03:20 PM

IBM Challenges Congressional Numbers on L-1 Visas

IBM says it only got 411 L-1 visas, not the 1,237 cited by the senators.

IBM says L-1 visa figures released this week by two senators are three times higher than the actual number the vendor says was approved in fiscal 2006 for IBM employees.

According to a list of the top 20 L-1 visa employers in fiscal 2006 released by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), IBM ranked third, with 1,237 L-1 visas.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provided the senators' offices with the data, said Max Gleischman, an immigration policy advisor to Durbin.

However, IBM disputes the figures, saying that in fiscal 2006, it was issued a total of 411 L-1 visas, including 308 new visas, 9 amended visas, and 94 extensions.

L-1 visas allow multinational companies to temporarily transfer foreign-born employees to work in their U.S. operations.

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