L-1 Denial Rate Increases

L-1 Denial Rate Increases
March 24, 2015

The denial rate for L-1B petitions, which is used to transfer “specialized knowledge” employees from an overseas office into a US office, increased to a historic high of 35% in FY 2014, according to data obtained from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The data shows a sharp rise in the rate of denial since 2006:

 

Fiscal Year

L-1B Denial Rate

2014

35%

2013

34%

2012

30%

2011

27%

2010

22%

2009

26%

2008

22%

2007

7%

2006

6%

 

Data also shows the denial rate for employees of Indian origin is significantly higher.  Specifically, L-1B petitions filed for India nationals had a denial rate of 56%.

 

Finally, L-1B extension petitions faced no less scrutiny than initial petitions.  In fact, USCIS denied L-1B extensions at a higher rate of 41% in FY 2014 compared to 32% for initial petitions.

 

In related news, today, 3/24/15, USCIS released a long-anticipated L-1B adjudications policy memorandum which provides guidance on L-1B adjudication.  The memo will take effect on August 31, 2015 and is expected to improve companies’ ability to transfer specialized knowledge personnel.