What to Know About the L-1 Blanket Visa

There are plenty of options for foreign workers to temporarily work in the U.S. One type that is geared towards larger companies with more than U.S.$25 million in gross annual sales is the Blanket L-1 visa.  There are two classes of Blanket L-1 visas: the L-1A is suited for executive or managerial workers; the L-1B visa is suited for non-managerial or executive workers who have specialized knowledge. 

There are two ways companies can go about securing L-1 visas for multinational transferees. One way is to simply use the regular procedure, which is a two step process involving 2 U.S. federal agencies.  The first step requires filing of a L-1 petition by a company with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  After USCIS approval, the transferee must apply for the L-1 visa at an overseas U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

The alternative way is securing a L-1 blanket approval, which means employers are able to expedite L-1 visa processing and bypass USCIS review of each transferee. This allows for a more efficient transfer process in one step. However, each visa applicant under the L-1 blanket procedure must still submit documents that show their qualifications. L-1 visa applicants must submit documents to an overseas U.S. Embassy or Consulate, generally in their country of residence. 

L-1 Blanket Requirements

Not every employer is eligible for a L-1 blanket approval. Only employers that satisfy the following conditions are eligible: 

  • The petitioner and qualifying entities are currently engaged in commercial trades or services.
  • The employer has had an office in the U.S. for a minimum of one year.
  • The employer has at least three domestic and foreign affiliates, subsidiaries, and branches.
  • The petitioner and qualifying entities meet one of these three additional criteria: 

                     1) The petitioner has secured approvals for at least 10 separate L-1 visas in the previous year.
                     2) Affiliates, subsidiaries, and branches (in the U.S.) have done at least U.S.$25 million in gross                                      annual sales; or
                     3) At least 1,000 U.S. workers are employed by the U.S. petitioner and qualifying entities.


L-1 blanket visas are not available to all multinational employers. The regular procedure can be just as effective for employers who wish to enrich their U.S. operations with foreign talent, but the process will take longer, undergo more scrutiny and cost more. Whichever procedure you choose for your company, know that Valvo & Associates is here to help you figure out a solution to help you bring foreign talent to the U.S. We have a long track record of success, and we would be happy to have you join the family. Get started here.

By Brandon Valvo