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Ashwin Sharma is an Immigration Lawyer who caters to the special needs of the Indo-American population. He is based in Jacksonville, Florida and represents clients in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Canada, India and the U.K. He can be reached at 904-779-0111 or
Click here to visit  Sharma’s new website, for detailed information on Immigration topics.

Get answers to all your Immigration-related questions. Write to us at Ashwin Sharma will answer each query. All questions and answers will be published in the forthcoming issues of

Can I change from H-4 to L-2 status so that I can get work authorization? Ashwin Sharma, ESQ answers your question.

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Indian applicants for L-1 and H-1Bs are most likely to be denied or issued an RFE query

A National Foundation for American Policy report finds Indian applicants for L-1 and H-1Bs are most likely to be denied or issued an RFE query; L-1 cases for Indian Professionals have been denied up to five times as often as someone from a different count

A National Foundation for American Policy report analyzing official data from USCIS shows that its adjudicators dramatically increased the issuance of denials and requests for evidence in L-1 (intra-company transferees) and H-1B cases over the last four years, in spite of the fact that there were no changes in law or regulations during the same period. USCIS adjudicators have, over the last four years, arbitrarily & en masse, increased the difficulty of obtaining H-1B or L-1 status, most particularly for Indian applicants. This despite no new laws or regulations authorizing them to do so.

It may be objectively stated that this official data is prima facia evidence that Indian IT professionals and their employers have been, over a sustained period, selected for profiling and targeting profiled and targeted as the primary victims of this and other related USCIS "policy changes" since 2008, along with a widely noted increase in visa denials/221(g)queries for H-1 & L-1 non-immigrants at U.S. Consulates. [on a related note; see the new "H-1B Beneficiary attestation" evidently now in use at the U.S. Consulate, Hyderabad, ostensibly to be used in justifying mass visa denials for H-1B IT Consultants with end-client job sites].

By way of background, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (“INA”) presently regulates U.S. Immigration. The INA is tremendously significant because it reversed America's then (longstanding) racist Immigration policies, including the Page Act of 1875, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the "National Origins Formula" which had effectively limited immigration from Mediterranean Europe, Latin America and Asia to token levels so as not to change America’s “national character”. It is then truly ironic that adjudicators at the USCIS and U.S. Consulates appear to have been granted unchecked autonomy in systematically countermanding both the INA and its underlying legislative intent by effectively re-proportioning visas or "spots" to countries other than India. Indians utilize a large number of available H-1B and L-1 numbers, however, they cannot be legally denied on that basis. On October 3, 1965, on the occasion of the signing of the INA, at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared that it was a “cruel and enduring wrong” that “...Men of needed skill and talent were denied entrance because they came from southern or eastern Europe or from one of the developing continents. [The old quota based Immigration]system violated the basic principle of American democracy--the principle that values and rewards each man on the basis of his merit as a man...” 

Contrast these words with the following excerpts from the NFAP report:

"Companies believe that denials either at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or at consulates, particularly involving Indian nationals, share the common attribute of new (unwritten) arbitrary standards that go beyond the statute and regulations. 

- Country specific data on new (initial) L-1B petitions indicate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is more likely to deny a petition from an Indian-born professional than nationals of other countries. The denial rate for Indian-born applicants for new L-1B petitions rose from 2.8 percent in Fiscal Year 2008 to 22.5 percent in FY 2009, a substantial increase that resulted in many employers being unable to transfer their employees into the United States to work on research projects or serve customers. In comparison, the denial rate for new L-1B petitions for Canadians rose from 2.0 percent in FY 2008 to only 2.9 percent in FY 2009. Illustrating the abrupt change, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied more L-1B petitions for new petitions for Indians in FY 2009 (1,640) than in the previous 9 fiscal years combined (1,341 denials between FY 2000 and FY 2008).

Concern that L-1B petitions for Indians have been singled out might be alleviated if the data showed other countries have experienced similar increases in the rates of denial for L-1B petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, the data show that while other foreign nationals experienced an increase in denial rates for new L-1B petitions starting in FY 2009, those denial rate increases were far lower than for Indian nationals. L-1 visa issuance declined at U.S posts in Indian in FY 2011 but rose overall for the rest of the world."




No Evidence To Prove That Undocumented Workers Are A Burden On Tax Payers

Applying for TN Visa, Options for Indian doctor and other questions

April 16th: Laws Need to be Re-examined Often 

March 16th: The E3 Visa: The FY2007 H-1B Season Is Upon Us 

January 16th: The E3 Visa

January 1st: The TN Professional Visa for Canadian Citizens

December1st:  issue: Immigration Updates, H-1B Consular Processing & H-1B Employer Sanctions for Attestation Violations


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