L-1 visas

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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.



The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a policy memorandumto 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.



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