USCIS and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have announced that they are extending the joint agency pilot program for Canadian citizens seeking L-1 nonimmigrant status under the North American Free Trade Agreement through to April 30, 2019. The original pilot program was announced on March 28, 2018 where CBP will no longer adjudicate L-1 intracompany transferee petitions anymore at the Blaine, Washington port of entry. L-1 visas are a good option for a foreign company that seeks to send an employee to work at an existing U.S. company. To learn more about the L-1 visa, please click here. Since April 30, 2018 all Canadians entering from Blaine seeking L-1 admission based on an employer’s previously approved blanket petition or seeking L-1 admission based on an individual petition must file their petition with USCIS first. This pilot program is still only operating at the Blaine, Washington port of entry. CBP continues to adjudicate Canadian L-1 applications for admission at all other ports of entry.
Once an approval notice is issued, the Canadian beneficiary may use it at any northern border port of entry to request admission. USCIS strongly advises applicants to wait for the approval notice before applying for admission at the border, although USCIS have indicated that applicants could bring the filing receipt to the border for entry. CBP would then contact USCIS to verify whether the case would be approved and then act on the admission request accordingly.
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