- What is an L-1 blanket petition?
An L-1 blanket petition allows employers to transfer multiple individuals to L-1 status without filing separate cases for each one. It is designed for companies that frequently move employees between their foreign and U.S. branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates.
- Are there specific requirements for filing a blanket petition?
To qualify for a blanket petition, the U.S. company must have at least 1,000 employees, three or more domestic and foreign branches, and have sought at least 10 L-1 visas in the past year. Additionally, the combined organizations under the company's corporate umbrella must have an annual revenue of at least $25 million.
- Is there a minimum number of onsite subordinates required for an L-1A extension?
There is no specific minimum requirement for onsite subordinates. The evaluation by USCIS will focus on the nature of the positions being supervised and the job duties of the L-1A manager. The level of the professionals being supervised is more important than the number of subordinates.
- Will a misdemeanor conviction for DUI affect obtaining an L-1 visa?
Any DUI conviction within the last five years will lead to a referral to a physician during the visa interview to assess if there are substance abuse problems. This may result in a delayed visa approval.
- I have been on an approved leave of absence during the L-1B blanket visa application process. How important are paystubs for the visa interview?
While a three-month gap in employment does not disqualify you, be prepared to explain the gap during the consulate interview. Paystubs may be requested as supporting documentation.
- Can I apply for an EB1(c) green card if I switched from L-1B to L-1A status?
To be eligible for an EB1(c) green card, you must have held a managerial or executive position with the sponsor company outside the U.S. for at least one year. The nature of your L-1B and L-1A employment will determine if you meet this requirement.
- I worked on L-1B status for several years and then left the U.S. Can the L-1B time count against the 6-year limit for H-1B?
To reset the H-1B clock, you need to have been outside of the U.S. for at least one year at the time the H-1B case is filed. If not, the time spent on L-1B will count towards the 6-year maximum for H-1B.
- Will an approved I-140 allow me to extend my L-1B status beyond 5 years?
No, having an approved I-140 does not permit you to extend your L-1B status. Consider changing to H-1B status, which may grant an additional year.
- If an L-1B visa is denied, how long do I need to wait before applying for an F-2 visa?
An L-1B denial does not disqualify you from applying for an F-2 visa. There is no waiting period, and the filing requirements for each category are different.
- Can I switch to H-1B after being in L-1A status for less than six years?
Switching to H-1B is possible, but keep in mind that L-1 time counts towards the 6-year maximum for H-1B. You would either need to go through the H-1B lottery or qualify as cap-exempt. Extension of H-1B time may be possible with an approved I-140.
- How long can I stay with my L-1 employer if I have an approved change of status to H-1B with a new employer?
Once your H-1B petition is approved, you should begin work with the new employer on the designated start date. You may remain with your L-1 employer during the period between H-1B approval and the start date, but after that, you must work for the H-1B employer.
- I'm in L-1 status with an approved I-140, can I change to H-1B without going through the lottery?
No, unless the H-1B employer is cap-exempt or you have been previously counted against the H-1B cap, you must go through the lottery. Having an approved I-140 does not exempt you from this requirement.
- Can I work for another business while maintaining my L-1 employment?
No, L-1 status only authorizes work for the L-1 employer. Any other employment, even if unpaid, is prohibited.
- Should I remain in the U.S. if I have 5 months left in my L-1 status and my employer will sponsor me for an EB1 green card?
The decision depends on the strength of your EB1 case and whether premium processing is available for the I-140. If there is no premium processing, it is recommended to have your EB1 case evaluated by an attorney and consider filing the I-485 concurrently with the I-140.
- I'm in L-1B status with an approved I-140 (EB2). Can I extend my status under AC21?
AC21 extension provisions apply only to H-1B status holders. There are no comparable provisions for L-1A or L-1B categories, which are capped at seven and five years, respectively.
- I have an approved L-1 blanket petition, but my work requires me to be outside of the U.S. for more than a year. Does this affect my visa?
No, your visa is not impacted as long as the work you are doing outside the U.S. aligns with what was specified in your L-1B petition.
- I'm in L-1 status, can my dependents work in the U.S. if they are in L-2 status?
Yes, your spouse and children under 21 in L-2 status may seek employment authorization and work in the U.S. as long as you maintain your L-1 status.