TCS Dealing With High Rejection Rates for H1Bs, L-1s28 Feb 2014
Though U.S. immigration officials have not quite rolled up the welcome mat for high-tech workers from overseas, in recent years, it’s become progressively more difficult for certain types of nonimmigrant workers to get their visas approved. The USCIS has been taking a harder line in evaluating visa applications from IT consultants whose jobs are based at client worksites, and the agency often requests additional documentation to spell out the relationships among the employee, employer, and the end client.
Moreover, the USCIS’s Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FNDS) has implemented stricter oversight measures for H1B employers and employees alike – measures outlined in an internal memorandum, recently released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). [See: FNDS Releases 2013 Memorandum on H1B Fraud Detection, MurthyDotCom, 09.Jan.2014.]
The added scrutiny has been especially hard on small and mid-sized firms, but even tech giants like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have not been unscathed. In fact, a recent article on LiveMint reveals that TCS has been struggling with an unusually high rejection rate for its H1B and L-1 visa applications: nearly 50 percent! [See TCS Staff Faces Almost 50% Rejection Rate for Temporary US Visas, by Anirban Sen, LiveMint, 14.Feb.2014.] According to the article, TCS has responded by ramping up local hiring in the U.S. and Canada.
If the Senate immigration bill is any indication – the bill passed last June – the situation of foreign IT contractors and consultants is unlikely to improve in the near term. Recall that the Senate bill includes language targeting IT consulting firms – those deemed H1B-dependent – which would prohibit them from placing their H1B employees offsite. Due to inaction in the House of Representatives, the fate of immigration reform has been under a cloud. The silver lining: at least for now, the Senate’s IT-contracting language cannot take effect.
The good news is, demand for IT contracting services remains strong, and countless clients in business and government continue to rely on IT consultants for mission-critical applications. However, given the challenges of operating in the current regulatory climate, it’s more important than ever for IT contractors to hire top legal talent – seasoned immigration practitioners who understand the value of meticulous planning and know how to craft a winning legal strategy. Look no further than the Murthy Law Firm for highly experienced legal counsel to guide you through the twists and turns of the H1B and L-1 process.
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