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US L1 visa-USCIS pilot program to continue until October 2018 for Canadians

L1 visa holders to Canada

The new pilot scheme of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is in favor of advance planning on border adjudications belonging L1 visa holders to Canada. This program commenced on April 30, 2018 for six months. It will facilitate the process of adjudication and admission of Canadian nationals who travel to the US as L1 non-immigrants. The US visa option hopes to be helpful for Canadian applicants. It will reduce delay in the processing of L1 visas in some conditions. President Trump intends to end the North American Free Trade Agreement. Through this, Canadians will receive a preferential treatment in visa matters.  Moreover the TN visa is also available for Mexicans and Canadians.

L1 NAFTA adjudication

This scheme is applicable voluntarily to L1 visa-holders belonging to Canada and traveling to the US under the NAFTA. Presently, this pilot scheme is in force at the US Customs and Border Protection port in Blaine, Washington. In case, the applicants want it, they can continue having the alternative of making on-the-spot L1 NAFTA adjudication at the designated port of entry. Another option is that the US employer has to file the Form I-129 petition, and supporting evidence for Canadian citizens, who wish to enter as L1 managers/executives, at the California Service Center. L1 visa NAFTA applications need not pay the premium processing charge The statement of USCIS points out that the NAFTA L1 visa adjudication service will not charge for premium processing. USCIS will merely collect fees, issue the receipt notices, and also adjudicate NAFTA L1 applications for Blaine until October 31, 2018.

Features of pilot scheme, USCIS

The pilot program has a positive aim but certain features of the scheme will result in employers and Canadians entering the USA on a temporary basis to face some burdens. If the border adjudication process is replaced by a postal adjudication procedure this will help in avoiding delay of facing the waiting period in line at port of entry before the US border patrol officials issue a spot validation to the L1 applications While announcing the pilot scheme, USCIS revealed the fact that it could issue a request for evidence in the program. It did not mention the method through which the lengthy delay of additional evidence requests will be reduced.

Data of the pilot scheme

The CBP will make the final decision on admitting to US after the NATFA L1 applicant gets the notice on approval of petition. The authorities state that applicants of Blaine can also apply at other points of entry during the pilot scheme in the regular process. The Data collected from the pilot scheme will be put to use to decide if the program needs to be extended to other points of entry across Canada. The advance processing concept in the pilot scheme is good for applicants who prefer not to wait for a long time and have the uncertainty of result at the border. It also does not consider the convenience of immediate admission for Canadian visa holders.

Trump threatens to scrap NAFTA

Recently, President Trump spoke regarding scrapping NAFTA. This can deny accessing the US E2 Treaty Investor visa and the E1 Treaty Trader visa for investors from Canada. Furthermore it will affect the L1 visa applicants from Canada. Experts state that he would face an opposition from Republicans and Democrats in abolishing NAFTA.

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