CBP Officials advise L visa holders to carry approvals

At a recent AILA CBP Liaison meeting, CBP officials reminded both L-1’s and L-2’s to carry copies of their approvals to ensure that they are granted status for the proper validity period, as well as to avoid delays when entering the U.S. This is consistent with the notation on an L1’s visa: Must present approved I-797 or I-129S at POE (port of entry). An L-2 travelling separately would want to carry at least the I-797 or I-129S of the principal, as well as a copy of the visa and most recent I-94.

There was mention that nationally CBP may soon limit the L time granted to match I-797 & I-129S for all L’s. This would be a change from the current policy of issuing 3 years of status from the time of entry for all Blanket L’s regardless of the individual’s remaining time authorized by the I-129S.

It was also suggested that locally in Houston, that CBP may begin referring L-1 or L-2 foreign nationals that do not have the appropriate copies to secondary inspection. Processing through secondary inspection could add a delay from half an hour to multiple hours. Primary inspection, which are the main booths all foreign nationals process through, is intended for quick processing where all is in order. Secondary inspection is a waiting room on the side, where officers take time considering more complicated matter and would look up the unavailable L records on the system.