The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reportedly expanded its restriction of L-1 renewal applications for Canadian nationals at the border. This new policy is now being implemented at nearly all U.S.-Canada ports of entry (POEs) and Canadian airport pre-flight inspection sites.
Prior regulations and practice have adjudicated L-1 renewal applications for Canadian nationals at POEs and Canadian airport pre-flight inspection sites. However, contrary to prior regulations and practice, the ports now assert that Canadian L-1 renewal applicants must be sponsored for an extension of status petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to renew their status.
The following cases are affected by this new CBP policy:
- Canadians currently in L-1 status who are seeking to renew at a CBP port of entry, whether through individual or blanket L-1 application;
- L-2 dependents of the above.
The following cases are not affected by this new CBP policy:
- Initial L applicants;
- Intermittent L applicants: individuals who reside in Canada and either spend less than six months in the U.S. per year in L-1 status or enter the U.S. for L-1 part-time work only.
What this means is that Canadian L-1 applicants seeking renewal of their L-1 status should be sponsored for an extension of stay petition with USCIS rather than seeking renewal through U.S.-Canada POEs and Canadian airport pre-flight inspection sites.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions regarding this matter.