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The L-1 Blanket Visa
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If you own, manage, or work for a big company (usually a large multinational corporation) seeking to transfer multiple employees to the United States, the L-1 blanket visa allows you to submit one “blanket” (single) petition instead of submitting L-1 intracompany transferee visas separately for each employee. Basically, the L-1 blanket visa makes your life easier. It reduces the processing time for the company because the employer does not need to prove eligibility every time by filing individual petition. Each employee will have to prove his or her own eligibility at the U.S. consulate abroad, and the USCIS will not have to deal with the individual cases.
The L-1 blanket visa may be used for both L-1A intracompany transferee visas (for managerial and executive positions) and L-1B intracompany transferee visas (for professional employees with specialized knowledge)
There are two main requirements a company applying for the L-1 blanket visa must meet in order to be eligible for the visa:
- The company must already be doing business in the United States. The company must have an office or location in the U.S. that has been in business for one year.
- The company must be engaged in commercial trade or services.
- The company must have three or more domestic or foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates.
- The company must meet one of the following requirements:
- The company must have at least 1,000 employees.
- The company must have annual U.S. sales of at least $25 million.
- The company must have had at least 10 individual L visa applications approved in the last twelve months.
- All employees that will be transferred must meet the requirements for an L-1 intracompany transferee visa. These requirements include:
- The employee must be an executive or upper-level manager for the company, or else an employee with specialized knowledge in the company.
- The employee must have been working abroad for a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of the company for at least one year prior to the submittal of the l-1 blanket visa application.
- The employee must be moving to a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate office or location in the United States.
The L-1 blanket visa is valid for three years after approval. An indefinite number of extensions is allowed by the company. However, if the company doesn’t apply for an extension or if an application for renewal is denied, the petitioner must wait three years to apply for a new blanket petition.
Once the L-1 blanket visa is approved, it does not guarantee that an employee will be granted L-1A visa status. But it does provide a flexible, fast way for the employer to transfer employees to the United States.
If you would like more information about the L-1 blanket visa, feel free to give us a call at (877) 223-4684. You may also find more information on the L-1A Intracompany Transferee page on the official website for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Have more questions, or ready to get started? Give us a call today for a consultation!
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