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State Department clarifies standard of review for blanket L visa applications

  1. Date Announced

    Oct. 31, 2019

    The State Department updates guidelines for adjudicating blanket L visa applications, reminding consular officers that blanket L visa applicants must demonstrate eligibility by “clear and convincing evidence" and applications should be denied if eligiblity questions cannot be quickly and easily resolved at interview. [ID #570]

    View Policy Document
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Agencies Affected: USCIS Bureau of Consular Affairs

Prior Policies

  • Blanket L applications at U.S. consulates have long been subject to a higher legal standard of review than L visa petitions at USCIS. Under longstanding guidelines, blanket L-1 visa applicants must demonstrate that their applications are “clearly approvable,” while USCIS petitions are subject to a less stringent “preponderance of the evidence” standard. The State Department’s new guidelines do not alter the clearly approvable standard, but the new and detailed instructions to officers could result in more frequent application denials.

    9 FAM 402.12 - Intracompany Transferees - L Visas

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