Stricter scrutiny of applicants for the L1 visa has significantly narrowed down the chances of applicants being successful with their applications. Business executives in Canada are not left out in this wide-spread development. Workpermit.com released a report in September, revealing that some Canadian applicants no longer opted for the on-the-spot processing for the L1 visa.
Before now, business owners in Canada who applied for the L1A visa and applicants for the L1B visa who being specialized knowledge workers, want to transfer to their company branches in the US, used to get an on-the-spot service. This service was possible because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA for short, which has been on for many years. However, with the new system, the petition will have to be forwarded to the US Custom and Border Protection (CBP) where it will be adjudicated. From CBP, it will still be forwarded to the USCIS for further processing. These protocols join together to engender a long processing period for the L1 visa.
Since President Trump resumed office as the President of the US, individuals who wished to extend their L1B visas, have had their applications, strictly scrutinized. No country is exempted from these stricter visa measures. Applications for the extension of the L1 visa, receive the same strict processing measure and procedures as fresh L1 applications.
The effect of the L1 pilot scheme
The L1 visa pilot was available from April 30 to October 31, 2018. It was available only to volunteers at the CBP entry port in Blaine, Washington DC.
With the provisions of the pilot scheme, applicants were to file a Form 1-129 petition with the service center of the USCIS in California along with any other document requested by the service center. Applicants didn’t need to wait for response from the USCIS as the CBP could provide them with a remote adjudication to gain entry. This process made the pilot scheme to have provision for an on-the-spot processing for the L1 visa.
With the pilot scheme gone, Canadian applicants will have to wait for approval from USCIS before they could be let through any us port of entry.
The body responsible for the adjudication of L1 visa applications is likely to become the USCIS, and this could well mean an increase in the refusal of L1 visa applications.
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