Frequently Asked Questions about the
Blanket L Petition
The Blanket L petition is a process allowing large
multinational companies to receive approval to transfer their employees
in L-1 status. The company files a petition with the USCIS,
requesting “blanket” approval that the company and the specified foreign
affiliates have a qualifying relationship, and meet the additional
requirements for the Blanket L. Once the USCIS approves the Blanket L
petition, a transferring employee may petition for an L-1 visa directly
to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy. This allows a multinational company
to transfer employees to the United States quickly and on short notice.
The foreign office where the transferring employee worked must have been
included in the Blanket L petition. If the foreign office was not
included, the employer must file an individual L-1 petition.
A Blanket L petition speeds up the process of
transferring employees from foreign affiliates, from several months to a
matter of days or weeks. Blanket L approval eliminates the need to file
separate petitions with the USCIS for each transferred employee.
Transferring employees may apply for an L-1 visa directly at a U.S.
consulate or embassy in the employee’s own country.
The Blanket L imposes additional requirements on
companies, beyond the usual L-1 criteria. Companies must meet
all three of the following requirements to be eligible for
the Blanket L:
- The employer and each of its subsidiaries, branch or affiliates
must be in engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The company must have an office in the United States that has been
doing business in the United States at least one year; and,
- The employer must have 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 affiliates have received
approval on at least ten 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; or,
- The U.S. company employees at least 1,000 people in the United
The transferred employee must still meet the
requirements for the L-1A visa by holding a manager or executive
position in the foreign and U.S. companies, or for the
L-1B visa by
holding a specialized knowledge position in both companies. With the
Blanket L program, L‑1B applicants must
also be a "professional," requiring a bachelor’s degree or its
equivalent through a combination of education and work
experience. The foreign office where the transferring
employee worked must have been included in the Blanket L petition. If
the foreign office was not included, the employer must file an
individual L-1 petition or a new Blanket L petition listing the foreign
The definitions for managers and executives are the
same. The definition for a specialized knowledge employee requires that
the employee be a “professional.” Generally, the employee must have at
least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position, or the
equivalent of a bachelor’s degree through a combination of education and
The Blanket L requires that the transferring
employee have worked for the foreign employer for one year as with the individual L-1 visa.
for permanent residency as a Multinational Manager or Executive also requires one year of qualifying experience with the foreign employer.
If the transferring employee wants to become a U.S. permanent
resident, it would be best to ensure that the experience in the foreign
company exceeds one year.
The Blanket L is initially valid for 3 years. The
Blanket L can be extended indefinitely. Each employee who enters
in L-1 status may be approved a three year term, renewable up to seven
years for L-1A Managers and Executives, or
five years for L-1B specialized knowledge