RFE Rates for L-1 Visas Continue to Rise

HIGHLIGHTS

Last year, we reported on the high Request for Evidence (RFE) rate for the L-1B Intracompany Transfer for Employees With Specialized Knowledge work visa. The latest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) 2016 Ombudsman Report now reveals that the L-1A work visa, for executives and managers, reached a 55 percent RFE rate in fiscal year 2015, which is a 20-year high.

It’s important to understand that this figure only represents L-1A petitions processed through the California Service Center (CSC). Contrarily in the same period, the Vermont Service Center (VSC) reported a 29 percent RFE rate for L-1A visas, a staggering drop from 44.6 percent in FY 2014. Continuing on the same trend, the L-1B visa’s RFE rates, for both the CSC and VSC, decreased from the previous year to 44 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

USCIS has not released an explanation as to why the CSC RFE rates continue to rise for the L-1A visa. In order to protect your company against RFE notices, partner with a knowledgeable attorney that has experience preparing quality petitions for visas with high RFE rates. Additionally, the process of responding to an RFE can be lengthy, so it’s important that you partner with a provider that includes potential request for evidence notices in the initial price of the petition. For example: Envoy responds to all RFE notices at no additional charge to the customer.