The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”)  has issued policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual clarifying that a sole proprietorship may not file a Form I-129L Petition (“Petition”) on behalf of its owner because the sole proprietorship does not exist as a distinct legal entity separate and apart from the owner.

The L-1 Intracompany Transfer nonimmigrant visa classification enables a U.S. employer that is part of a qualifying organization to temporarily transfer Executives, Managers or persons with Specialized Knowledge from one of its related foreign offices to office locations in the United States.

This Policy Manual update affirms the existing USCIS guidance and distinguishes a sole proprietor from a self-incorporated petitioner (such as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company with a single owner), where the Corporation or the single member Limited Liability Company is a separate and distinct legal entity from its owner.  The Corporation or Limited Liability Company may file a Petition for the owner.

This update also clarifies guidance regarding Blanket Petitions. International organizations file Blanket Petitions on behalf of all individual entities named in the Blanket Petition when there are multiple locations and entities in the United States. The USCIS is also updating policy guidance to clarify that the failure to timely file an extension of the Blanket Petition does not trigger the 3-year waiting period before another Blanket Petition may be filed.

This guidance is effective immediately.

If you have questions about the L-1 Intracompany Transfer nonimmigrant visa category, contact us to speak with one of our attorneys at in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Taipei.


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Copyright 2023. This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may be changed with or without notice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Enterline and Partners only.