A growing number of high-tech workers are complaining that they're losing jobs not only to foreign workers overseas but also to foreign workers who enter the United States under the little-known L-1 visa category.
L-1 visas are intended to let companies transfer employees from foreign branches (usually in Canada and Mexico) to company offices here. But companies in India and elsewhere routinely use the L-1 to bring their employees into this country and then contract them out to American businesses.
Officials at the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services are now looking into the use of this visa.
In response to the debate, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are trying to drum up support for a bill that would prevent companies from hiring foreign workers with L-1 visas. Don't expect that bill to fly, but count on continued scrutiny that could hamper your legitimate use of the L-1 to transfer managers and specialists between foreign and U.S. divisions.
To learn more about the visa application process, check out a new Department of Homeland Security site at www.unitedstatesvisas.gov.