L-1 Visa: Blanket Petitions
The L-1 blanket petition is for large companies with multinational offices that anticipate filing several L-1 petitions for intercompany transferees who will work in the United States. Rather than filing a new petition for each L-1 employee, one blanket visa petition can cover all of the company’s L-1 employees. If you have questions about the L-1 blanket visa petition and would like to consult with an attorney, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.Why use the blanket petition?
Each new L-1 visa petition requires the company to prove that it meets the criteria necessary to establish eligibility. Each petition must prove that the company is a “qualifying organization” as defined by law, and it must provide sufficient evidence of ownership and control between the foreign company and the US company. However, a company can get visas for all of its L-1 employees by filing only one blanket petition and using that blanket approval notice to covers all of them. This not only streamlines the process, it also speeds up processing time. The blanket petition will cover the company itself, and all of its parent companies, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates.Initial period of validity and extensions
The approved L-1 blanket petition is initially valid for three years. The company can apply for an indefinite number of extensions. It is important to file for the extension before the current blanket petition expires because failure to meet that deadline will result in denial. When a blanket petition is denied, the company must wait three more years before another blanket petition may be filed.
The L-1 beneficiary worker may only apply for US admission or change of visa status during the time the blanket petition is valid. But the beneficiary’s period of admission may last beyond the validity date of the blanket petition.What are the criteria for a blanket petition?
For a worker to qualify as a beneficiary of a blanket petition, the worker must be a manager, executive, or a specialized knowledge professional. Note that a person with specialized knowledge who is not also a professional does not qualify. “Professional” means that the position is considered to be a “specialty occupation” according to the H-1B rules.
A company is eligible when it meets all of the following criteria:
- All of the petitioning company’s organizations in the blanket petition must be engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The petitioning company has an office in the US that has been doing business for one year or longer;
- The petitioning company has three or more organizations that are domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates;
- The petitioning company meets one of the following three criteria:
- Has transferred ten L-1 managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals to the US within the previous 12 months;
- Has subsidiaries and affiliates that have a combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or
- Has a US work force of at least 1,000 employees.
If you would like further information about the L-1 visa or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.