The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is reporting that there may be adjudication policy changes related to L-1 petitions at several ports of entry (POEs) along the international border between the U.S. and Canada.
According to AILA, there are reports that United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers are refusing to process L-1 petitions for Canadians who have previously been granted L-1 status. This includes both individual L-1 petitions and blanket L-1 petitions. Furthermore, according to these reports, CBP officers are requiring Canadian citizens requesting admission on subsequent L-1 petitions to present I-797 approval notices from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to grant admission into the U.S. in L-1 status. Understandably, this policy change directly affects employers of Canadian L-1 nonimmigrants as well as the beneficiaries themselves.
At this time, although no formal policy has been published, this new CBP policy appears to have been implemented for all POEs and pre-clearance locations, and AILA’s CBP Liaison Committee is engaging in discussions on this matter with CBP.
We will keep you updated regarding this and related matters. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions you may have.