A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Pilot Program for Canadian L-1 Multinational Executives and Managers

Applying for nonimmigrant statuses can be a lengthy process with long wait times coming one after another. A recent program exclusive to Canadians seeking L-1 status seeks to mitigate this. A temporary joint program exclusively for Canadian citizens applying for L-1 status under NAFTA will span from April 30, 2018 to October 31, 2018. USCIS California and Customs and Border Protection in Blaine, Washington are coordinating L-1 nonimmigrant status processing and admission to the United States to allow Canadians to enter the country under L-1 status.

What is "L-1 status"? It is a visa category for foreign executives and high-level managers of multinational companies. It allows the company to bring an executive or manager to an office in the States. The employee can stay an initial three years, with two-year extensions capping at seven total years.  The pilot program aims to encourage U.S. employees to move their executive employees in by expediting the total process.

Participation in this program allows an employer to file I-129 (L-1) forms ahead of time. When the employee goes to the port of entry (POE) for admission, they can have the application adjudicated and enter under L-1 status following approval. 

Outside of the program, adjudication can also happen at Class A POEs or pre-clearance airports (PC). Bringing an unprocessed I-129 (L-1) form to Blaine POE would then commence the adjudication process, with results coming out at a later date (at Class A POEs or PC). Stations nearest to Blaine are Class A POEs Point Roberts, Washington, and Sumas, Washington, and the Vancouver, Washington, PC. Applicants should remember that bringing an I-129 application still under processing to a POE could cause delays.

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