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Specialized visas are often denied

H-1B and L-1B visas that allow specialized workers to enter the county are being limited to foreigners.

High tech companies and major corporations in North Carolina and throughout the United States often need people who have special skills to work in specialized positions. In some cases, companies may be unable to find people in the United States who have the right qualifications for the job. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, employers may bring foreign workers over to work in specialty occupations for a short period of time. However, these specialized workers may face more difficulties when trying to enter the United States and obtain a L-1B visa.

The facts

In 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied approximately 35 percent of petitions that would admit foreigners with specialized knowledge to work for U.S. companies. This percentage has risen consistently from the 6 percent denial rate in 2006. In 2016, 236,000 people in other countries applied for an H-1B visa and only one in three were awarded the coveted document.

Specialty visas

The L-1B visa is not the only way foreign workers can enter the country. Many technical foreigners trained in engineering, mathematics, technology and science, enter through the H-1B visa program. The country makes available up to 85,000 of these visas every year. Yet, there are attempts to lower this number in order to protect American jobs as well.

Reasons for denial

Both L1-B and H-1B visas were designed to allow American companies to bring in highly-skilled workers who have an intense knowledge or skill that cannot be easily found in the states. Yet, over time, some believe that companies have started to abuse the program and misuse the visas to bring in foreigners who work for cheaper rates and directly compete for American jobs. Some of the workers who were brought in from other countries had skills, such as knowledge of computer programs, that were widely used in the U.S. The increase in visa denials may be in part due to the need to protect these positions for American workers. However, some companies argue that by inhibiting the use of foreign specialists, the country is keeping companies from advancing in ways that they would be able to otherwise.

The immigration agency is looking in particular at companies that have at least 15 percent of their workers on H-1B visas.

Experienced legal help may be needed

If you are facing matters involving immigration, visas and citizenship, you may want to speak to an experienced attorney regarding your options. A lawyer in North Carolina can review all the details surrounding the situation and help to determine the right course of action.