L1 denials at Chennai – puzzle explained

Posted in Policy at 3:26 am by Lalita Haran

The blanket L-1 visas in India are being handled exclusively at the Chennai post. In the past years India has seen many denials of L1 visa. The blame was mostly assigned on the lack of sufficient evidence about “specialized knowledge.”

L intra company transferee visa is for those who in the last three years were employed abroad continuously for a year and are now required as a specialized knowledge professional, executive or manager by the parent, subsidiary, affiliate or a branch office in U.S.

Department of state (DOS) considers salary, experience and level of skill required to perform the work determine whether the position would qualify as one requiring specialized knowledge. According to DOS implementation of widely used software, enterprise resource planning maintenance, testing or other services of general nature do not require specialized knowledge. The consulate treats salary as an important metric in differentiating between IT workers performing general services from work of those possessing specialized knowledge. It appears that the consulate requires the Indian IT workers seeking L1 visa to have salary high enough that it meet U.S. Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA).

This might be the government’s way to ensure appropriate wages are paid to the L1s.