USCIS Cracking Down on H-1B, L-1 Visas

"As director of Oracle’s (ORCL) U.S. immigration program, Denise Rahmani arranges work papers for foreign employees the company wants to bring to the U.S. Last year, she says, the federal government denied 38 percent of Oracle’s visa requests. “It used to be almost none of them got rejected,” Rahmani says. Today, “it feels like the roll of the dice every time.”  U.S. companies have griped for years about how hard it is to hire high-tech workers from abroad under the government’s H1-B visa program. Now, they’re upset with the Obama administration about the difficulty of getting visas for foreign workers already on their payrolls who are needed for key projects in the U.S. So intense is their frustration that Oracle, Microsoft (MSFT), Starwood Hotels (HOT), and some 50 other companies warned President Obama in a March letter that “American job growth and the U.S. economy are being harmed.”  At issue are the L1-B visas used for transferring workers with “specialized knowledge,” as defined by a 1970 federal immigration law." - Elizabeth Dwoskin, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, June 14, 2012.