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The Benefits of L-1 Blanket Petition Classification for Multinationals with U.S. Operations

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By: Chris Costa

Multinationals with U.S. operations may eventually expand within the U.S. market to the point where their operations may significantly benefit from the possibility of expedited transfer of foreign managers, executives or specialized knowledge professionals based on requiring significant mobility between global offices. L-1 Blanket Petition Classification serves to enable mobility between global offices and U.S. operations. A Blanket Petition is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request review and pre-approval of corporate affiliation and business operations and allow for applications for visa stamps for qualifying employees of qualifying global offices directly at U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide without initial review and approval by USCIS. Thus, L-1 Blanket Petitions may enable  significant time and cost savings for a large and mobile global workforce.

Multinationals with U.S. operations may qualify for L-1 Blanket Petition classification and thereby expedited transfer of foreign managers, executives or specialized knowledge professionals if they can evidence all the following requirements:

  • The petitioner and each of its selected U.S. and global subsidiaries, branches or affiliates are engaged in commercial trade or services; 
  • The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been doing business in the United States at least one year; and, 
  • The petitioner has at least three branches, subsidiaries or affiliates in the United States and abroad. 

In addition, the U.S. and foreign organizations must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • The U.S. company and its qualifying global subsidiaries, branches or affiliates have received approval on at least ten (10) petitions for L-1 managers, executives and/or specialized knowledge professionals during the previous year;
  • The U.S. company and its U.S. subsidiaries and affiliates combined have annual sales of more than $25 million in the United States; or,
  • The U.S. company employees at least 1,000 people in the United States.

L-1 Blanket Petitions are initially valid for 3 years and can then be renewed for an indefinite period.

L-1 transferees with at least one (1) year of qualifying experience abroad may be issued visa stamps valid for up to three (3) years, renewable up to seven (7) years for L-1A Managers and Executives, or five (5) years for L-1B specialized knowledge professionals.

For a consultation on L-1 Blanket Petition classification for multinationals with U.S. operations please reach out to Drummond Advisors.