Comment on India’s The Economic Times Article Titled — “Worried about H-1B visa? Take the L1 route”

I recently came across an article by “An Immigration Lawyer From Mumbai” in India’s The Economic Times (Online Edition).  The article is titled Worried about H-1B visa? Take the L1 route”.  The author writes passionately regarding the L-1B visa; by way of background, this is a visa that in limited instances is a good replacement for the H-1B.  The article, however, paints an incomplete portrait.

The author neglects to mention the two most basic and substantial obstacles which stand in the way of L-1B visa aspirants and their sponsors: 1) the L-1B visa holder cannot be ‘body-shopped’ and 2) the visa holder must possess ‘specialized knowledge’ which is defined as special knowledge possessed by an individual
of the petitioning organization’s product, service,
research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests
and its application in international markets, or an advanced
level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s
processes and procedures.” 
This is obviously a difficult burden to bear during processing, especially in heavy traffic consulates such as Chennai or New Delhi.  Requirements such as these unfortunately preclude a great majority of the software consulting companies that place workers at third-party job sites from sponsoring these visas.

Cases such as the
Matter of Colley
, Matter of Penner,
and
Matter of Sandoz Crop Protection Corporation stated that the beneficiary
of an L-1B petition must possess proprietary or unique knowledge.
In these cases, a beneficiary would qualify only where their employers were using unique or specially patented
software or equipment not used by other employers in the
same industry. For example, a beneficiary proficient in
using software developed by his or her employer would qualify
for L-1B status, but a beneficiary with expertise in highly
sophisticated software developed by another company would
not qualify. 

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