Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Amy McCallen

First Page



This Note examines why the L visa is particularly vulnerable to multinational fraud and proposes both a domestic and an international solution to combat this abuse. Part II of this Note addresses the governmental policies behind the L visa. This section provides an overview of the origins of the transnational company and discusses the reasons why Congress created the L visa to meet the needs of this specialized segment of international business.

Part III analyzes the bifurcated approval process for an L visa. This section surveys the requirements for the L visa and discusses why Congress believed these requirements were an adequate safeguard against abuse. Part III also examines why the traditional check on the immigration process, consulate review, is largely ineffective to detect and deter fraudulent L visa applications.

Part IV of this Note analyzes how transnational criminal organizations, most notably Russian and Chinese units, use the L visa as a method of illegal immigration. This section details the prototypical L visa scheme and discusses how criminal organizations exploit the flexible provisions of the L visa to perpetuate these fraudulent practices.

Part V proposes a two-part solution to L visa fraud. First, the INS and the State Department need to close existing loopholes in the L visa through better methods of detection of criminal applicants and punishment of offenders. Second, the United States should sign a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with both Russia and China. This treaty would allow the United States to work together with these countries to eliminate the organized criminal networks perpetuating these large-scale fraud schemes.