On March 26, 2018, USCIS and CBP announced a joint agency pilot program changing how Canadian L-1 applications are adjudicated at the Blaine, Washington port of entry. This program will start on April 30, 2018 and last until October 31, 2018. Under the current adjudication process, Canadian nationals are eligible to apply to have their L-1 individual or blanket petition adjudicated by CBP officers at a port of entry or pre-clearance inspection site. Under the pilot program, L-1 applicants will first submit their petitions to USCIS, where they will be adjudicated by a special team within the California Service Center. If approved, the L-1 applicant will have to present the Form I-797 Approval Notice at the Port of Entry for the CBP, but the final determination of entry will still be made by a CBP officer.
Petitioners are not required to participate in the pilot program and may still opt to send L-1 applicants to other designated ports of entry or pre-clearance inspection sites to have employees’ L-1 petitions adjudicated by a CBP officer. If the pilot program is successful, USCIS will consider extending the new process to other ports of entry and pre-clearance inspection sites.