Petitions to Renew L-1 Nonimmigrant Visas No Longer Reviewed At Border

April 25, 2019

A new process is making it difficult for Canadian workers to renew their L-1 visa petitions at ports of entry. This process reverses nearly 20 years of standard procedure and may present complicated situations for Canadians.

What I Need To Know

While not an official policy change, as there have been no new announcements from U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there have been various accounts of some U.S. border agents refusing to process Canadian L-1 renewal visas for employees entering to work in the U.S., according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Essentially, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers are telling Canadian workers they need to renew their L-1 visa petitions by filing with USCIS, which reverses a 20-year practice of CBP adjudicating the renewal application. NAFTA enabled Canadian workers to apply for L-1A or L-1B status at ports of entry, no matter if the application was a renewal or first-time application.

How Should I Proceed

If you require an L-1 extension or are in the process of applying for an L-1 extension, you should consult with immigration counsel to determine the most effective strategy for your case. Global Immigration Associates, P.C. is monitoring the progress of this issue and will be sure to alert of any additional updates.

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Amanda Bolhuis who is a Senior Associate at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

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