Federal Court Upholds L-1b denial

If you had received 251 L-1b approvals in a row, wouldn’t you feel pretty confident about your next L-1b filing ? As the Brazilian restaurant Fogo discovered, not in this current culture of no.  For many years, Fogo had brought genuine Brazilian gaucho chefs from its restaurants in Brazil to work at its US restaurants using the L-1b visa. However, in 2010, that string of approvals ended and the USCIS determined that the position of a gaucho chef no longer met the definition of specialized knowledge. There was no change in the statue or regulations that preceded this change in interpretation of specialized knowledge and the outcome of its petitions. One day a genuine gaucho chef has specialized knowledge and the next day they don’t.  Fogo thought that being genuine was important enough to pursue Federal litigation over this change in interpretation and brought an action in the Federal District Court for Washington DC.  Unfortunately, the judge issued an opinion that upheld the denial.  Although the decision does not directly impact IT employers, the continued tightening of the L-1b category is troubling.

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