What is the process to apply for an L-1 visa on the basis of an approved blanket petition?

By January 2, 2021L-1 Visa

Certain large international companies that are engaged in commercial trade or services may file a blanket L-1 petition with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The main advantage of filing a blanket L petition is that it is a single visa petition and once the petition is approved, the U.S. Company may transfer eligible employees to U.S. quickly and without filing multiple individual L petitions with USCIS. It saves significant time and money for the U.S. company when they do not have to file an individual L-1 petition for every employee they want to transfer to the U.S. Once the blanket L petition is approved, the employees will apply for the L-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad.

Which employees qualify for L-1s under blanket petitions?

Employees applying under blanket petitions must still meet the L-1 requirements to show that they have worked at the company abroad for at least one year out of the past three years in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge role and will be coming to the U.S. to hold a position in one of these categories. Employees who are coming to the U.S. under the specialized knowledge category must qualify as specialized knowledge professionals, meaning they must have specialized knowledge and demonstrate they qualify as a member of the profession, usually by providing evidence that they have a U.S. Bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent) in a field that is relevant to the profession.

What is the application process for employees at U.S. consulates?

After the blanket petition is approved, the employer will complete Form I-129S. If the employee is outside the U.S., the employee will need to schedule a visa interview at a U.S. consulate and bring supporting documents, including Form I-129S, proof of the blanket approval and proof of the employment relationship with the company abroad. If the employee is coming to the U.S. as a specialized knowledge professional employee, they must also bring proof of their degree or license to practice the relevant profession. The consular officer will also assess the applicant to make sure there are no inadmissibility issues (such as criminal issues or prior immigration violations) that would prevent them from issuing the visa.

What is the application process for employees at USCIS?

If the employee is already in the U.S. in a valid nonimmigrant status, the employer can file Form I-129S with Form I-129 to request a change or extension of status. The petition must be filed with proof of the blanket L petition approved and a letter from the employer abroad confirming the employee’s dates of employment, salary, qualifications and job duties.

Which employees qualify for L-1s under blanket petitions?

Employees applying under blanket petitions must still meet the L-1 requirements to show that they have worked at the company abroad for at least one year out of the past three years in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge role and will be coming to the U.S. to hold a position in one of these categories. Employees who are coming to the U.S. under the specialized knowledge category must qualify as specialized knowledge professionals, meaning they must have specialized knowledge and demonstrate they qualify as a member of the profession, usually by providing evidence that they have a U.S. Bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent) in a field that is relevant to the profession.

What is the application process for employees at U.S. consulates?

After the blanket petition is approved, the employer will complete Form I-129S. If the employee is outside the U.S., the employee will need to schedule a visa interview at a U.S. consulate and bring supporting documents, including Form I-129S, proof of the blanket approval and proof of the employment relationship with the company abroad. If the employee is coming to the U.S. as a specialized knowledge professional employee, they must also bring proof of their degree or license to practice the relevant profession. The consular officer will also assess the applicant to make sure there are no inadmissibility issues (such as criminal issues or prior immigration violations) that would prevent them from issuing the visa.

What is the application process for employees at USCIS?

If the employee is already in the U.S. in a valid nonimmigrant status, the employer can file Form I-129S with Form I-129 to request a change or extension of status. The petition must be filed with proof of the blanket L petition approved and a letter from the employer abroad confirming the employee’s dates of employment, salary, qualifications and job duties.

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