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Fogo de Chão Wins Case to Bring Chefs Over From Brazil

Court rules slicing steak is a special skill.

Fogo de Chao/Facebook

Being able to slice steak really well might just get someone a visa to the United States. According to Businessweek, the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found 2-1 that Brazilian chefs who work at steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão may have "cultural knowledge and skills" that could qualify them for a special L-1 visa. The visa was created in 1970 for companies that wanted to move their employees who have "specialized knowledge" to the United States.

The Washington Post writes that the Department of Homeland security had turned down Fogo de Chão's request for the visa in 2010 to bring over a "specially trained chef" to work at their steakhouses where the chefs wear traditional clothing and "ritually slice meat table-side." The appeals court found that the Homeland Security had "failed to justify" their reasons for turning down the visa. Judge Patricia Millet writes in the ruling that "the performance of cultural gaucho skills and an ability to share a comprehensive understanding of churrasco traditions with customers are indispensable aspects of the ‘company product.'"

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