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USCIS CLARIFIES POLICY FOR SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP ON L-1 PETITIONS


On October 20, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued policy guidance to clarify that a sole proprietorship may not file a petition on behalf of its owner. USCIS makes this distinction because a sole proprietorship does not exist as a distinct legal entity separate and apart from the owner. This clarification aligns with existing guidance and became effective immediately.

The Policy Manual update further 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 updated policy guidance also addresses blanket petitions. According to USCIS, international organizations often file blanket L-1 petitions on behalf of all individual entities named in the petition. USCIS updated 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.

View the USCIS alert, here.

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