New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Blanket L Petition

Author: New York Business Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova

When a company is frequently petitioning for L-1 visas, it is always best to obtain a Blanket L petition. Once approved, your transferee’s may now apply directly to their consulate without waiting for an individual L-1 petition to be approved by USICS. Unfortunately, the Blanket L Petition is not eligible for small and nonprofit organizations, however if your company meets the requirements below, this will save both time and money:

  • The company has an office in the US that has been conducting business for over one (1) year.
  • The company has three (3) branches, subsidiaries or affiliates both foreign and domestic
  • The company and each of its entities are engaged in commercial trade or services.
  • The company and the other qualifying organizations have:
    • Obtained approval of petitions for at least 10 "L" Managers, specialized knowledge professionals or executives during the previous 12 months, or
    • Have a combined annual sales at minimum of $25 million between the company its affiliates and/or subsidiaries, or
    • Employ a minimum of 1,000 workers

If your company meets the requirements set forth above, you may proceed with obtaining your Blanket L Certification.

When filling out Form I-129 and the L Supplement it is important to provide information regarding the US company, and the supporting statement should reflect the reasons why your company is requesting the Blanket L certification along with a brief description of the group of companies. Once granted, the Blanket L certification is valid for three (3) years. This certification can be extended 6 months prior to its expiration and USCIS may then grant the blanket L Certification to remain valid "indefinitely".

It should be noted, that if your company fails to apply for indefinite validity, or worse, is denied indefinite validity, the company will be forced to revert to individual L petitions and cannot file a new Blanket L Petition for at least 3 years after the denial of such request. If your company utilizes L visa’s and has gotten used to the Blanket L Certification, this will be a major setback for both the company and the employee’s. It is important to consult with an attorney regarding the Blanket L Petition as the bars after denial are severe.

16 April 2014
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