L1 Blanket Visa

L1 Blanket Visa

For large companies with many employees, it can be very time-consuming to file multiple L1 visas, whether it is for their executives, managers, or employees with specialized knowledge. The Blanket L1 Visa streamlines this process, as explained in detail below.

 

L1 Individual vs. Blanket Petition

 

Generally, with an L1 Individual Visa, the company or employer must file a petition with USCIS every time they want to transfer an employee to a US-based branch. Under the L1 Blanket Visa, US-based organizations can petition to bring several foreign employees, rather than one employee at a time, to the United States, after submitting just one visa petition. It eliminates the need to file several separate L1 petitions for each qualified employee that the company wants to transfer to the United States.

 

Once the Blanket L1 Visa is approved, the company can transfer people to the US quickly and on short notice by using a copy of the approved Blanket L1 petition, an I-129S,  along with other documents supporting the transferees’ qualifications.

 

Blanket L1 Visa Requirements for US-based Petitioner

 

To qualify for L1 classification in this category, the employer must:

  1. Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations); and
  2. Currently, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L1.  While the business must be viable, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade.

 

Doing business means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.

 

Additional requirements of the Petitioner include:

 

  1. The Petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations must be engaged in commercial trade or services
  2. Must have an office that has been engaged in business for one year or more
  3. Must have a minimum of three domestic and foreign branches, affiliates, or subsidiaries
  4. Must meet one of these three criteria:

    1. Successfully obtained at least 10 L1 petition approvals in the previous 12-month period
    2. Must have US affiliates or subsidiaries with at least $25 million in annual sales; or
    3. Have a US workforce of more than 1,000 employees

  

Blanket L1 Visa Requirements for Employee

 

To qualify under the L1 blanket option, the transferred employee must meet the same requirements as an individual L1 applicant. The requirements are that the employee:

  1. Must have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States; and
  2. Be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations

 

Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. On the other hand, managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization.

 

Validity and Extensions for L1 Blanket Visa

 

The L1 visa approval is initially for three years. It is possible to extend the visa for two years at a time for a total of seven years if you are a manager or executive (L1A) and a total of five years if you come to the US as a specialized knowledge employee (L1B).

 

To file for an L1 blanket visa extension for an employee, the organization must file a new I-129S on behalf of the employee. The petitioner must submit the renewal petition for an L1 employee with the following documents:

  1. The prior L1 approval notice
  2. Most recent I-94
  3. A copy of the L1 visa
  4. Confirmation of the W-2 form
  5. Recent payslips
  6. An L1 blanket visa extension support letter signed by the employer explaining the conditions of employment and the reason for the employee’s extended stay in the United States

 

Schedule a Free Consultation 

 

My name is Michael Ashoori and I'm a U.S. immigration lawyer and the founder of Ashoori Law. As an immigration lawyer, I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.  If you have any questions about the L1 Blanket Petition or any other immigration-related questions, feel free to schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.

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Michael Ashoori, Esq.

President of Ashoori Law

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped thousands of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.