Usually, large companies would transfer many employees to the United States using the L-1A visa program. In these situations, the company can file an L-1 Blanket Petition with USCIS to establish the required intra-company relationship. It does provide the employer with the flexibility to transfer eligible employees to the United States faster and on short notice, without having to file an individual petition with USCIS for each employee. In most cases, once the blanket petition has been approved, the employer only needs to complete Form I-129S and send it abroad to the employee along with a copy of the blanket petition approval notice and other required evidence so that he or she may present it to a U.S. Consular Office and apply for an L-1 visa. In order to establish eligibility for blanket L certification, the employer must prove the following:
- Each qualifying organization of the company must be engaged in commercial trade or services.
- The company must already have an office in the United States that has been operating for at least one year.
- The company must have at least three domestic/foreign branches, affiliates or subsidiaries,
- In addition, the company must meet one of the following:
- The company must have obtained a minimum of 10 L-1 approvals in the 12-month period prior to filing a blanket petition
- The company and its U.S. subsidiary and affiliates must have combined annual sales of at least $25 million dollars.
- The company has a workforce in the United States of at least 1,000 employees.
The petitioning employer will be provided the approval of their blanket petition on Form I-797, Notice of Action and an alien seeking admission into the U.S. under the blanket I-L must present a copy of this form at a port of entry.
The initial validity of an approved blanket petition is three years, but the petitioner can file for an extension of the blanket petition for up to seven years. If they fail to do so, or USCIS denies the extension, the petitioner may not file a new blanket petition for three years. An L-1A non-immigrant initially seeking admission under a blanket petition may be admitted for a period of three years even if the initial validity of the blanket petition expires before the end of that three-year period.