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Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

by Greg Siskind

FAP Report: L-1 Denials in India are Soaring

More evidence that the White House's welcome mat for entrepreneurs is more rhetoric than reality. From NFAP:

The number of L-1 visas issued at U.S. posts in India declined by 28 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to data obtained from the U.S. Department of State in a new report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), an Arlington, Va.-based policy research group. The official data from the State Department show that L-1 visa approvals went from 35,896 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 to 25,898 in FY 2011, a drop of approximately 10,000 visas. At the same time that L-1 visas issued in India declined by 28 percent, L-1 visas issued in the rest of the world rose by 15 percent (from 38,823 in FY 2010 to 44,820 in FY 2011), according to State Department data. (FY 2011 data are considered preliminary by the State Department but any changes in the final data are typically minor, according to a State Department official.)

Increased denials of L-1 visas when attempting to transfer personnel into the United States from India on L-1 visas is having a negative impact on growth, projects and product development in the United States, according to companies. The release of the L-1 visa data makes it difficult for U.S. government officials to argue that nothing different is going on in India when compared with the rest of the world, said Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy. Anderson served as head of policy and counselor to the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service from August 2001 to January 2003. The information that L-1 visas declined in India comes after the U.S. embassy in Delhi announced the number of H-1B visas issued there increased from 2010 to 2011. A decline of 28 percent in L-1 visas issued in India from 2010 to 2011 at the same time that employers have seen an increase of 15 percent in L-1 visas issued in the rest of the world, using the same law and regulations, indicates something is amiss. 

India has one of the hottest economies on the planet and we are slamming the door on entrepreneurs from those countries expanding operations in the US which very often result in hiring of US employees. Exactly the wrong policy for our times.

About The Author

Gregory Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.