New L-1B Adjudications Policy: Upsetting the Apple Cart?

Apple CartUSCIS has released a new policy memo on “L-1B adjudications policy.” The memo provides guidance on the adjudication of the L-1B classification, which permits multinational companies to transfer employees who possess “specialized knowledge” from their foreign operations to their operations in the United States.

The new policy replaces policies dating back 20 years, including the notorious “Puleo Memo” (1994) and, “Ohata Memos” (2002 and 2004). The new policy has been released for public comment and will become effective August 31, 2015.

So does it “upset the apple cart” (spoiling carefully laid out precedent) or does it “right the ship” (putting policy back in line with congressional intent)? Pick your idiom.

I might pick, “same old story.” At first glance, the new policy seems to be sufficiently subjective that decisions continue to be left to the whim of the adjudicator.

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