Unfortunately, the trend in L-1 visas being denied is increasing in the U.S., with reasons ranging from “not enough information” to “applicant ineligibility.” It is suspected that many of these reasons for a L-1 visa denial may be insubstantial, but that employers and employees will be reluctant to re-file a petition once rejected—or file under a different visa classification, such as an H-1.
According to a 2012 article in BusinessWeek, employers have begun to seen a sharp decrease in approved L1-B visas for workers with specialized knowledge. From 2003 through 2007, about 8 percent of company requests were denied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. By 2011, the rejection rate was up to 27 percent.
Employers have received a number of puzzling reasons for denial of work visas, such as the employee does not possess “specialized knowledge”, that the parent or subsidiary branch outside the United States is not qualified, or that the company perpetrated a fraud in order to get USCIS to approve the petition. Corporations have even said that USCIS asks for request upon request for more information about a worker’s expertise, only to deny him based on a seemingly arbitrary decision.