Indian outsourcer says half US L1 visa applications are declined

The Indian outsourcing firm Tata Consulting says that half of the applications it makes for US visas are being declined by US immigration. As a result, Tata is employing many more workers from the USA and Canada.

Tata's global head of human resources Ajoyendra Mukherjee told the livemint.com website that the rejection rate for visa applications made by Tata rose from about 30% in 2011 to 50% in 2012 and has stayed at that level ever since. This means that Tata has started to hire more staff in the US.

Mr Mukherjee says that Tata is hiring 600 North American employees per quarter in the 2013/14 fiscal year, up from 450 per quarter in 2012/13. The company is visiting US universities to recruit graduates.

Cheaper

Mr Mukherjee says that this is actually cheaper for Tata than employing Indian staff. He said 'at the junior level, it's probably less expensive to hire someone locally than taking someone from India. Everyone thinks getting someone from India would be cheaper, but it's not true'.

L-1 visas are intra-company transfer visas. International companies can transfer skilled workers from outside the US to their US offices. There are two L-1 visas; the L-1A for managers and executives, and the L-1B visa for staff with 'specialized knowledge'.

Many companies have been complaining that it has become much harder to get L-1B visas since 2012. In October 2012, fifty leading US software companies including Microsoft and Oracle wrote an open letter to President Obama complaining that USCIS had made it much harder to obtain an L-1B visa.

Lottery

Denise Rahmani of Oracle told Businessweek magazine that it was so difficult to persuade USCIS to grant an L-1B visa that it had become a lottery. She said 'it feels like the roll of the dice every time'.

Ms Rahmani complained that USCIS refused an L-1B visa for one employee on the grounds that he did not possess specialized knowledge of an Oracle program despite the fact that he had written the guidebook for that program.

Sanwar Ali of workpermit.com said 'it is clear that USCIS have made it much harder to qualify for L-1B visas in recent years. USCIS frequently refuses to accept that employees of international companies have 'specialized knowledge'.

Ensure application meets requirements

'This has meant that applying for an L-1B has become something of a lottery. You can, however, improve your odds of success by ensuring that your application meets all the requirements.

'We can help you with the petition and advise and assist with the supporting documentation.'

If you would like to apply for a US visa, WorkPermit.com can help. WorkPermit.com is a specialist visa consultancy with 25 years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.