USCIS Updates Policy Manual on L-1 Intracompany Transferees

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual with updates on prohibitions on the filing of L-1A and L-1B intracompany transferee petitions by self-proprietors and the consequence of failing to timely file blanket L-1 petitions. The L-1 intracompany transferee nonimmigrant visa classification enables a U.S. employer that is part of a qualifying organization to temporarily transfer employees from one of its related foreign offices to locations in the United States through the L-1A intracompany manager or executive petition or the L-1B intracompany specialized knowledge worker petition.

The Policy Manual update states that sole proprietorship may not file an L-1 intracompany transferee petition on behalf of its owner because the sole proprietorship is not a distinct legal entity separate from the owner. USCIS distinguishes a sole proprietor from a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC) with a single owner, both of which are separate and distinct legal entities from the owner.  This corporation or LLC may file an L-1A or L-1B intracompany transferee petition for that owner.

This update also clarifies guidance regarding blanket L-1 petitions for multiple L-1 beneficiaries.   USCIS is updating policy guidance to clarify that the sponsor’s failure to timely file an extension of the L-1 blanket petition does not trigger the three-year waiting period before another blanket petition may be filed.

This guidance is contained in Volume 2 of the Policy Manual and is effective immediately.