There were many news highlights in 2014 on the topic of immigration ranging from the ongoing border control crisis, and victims of violence and persecution fleeing Central America; to the issue of whether Justin Bieber, a Canadian Citizen, should be deported for his alleged crimes in the U.S. We, at Madison Piper PC, believe that the top story should go to President Obama’s Executive Plan on Immigration, which was announced late in the year. President Obama’s plan provides temporary immigration protections for many unauthorized parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to highly technical solutions to fix outdated visa systems. His plan also seeks to provide regulatory changes to specific provisions affecting the world of business immigration, most notably the increased denials of L-1B intracompany transferee visas, and significant backlogs in the employment-based immigration visa categories.
We eagerly await any resulting changes to the L-1B program stemming from President Obama’s plan that will seek to clarify the current regulations and policy with respect to the L-1B visa, a critical employment visa option for large multinational corporations which seek to transfer key personnel from foreign offices to the U.S. for temporary assignments. We are also hopeful in light of the Federal Court’s recent decision in Fogo de Chao (Holdings) Inc. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, __ F. Supp.2d ___, 2014 WL 5327688 (D.D.C., Oct. 21, 2014), whereby the D.C. Circuit criticized the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) extremely narrow view of the L-1B visa category, which has resulted in a pronounced surge of denials in the last few years.
This post has been contributed by Dina J. Sakita, Senior Counsel at Madison Piper PC.