A few tips based on our experience of providing second opinions on L1A decisions as well as handling these complex cases as part of our employment based immigration practice- is to understand that filing a “new office” L1A application, even for an Owner is tough till the company is set up professionally and has progressed to a sophisticated level of management. Running a small business such as a store will not qualify unless the business doesn’t tap into several layers of management and complex duties that are justified for the Owner/Executive. Be aware that the focus on L1A is as intense as the L1B’s at this time. President Obama, announced reforms to fix the definition of “specialized worker” applicable to the L1B- but did not pay attention to the definition of “employer”, “company” or “business” which seems to be more under the scrutiny at the present time for the L1A. The audits and requests for evidence are focusing on the duties of the L1A manager or executive but the decisions carry a bias regarding the nature of business of the petitioning entity! USCIS is at its worst- picking a part of the regulation and focusing on it to the complete exclusion of reason. It is high time a petitioning company, facing an adverse decision, challenge the USCIS in Court.

Some updates from USCIS are below:

  • Registration is open for Nepal TPS from June 24th, 2015 to December 21st- and will provide relief to Nepalese citizens for 18 months and provide them with employment authorizations and advance paroles. Please don’t give up your valid legal status but use TPS for work authorization.
  • H-4 EAD rule is bearing results with applicants for EAD, getting their employment authorization in first 30-45 days, instead of the expected course of 90 days.
  • Premium processing for H-1B extension of stay petition resumes from July 15th, superseding the last announcement, which had suspended premium H1B extension of stay services until July 27th, 2015.