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Single-owner company proprietor not eligible for L1 foreign work visa: US

International organisations file blanket L-1 petitions on behalf of all individual entities named in the petition

US Visa

Press Trust of India Washington

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The United States on Friday said the owner of a single-person company is not eligible for an L1 foreign worker's visa.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the latest policy guidance clarified that a sole proprietorship may not file a petition on behalf of its owner. This is because the sole proprietorship does not exist as a distinct legal entity separate and apart from the owner, it said.

The updated policy released Friday 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, which may petition for that owner.

The USCIS also clarified guidance regarding blanket petitions.

International organisations file blanket L-1 petitions on behalf of all individual entities named in the petition. The USCIS is updating its 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, a media release said, adding that the new guidance is effective immediately.

The L-1 non-immigrant visa classification enables a US employer that is part of a qualifying organisation to temporarily transfer employees from one of its related foreign offices to locations in the United States.

Existing USCIS policy and practice provide that a sole proprietorship may not file an L-1 petition on behalf of its owner.

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First Published: Oct 21 2023 | 7:49 AM IST

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