L-1B Blanket Petitions
The L-1B blanket petition allows large multinational corporations the opportunity to transfer to the U.S.A. any of their professionals who have specialized knowledge without the cumbersome and often long process of using the regular L-1B petition.
A petitioner has to meet a number of set requirements before it can use blanket petitions as follows:
An L-1B blanket petition is initially valid for three years and could be extended with no expiry date as long as the qualifying organizations meet the regulations. Professionals with specialized knowledge employed by corporations, firms or other entities which are classified as qualifying organizations and have been approved for a blanket petition can be categorized as intra-company transferees. This permits them to come to the United States to work for the organization they are employed by.
An intra-company transferee is a foreigner who, within the three year period before the application date for consideration into the U. S. has been in employment continuously for no less than 12 months by a corporation or firm or parent, affiliate, branch or subsidiary and who is seeking to come to the U.S. on a temporary basis to offer his or her expertise to a branch, parent, subsidiary or affiliate, of the same organization which involves imparting specialized knowledge. A professional with specialized knowledge means someone who possesses specialized knowledge related to the petitioning organization’s service, product, equipment research, management, techniques and its application in the context of international markets, or has a level of knowledge that is exceptional in the organizations procedures and processes.
Duration of Stay
Employees coming to the U.S. on an L-1B visa can come for 3 years initially if they are joining an long standing company or for one year if they are joining a start-up company. Once in the country, extensions can be handed out for two years at a time up to 5 years in total. Whether the petition for the employee is through the blanket program or not the length of time the employee can remain in the U.S. is the same.