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News Release

Top Seven Users of L-1 Visas Specialize in Sending American Jobs Overseas

WASHINGTON (6 September 2013) — In February, Computerworld magazine found that the top 10 users of H-1B visas in FY 2012 were companies who specialize in sending American jobs offshore. A recent report shows a similar pattern among L-1 visas.

In “Implementation of L-1 Visa Regulations,” from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, the top seven L-1 users in FY 2002-11 and eight of the top 10 were once again companies whose business model includes the offshoring of American jobs.

“This report proves that outsourcers have come to dominate the L-1 visa program the same way they dominate the H-1B program,” IEEE-USA President Marc Apter said. “This sensible program for international managers and specialists has become another tool for shipping American jobs overseas.”

The unlimited L-1 temporary visa program, which many high-tech companies use, has two main components. The L-1A visa allows a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its foreign affiliates to work in one of its U.S. offices. The L-1B visa is for professional employees with specialized knowledge. In both cases, the employee is supposed to possess knowledge or expertise specific to that company’s products, services or processes, not ordinary knowledge a person in a similar field would possess.

The L-1 program was reformed by Congress in 2004 to add anti-“job shop” provisions. This, according to the report, was “to prevent petitioners from using L-1B applicants at third-party worksites unrelated to the petitioning company (referred to as labor for hire). These provisions protect U.S. workers by prohibiting companies from sending L-1B applicants to work for a third-party company on products widely accessible to U.S. workers.”

The report (, requested by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), also states that L-1B employees work “often at wages that undercut the salaries paid to U.S. workers.”

“Companies whose business model is to export American jobs have taken a saw to the [L-1] program,” Apter said. “Congress must close this rapidly widening loophole before it does more damage to the American economy.”

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