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New Restrictions at the Northern Border New Restrictions at the Northern Border

New Restrictions at the Northern Border

In an unannounced policy change, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is refusing to consider requests for renewal of L-1 visa status for Canadian specialty workers pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). What began as isolated events at a single port of entry has now spread across the northern border and appears to be as a result of an internal field guidance memorandum not released to the public. As in other abrupt policy changes (see our prior articles related to the travel ban), foreign workers are being caught unaware resulting in confusion and inconsistent experiences at the border. The policy change appears to be limited to L-1 renewal applicants, with or without a company blanket approval, and does not appear to be impacting those seeking initial L-1 entry into the United States or TN visa holders. It also is not impacting L-1 workers traveling internationally on existing approvals.

If you are seeking renewal of L-1 status, please discuss options and alternatives with qualified immigration counsel. For questions regarding the L-1 visa program or any other immigration needs, please contact Jenifer Brown, Christl Glier or Kristin Kelley.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
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