BLANKET L-1 VISAS: THE WAY TO GO FOR MULTINATIONALS
For mid-size and larger multinational corporations that do not qualify for E visas or for E visa companies that need to have another option, the Blanket L visa is the way to go. Why? Because once the company qualifies for Blanket L-1 visa status, employees abroad can directly apply with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for visa issuance and are much less likely to be challenged or denied the visa than if they applied with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) by an individual L-1 petition . Why? Each U.S. Consul abroad has his or her own interpretation on the requirements for the visa, not so with respect to USCIS, where one policy rules. The USCIS has been increasingly challenging such cases.
Now, not all Consuls are generous in their approach. Consuls in India or China are very restrictive. But Consuls in Japan and Europe are more liberal.
What are the company (petitioner) requirements to qualify?
- The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The petitioner has an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more;
- The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates; and
- The petitioner along with the other qualifying organizations meet one of the following criteria:
• Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period;
• Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or
• Have a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.