Companies can avoid applying through the USCIS for L-1 petitions and send employees directly to US consulates and embassies for adjudication with an L-1 blanket. The blanket establishes that the US company and foreign company meet the qualifications for related corporate entities. Eligibility is established if:
- The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The petitioner has an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more;
- The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates; and
- The petitioner along with the other qualifying organizations, collectively, meet one of the following criteria:
- Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period;
- Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or
- Have a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.
Any company that qualifies for the L Blanket should pursue it. The L Blanket greatly speeds up adjudication times and raises the likelihood of L-1 approval, as the Department of State tends to take a more relaxed review of L-1 petitions than the USCIS does.