Law Office of Leila Freijy PLLC
Immigration & Compliance Law 
L-1B  Denial Rate at Historic High


The denial rate for L-1B petitions to transfer high-skilled employees into the United States increased to an historic
high of 35 percent in FY 2014, according to data obtained from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by the National Foundation for American Policy.

In FY 2006 the denial rate for L-1B petitions was only 6 percent. It rose to 30 percent in FY 2012 and to 34 percent in FY 2013, representing a more than five-fold increase in the rate of denials despite no new regulation changing the adjudication standard.


Employers say USCIS actions affect their ability to increase jobs, innovations and production inside the United States. Since 2012, USCIS has pledged to issue guidance on transferring employees
with "specialized knowledge" on L-1B petitions, a pledge repeated in November 2014. USCIS released the data in
response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the National Foundation for American Policy. 


An analysis of the data reveals:
- The denial rate for L-1B petitions to transfer employees of Indian origin is a remarkable 56 percent for FY 2012 through FY 2014, compared to an average denial rate of 13 percent to transfer employees from all other countries during the same period.

- Only 4 percent of Canadian nationals were denied L-1B petitions, compared to 56 percent of Indian nationals, between FY 2012 and FY 2014.
- Surprisingly, USCIS denies L-1B petitions at a higher rate for employees already working in the U.S. and extending their status (41 percent in FY 2014) than initial applications (32 percent).
- Time-consuming Requests for Evidence (RFE) from adjudicators for L-1B petitions have continued at a
high level - 45 percent in FY 2014. In FY 2004, only 2 percent of cases received a Request for Evidence.

Statistics for Overall L-1B Denial Rates for Employees Transferred to the U.S. from FY 2006 to FY 2014 are shown below.


L-1B Denial Rates
FY 2014  35%
FY 2013  34%
FY 2012  30%
FY 2011  27%
FY 2010  22%
FY 2009  26%
FY 2008  22%
FY 2007    7%
FY 2006    6%


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Leila Freijy
Law Office of Leila Freijy PLLC