L-1 Blanket Petitions
Companies that frequently petition for L-1 visas and large multinational organizations may use the blanket petition program. This program allows the company to need only one approval from the USCIS for all their L-1 transferees. The initial period of approval is three years and can be converted into an indefinite period of approval after an extension is filed at the end of the initial period. The following are blanket petition requirements:
- All the qualifying organizations under the petitioner must be involved in commercial trade or services;
- The petitioner must have an office in the U.S. that has been doing business for at least one year;
- Their must be at least three domestic or foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates related to the petitioner;
- Taking into consideration all the qualifying organizations under the petitioner, one of the following must exist:
1. At least 10 L-1 approvals within the last year,
2. U.S. sales of at least $25 million, or
3. A U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.
There are two special considerations for the L-1 blanket petition. One is that employees with specialized knowledge that are not considered professionals (a person having a bachelors degree or its equivalent in education and experience, filling a position that requires at least a bachelors degree) can not be transferred under a blanket petition, nor can they be considered in the minimum number of L-1 approvals. The other special consideration is that non-profit companies are not eligible for blanket petitions.
Once the L-1 visa blanket petition is approved, employers can issue certificates of eligibility to transferring employees. The employees would then go to the U.S. consulate in their home country with their certificate to obtain their visa.