New L-1 Visa Form Probes Further into Work History

Employers seeking L-1 visas for managerial and specialist employees under “blanket” approval will soon have to use a new, longer form with increased scrutiny of workers’ employment histories.

Beginning Aug. 29, companies with an approved blanket L-1 petition must use the latest version of Form I-129S, which allows employers to secure L-1A or L-1B visas for executive and managerial staff or workers with “specialized knowledge” so these workers can transfer to U.S.-based worksites.

Large multinational companies that frequently transfer workers to the United States use the blanket L option to prequalify the organization and its affiliates for L-1 visas.

Once approved, the company no longer has to file a separate I-129 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for each prospective L-1 employee and instead can send its L-1 visa applicants directly to U.S. consulates abroad, where adjudication is less rigorous.

Important changes to the new version of Form I-129S include:

  • It asks for more detail about prior employment and wages received in U.S. dollars.
  • It asks for the percentage of time the transferee will spend doing job duties on a daily basis.
  • It probes into third-party client worksite scenarios.