Blanket L Petition – Employer FAQs
In this guide for employers, we answer frequently asked questions about the Blanket L petition to transfer overseas workers to the USA.
What is the Blanket L?
The Blanket L allows a sponsoring US employer to transfer multiple qualifying employees quickly, on short notice and with less of an administrative drain with each L-1 intracompany visa application.
For companies transferring multiple employees to US-based affiliates, branches or subsidiaries, the Blanket L offers a number of benefits:
- Expedited processing of the L-1 petition – often taking the process from months to weeks.
- Reduced administrative burden on employer – since only an individual L1 petition is required for each employee.
- The employee can apply at the consular post in their country of residence.
What are the Blanket L petition eligibility requirements?
Given the requirements, the Blanket L is typically open only to larger employers.
To be eligible for a blanket petition a company must document that they meet the following requirements:
- The filing company and its related companies must be engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The filing company must have an office in the US that has been doing business for one year or more;
- The filing company must have three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates.
In addition, the filing company and the other qualifying organizations must have:
- Obtained at least ten L-1 petition approvals during the previous twelve months; or
- Have US subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or
- Have a US workforce of at least 1,000 employees.
How long does the Blanket L petition take to process?
Blanket L petition processing varies between consular posts and the time of year.
In any event, a successful Blanket L petition will save you a substantial amount of time with processing of future individual employee L1 petitions.
For an additional fee, you may request premium processing. Under this service USCIS will adjudicate the case within 15 calendar days. If a request for additional evidence is issued on a petition filed using the premium processing service, USCIS will have an additional 15 calendar days from receipt of the response to adjudicate the case.
How long is the Blanket L issued for?
Blanket Ls are issued for an initial period of up to three years. You can then apply to renew the visa indefinitely, provided the company remains eligible under the Blanket L requirements.
Will the Blanket L mean employees automatically qualify for L1 status?
Unfortunately, holding Blanket L status does not guarantee your employees will also qualify under the relevant L1 category.
With the Blanket L, you will still need to ensure all employees applying for L1 status meet the requirements under the relevant category (L-1A or L-1B) as their petition will be assessed and adjudicated by a consular officer. There is no shortcut or relaxation of the visa criteria.
This means for example ensuring the employee has worked for the foreign company for a minimum of year at the time of filing their petition.
The applicant is required to fill an executive or managerial role (L-1A) or specialized knowledge role (L-1B) in the U.S. and you must have been employed abroad by the same company, or a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary thereof, in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge role for 1 of the last 3 years.
An individual may be eligible for an L-1 visa if they meet the following requirements:
- He/she is required to fill an executive or managerial knowledge role in the US, or fill the role of a specialized knowledge professional; and
- He/she has been employed abroad by the same company, or a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary thereof, in an executive or managerial role, or the role of a specialized knowledge professional, for one of the last three years.
An executive role is defined as an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:
- Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
- Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
- Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
- Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.
A managerial role is defined as an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:
- Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
- Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization;
- Has the authority to hire and hire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions, or if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy; and
- Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.
A specialized knowledge professional role is defined as a role in which:
- The individual is a member of a profession, including but not limited to architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians and teachers; and
- Special knowledge is possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets; or
- Advanced knowledge is possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization’s processes and procedures.
Is there a limit on the number of employees who can file for L1 status under the Blanket L?
Provided the petitions are filed during the validity period of the Blanket L visa, there will be no restriction or cap on the number of employees from your company who can apply for L1 status.
This includes employees employed by the parent company and any branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates as included in the Blanket L petition. As such, it will be important when filing for your Blanket L petition that it provides sufficient coverage of your organisation that will require use of the Blanket L visa.
NNU Immigration specialize in working with employers on the US Blanket L petition. As London-based US immigration attorneys, we can advise on all aspects of the visa, from assessing eligibility, to support with compiling your petition and all required documentation.
Contact us for advice with your Blanket L petition.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.