The “L1 Blanket” is an immigration framework offered by US authorities to ease intra-group transfers to the United States. If you are a large corporate entity that frequently transfers employees to the United States, applying for an L1 Blanket can help you gain time, money and efficiency.
What is the L-1 Visa?
The L-1 visa offers an immigration pathway for companies to transfer employees to the United States. This visa category is applicable for both smaller companies, scaling up to multinational enterprises. Typically, smaller companies (as well as entrepreneurs and business owners) should typically consider the L-1 as a viable option. However, for larger, multinational companies that might have a higher volume of corporate-employer mobility into the United States, the L-1 Blanket immigration framework might be a good option.
When should I apply for a L1 Blanket?
For L1 work permits – intra-group work permits, i.e. from one subsidiary to another within the same group. This concerns L1A (directors/managers) and L1B (proven experts).
Who is eligible for the L1 Blanket Application?
The company applying for the L1 Blanket must:
- have had an operational office in the United States for more than a year;
- demonstrate commercial or service operations;
- have at least three branches, subsidiaries or affiliates (national or international);
- or have at least 1000 employees; or have a U.S. annual revenue of at least $25 million; or having filed and obtained at least 10 L permit in the 12 months preceding the application.
In addition to this, applicants considering the L1 application must meet the following criteria:
- Be able to justify a high level of direction, management or expertise;
- Be able to justify 12 consecutive months of seniority in the group at the time of the request;
- Be sent to one of the group’s entities in the United States.
⚠️ Caution! – the L1 Blanket does not guarantee obtaining the work permit!
Benefits of the L1 Blanket Application for the United States
Efficiency & Time-Saving: The L1 Blanket avoids filing each application with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). It is filed directly with the competent U.S. Consulate, which decides whether or not to issue the visa. The time saved is considerable;
Visa Duration: The L1 Blanket is generally issued up to 3 years, renewable without limit. In case of renewal outside the deadline or refusal, a waiting period of 3 years is imposed;
Global Enterprises: Once the Blanket is approved, all global entities registered under that Blanket can benefit from it.
Application Procedures Going directly through the Consulate avoids a Request For Evidence (RFE). NOTE: this does not mean that the permit is issued automatically: a strict study is also conducted by the Consulate.
How to Submit an L-1 Blanket Application
The L-1 Blanket Application petition is made to the USCIS office closest to the main office of the American company;
Processing times vary from a few weeks to several months;
The list of documents to be provided can be intimidating – it is advisable to go through specialist of the subject.
Would you like more information about the L1 Blanket or US immigration in general? 👉 Contact Virginia Le Baler, a global mobility expert based in France offering U.S. immigration services.