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US - New law cracks down on employee outsourcing

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A new law approved by President Bush makes it tougher for U.S. employers to get L-1B visas for oversees workers, as announced by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

The L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004, part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005, means that L-1B temporary workers can no longer work primarily at a site other than their petitioning employer if the work is to be controlled and supervised by a different employer or if the offsite agreement provides labor for hire rather than services relating to the specialized knowledge of the employer. The new rules will apply to all L-1B petitions filed with USCIS after June 6 2005, including extensions and amendments for individuals who currently have L-1 status.

For those who come under an L-1 blanket petition the act also increases from 6 months to 1 year the minimum period that L-1 temporary workers need to have worked outside the U.S for a subsidiary or parent company of the US company, or an overseas company that has common ownership with the US employer. There has always been a one year requirement for other types of L-1 visa and this remains the case.