The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun the introduction of an online manual that will inform and guide all its staff worldwide. It is hoped that this will lead to greater consistency in decision making on visa applications.
Staff have been given training on how to use the
manual. The first sections of the manual went live on 7th January 2013. The
manual, known simply as the USCIS Policy Manual, will replace both the
Adjudicators Field Manual which has been used in the past and the USCIS
Immigration Policy Memoranda website.
Alejandro Mayorkas the Director
of USCIS said 'With the introduction of the Policy Manual, we take a further
step to provide our customers, stakeholders and workforce with an efficient and
effective adjudication process that provides a high level of quality and
There have been criticisms in the past about the
consistency of USCIS decision making. In October 2012, the National Foundation
for American Policy (NFAP), a Washington think tank, said that USCIS had in
practice changed its criteria for granting H-1B and L-1 visas since 2008. The
NFAP report said that the USCIS rules were being applied inconsistently, making
it especially hard for Indian applicants to know if their visas are likely to be
H-1B visas are granted to graduates who are skilled in a
'specialty occupation'. These visas are usually issued initially for a three
year period and can be extended.
L-1 visas are intra company transfer
visas which allow companies that have offices in the US and elsewhere to transfer
highly skilled and management level employees to the US. Executives and managers
may travel to the US on an L-1A visa. L-1A visas are valid for up to seven
years. Skilled employees with 'specialized knowledge' can apply for L-1B visas.
L-1B visas last for up to five years.
In July 2012, Ameet Nivsarkar of the
Indian software industry body Nasscom said that Indian companies applying for
L-1B visas had found that 'interpretation by consular officials [is a] very
important' factor in visa determinations.
Global Visa Support offers a
variety of programs in United States. Please visit our USA page for more information: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/usa.html