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New Form For Blanket L Visas May Boost Consular Scrutiny

A new L-1 visa form means employers will soon have to provide more detailed information about their staffers to nab visas for managerial or skilled employees under a so-called "blanket" petition, which attorneys say could burden companies and lead to more scrutiny from consulate officers.

Beginning on Aug. 29, companies will need to start using the latest edition of Form I-129S, which allows employers to secure L-1A or L-1B visas for managerial staffers or workers with "specialized knowledge," if the organization already has an approved blanket L-1 petition. Getting an approved blanket L petition allows visa candidates to submit forms directly to consular officers abroad, rather than sending materials to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and is a tempting option for larger companies that frequently transfer workers to the U.S.


"The new form is really looking to pick apart the employee's employment history, to see whether or not they meet the requirements," said Kristen Burke of Greenberg Traurig LLP. "And so, it's going to take an employer a longer period of time."

The updated form, complete with its new information demands, might also be used to intensify scrutiny of applications, according to Burke, as consulate officers examine whether the foreign nationals have completed at least one full year out of the last three in an executive or specialized knowledge role.

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