Imagility News

USCIS Issues Clear Guidelines for L-1 Petitions, Providing Clarity on Policy

USCIS Clarifies L-1 Petition Policies: Sole Proprietorships Restricted, Updates on Self-Incorporated Petitioners and Blanket Petitions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released updated policy guidance in its Policy Manual, reinforcing that sole proprietorships cannot file L-1 petitions on behalf of their owners. The clarification emphasizes that a sole proprietorship is not a distinct legal entity separate from its owner.

The policy update reaffirms existing guidance while making a clear distinction between sole proprietors and self-incorporated petitioners, such as corporations or single-member limited liability companies. In the latter case, the corporation or LLC is recognized as a separate legal entity that can file a petition for its owner.

Furthermore, the guidance addresses blanket petitions filed by international organizations, specifying that the failure to timely file an extension for a blanket petition does not initiate a three-year waiting period before filing another blanket petition.

This effective update, found in Volume 2 of the Policy Manual, takes precedence over any previous guidance on the matter. The L-1 nonimmigrant visa classification facilitates the temporary transfer of employees from a qualifying foreign office to U.S. locations for a U.S. employer. USCIS underscores that sole proprietorships are ineligible to file L-1 petitions for their owners, aligning with established policy and practice.

Source: USCIS