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Changes to Blanket L Processing in India

August 29, 2012

Since late last year, the U.S. Consulate in Chennai began processing all blanket intra-company transferee L visa petitions.   As such, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and the U.S. consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad no longer accept or process petitions for Blanket L visa category. Unlike Blanket Ls, visas for dependent spouse and children (L-2) and individual L visas (L-1B and L-1A) may be processed at all posts in India—Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi.

Few things to note when processing a Blanket L visa in India.

–If the Blanket L sponsoring employer is a job shop placing information technology (IT) workers at a third-party site or if there is going to be any kind of placement at client sites, the L-1 petitioner must establish with evidence a stronf employer-employee relationship.  If there will not be any placement, it is prudent that the visa applicant mention this to the consular officer when the interview begins so the officer is aware of it.

–If the Indian salary of the L-1 applicant is so low that it is indicative of a worker being an ordinary programmer and not a person of “specialized knowledge”, then the consular officer may not be convinced to issue an L-1 visa.  In its recent guidance,  the State Dept. indicated that L-1 sponsoring employers should ensure that L-1 employees’ salaries satisfy the applicable Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) wage rates.

–If the nature of the work being done in India is not specialized but generic, then the consular officer will not likely issue visa.

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