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Bridging the cultural divide or lost in translation


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This goes along with the Panagaea article and Designation Letter AND the Case Prep and Presentation article.

This goes along with the Panagaea article and Designation Letter AND the Case Prep and Presentation article.

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  • 1. Bridging the Cultural Divide or Lost In Translation By Joseph P. Whalen (September 25, 2013) Those immigrant applications and petitions that require written responses to questions, narrative explanations, or supporting briefs to explain certain key elements and aspects of various eligibility factors as well as various qualifications of both the petitioners and the beneficiaries need improvement and/or clarification in many instances. This is the reason for USCIS to issue either a request for evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). I will focus on just a few select issues to illustrate the point of the title of this essay. L1-A and L1-B Job Descriptions:  Certain standard business practices in one culture could be radically different, be illegal, frowned upon, or may not even exist in any way, shape, or form in the U.S.  Something that might simply be understood in one culture may need to be spelled out blandly and bluntly for USCIS.  Certain “industry jargon” may relate to country-specific facts and circumstances (i.e., laws and customs) that do not exist in another country. These things may be “lost in translation”. EB-5 Business Plans and Economic Impact Statements:  The economics concepts and terms “direct” and “indirect” jobs do not mean the same as the same words under EB-5 law. USCIS included a footnote in a recent Regional Center Designation Letter that includes a Specific-Project provisional approval.1 Here is that footnote: 3 While USCIS policy defines all jobs held outside of the NCE as “indirect,” USCIS recognizes that these jobs represent persons directly employed by the job creating enterprise and not estimates of employment calculated through an economic model. To avoid confusion, USCIS references these as “direct jobs” in this table while noting that these jobs are actually “indirect” jobs for purpose of establishing EB-5 eligibility.2 That’s my two-cents, for now. e-mail the author at: 1 See an article discussing this part of that Designation Letter. 2 See:, wherein, I pointed out this very issue to USCIS’ new economists in June 2012.