used to intensify scrutiny of applications. ‘The new fields requiring employers to enter detailed employment history information directly on the form, including wages, is likely to lead to more scrutiny for would-be L-1s in a way they have not in the past,’ said Justin Storch, manager of agency liaison at the Council for Global Immigration.

“That's in line with USCIS guidelines released last year, with their increased emphasis on wages and language prohibiting ‘labor for hire’ arrangements, Storch said. 

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