Overseas employees of American companies are finding it much more difficult to get into the United States, a report released yesterday reveals. Around 35% of petitions filed by US companies to bring overseas workers with “specialized knowledge” into the country were denied by US Citizenship and Immigration Services last year, the fourth consecutive rise in such figures.
The denial rate for the L-1B US visas was just 6% in 2006, says immigration advocacy group National Foundation for American Policy. Indian nationals attempting to enter the United States were the most affected by denials, being denied on 56% of occasions in comparison with just 19% for the French, 21% for Mexicans and 22% for the Chinese.
The increase in denials started seven years ago, in 2008, when the United States plunged into recession, according to the foundation’s executive director, Stuart Anderson. He says that the end result has been the creation of a “protectionist” culture at US Citizenship and Immigration Services in a “misguided attempt” to show favor to American-born tech workers that will end up forcing firms to send more jobs out of the country.
“If you’re making it more difficult to transfer employees to work in America, then you’re more likely to see that work take place outside the United States,” Anderson claims. Others believe, however, that the increase in denials is the result of the US government concluding that the US visa system was being taken advantage of by companies in order to hire cheaper foreign workers.