US L1 visa renewal fears for Britons in the US due to Trump changes

US visa changes authorized by President Donald Trump threaten to strip Britons, transferred to the United States by their employers, of their work visas. Changes to the L1B visa renewal process, made by the Department of Homeland Security, means that many UK nationals who have been in the US for years face the prospect of being kicked out of the country.

Sanwar Ali comments:

Employers should also consider alternatives such as the E2 Treaty Investor Visa, E1 Treaty Trader Visa and B1 in lieu of H1B visa. These visa categories do not yet appear to have been targeted by Trump. During 2017 it seems to have become more and more difficult to obtain and renew L1A visa and L1B visas.  Unless the employer is a very large company with L1 Blanket filing there is a huge quantity of documentation required for an initial L1 visa petiition or to renew an L1 petition.  it is also extremely difficult to tell from USCIS documentation exactly what documentation you need to be able to apply for an L1 visa.

The Trump administration’s ‘hire American, buy American’ policy has seen a shift in the L1B visa renewal application process, which used to be treated as ‘routine.’ Instead, Britons now have to apply from scratch for a fresh L1 visa if they want to remain in the US.

Immigration lawyers are warning that renewal applications are no longer guaranteed should authorities deem that a US national could do the same job. According to an article published in The Telegraph, this comes at a time when the US consulate in London is rejecting L1 visa applications, which would otherwise have been accepted in the past.

Widespread US visa crackdown

During his successful campaign to reach the White House, Trump was extremely vocal about his plans to curb US immigration, with talk of walls and Muslim bans grabbing the headlines. However, since being installed as US President, the immigration crackdown has become far more widespread.

Immigration and Civil Enforcement (ICE) has been granted far reaching powers in an attempt to make the US more intimidating for illegal immigrants, with Latin Americans in the US bearing the brunt of Trump’s animosity. However, the hostility towards foreign nationals is now threatening professionals from around the world who arrived legally.

L1B visas are typically granted to workers entering the US as part of an intra-company transfer, with an option to remain in the country for up to five years. The L1B visa program has no annual cap and there are no existing wage requirements.