The USCIS announced this week that it has implemented new provisions to the L-1 temporary worker program, as mandated by the L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004.
The L-1 Visa Reform Act amended legislation regarding the outsourcing of L-1B nonimmigrants, temporary workers who have been employed overseas by a company with an affiliation/office in the U.S. who now performs services involving specialized knowledge in the U.S. for that international company. According to this amended legislation, L-1B temporary workers can no longer work at a worksite other than that of the employer who petitioned for the visa if:
1. The work is controlled and supervised by the different employer; or
2. The arrangement with the offsite location is to provide that non-petitioning entity with local labor for hire, as opposed to a service related to the specialized knowledge of the employer that petitioned for the visa.
These provisions related to outsourcing of L-1B workers is applicable to all L-1B petitions filed after June 6, 2005 and include all extensions and amendments involving those currently under L-1 status.
The revised legislation also requires that all L-1 workers must have been employed for at least one year outside the U.S. for the employer with the qualifying relationship with the petitioning employer. Prior to this amended legislation, participants in the blanket L-1 program were only required to have worked with the international employer for six months or more. This amendment is applicable to all petitions for initial L-1 classification filed with the USCIS after June 6, 2005. It does not apply, however, to extensions of stay under the blanket L-1 program.
In addition, L-1 petitioners are reminded that USCIS requires new filing fees and forms. Form I-129 must now be filed with the base filing fee of $185 and a new $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee, if applicable.