The L-1 (Intracompany Transferee) Blanket Petition is used to transfer executive, managerial and “specialized knowledge professional” employees from foreign entities of an international group of companies to one or more related U.S. entities. A Blanket Petition will be approved if the following conditions are met:
- The petitioner and each of those entities are engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been doing business for one year or more;
- The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and
- The petitioner and the other qualifying organizations have obtained approval of petitions for at least ten “L” managers, executives or specialized knowledge professionals during the previous twelve months; or have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or have a U.S. workforce of at least 1,000 employees.
The Blanket Petition must be supported by evidence showing that the listed entities meet certain eligibility requirements. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) Regional Service Centers take approximately two months to four months to adjudicate this type of petition.
The USCIS’s “Premium Processing Service” allows businesses to request expedited adjudication on certain pending and newly filed petitions, including the L-1 Blanket Petition, by filing a completed Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service) and paying a fee in addition to the normal filing fee.
The USCIS guarantees that within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt, the employer will receive either an approval notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or a notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. If USCIS fails to meet its 15-calendar-day guarantee, it will refund the additional filing fee but will continue to process the petition expeditiously. Once the petition is approved, qualifying individuals (along with spouses and minor children) may apply for L visas directly at the U.S. Consulate that has jurisdiction over their place of residence.
The blanket petition approval notice identifies the organizations included in the petition and states the petition’s validity period. (The approved petition has an initial validity of three (3) years and may be extended indefinitely thereafter if the qualifying organizations have complied with all appropriate regulations).
A report must be provided with the extension petition (in three (3) years) including a list of the employees admitted under the blanket petition during the initial three-year period, their positions, their dates of initial entry and final departure, and the employing entity for each. The qualifying criteria must still be met and any changes in approved relationships or the addition or deletion of any qualifying organizations must be documented.
To qualify for visa issuance (following the blanket petition approval), the employing entity in the U.S. must demonstrate that the transferee has been employed abroad for one (1) year during the immediate prior three (3) years with a company named in the blanket petition, and that the qualifying employment abroad was as a manager, executive or ‘specialized knowledge professional.” Further, it must be shown that the transferee will be employed as a manager, executive, or as a specialized knowledge professional in the U.S.
“Specialized knowledge professional” is defined as a transferee who has gained knowledge of a company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests and who possesses a four-year university degree.
Visas issued pursuant to an approved Blanket Petition are normally issued within one (1) week and may be issued for a validity period of no more than three (3) years. A beneficiary admitted under an approved blanket petition may be reassigned to any organization listed in the approved petition during the authorized stay, providing the job duties remain virtually the same.