On January 3, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in an updated policy guidance,  clarified that a proxy vote must be irrevocable to establish the requisite control of a company in an L-1 petition. The L-1 category requires that the petitioning U.S. employer prove that a qualifying relationship exists between the foreign employer and the U.S. company. USCIS examines ownership and control of the entities to determine the existence of a qualifying relationship. One way a petitioner may establish control is based on the use of proxy votes. Proxy votes are obtained when one or more equity holders irrevocably grant the voting ability of their equity to another equity holder. This would effectively and legally give the other equity holder “control” over the company or companies. The new policy memorandum clarifies that when proxy votes are a determining factor in establishing control, the petitioner must now show the proxy votes are irrevocable from the time of filing through the time USCIS adjudicates the petition. In addition, the petitioner must show evidence the relationship will continue during the requested approval period.