EB-1C Multinational Managers and Executives
This employment-based first preference immigrant classification (EB-1C) provides for U.S. companies to sponsor multinational managers and executives for lawful permanent residency. Applicants may be owners of the U.S. business.
The requirements of this immigrant visa or “green card” category are nearly identical to the L-1A nonimmigrant visa for intracompany transferees as managers or executives, except the beneficiary must have also been a manager or executive outside of the United States and the employer must be able to establish “ability to pay” the proffered wage, which can be difficult for early stage U.S. companies. To further explain, the L-1A category can be utilized to transfer specialized (proprietary company) knowledge employees (i.e. non-managers) from an affiliate abroad to be employed in the U.S. as managers, which would not qualify for EB-1C.
To summarize, the following requirements must be met for EB-1C qualification:
- The applicant is or will be employed as a manager or executive in the United States, preferably with ten (10) or more subordinates, including subordinate supervisors and degreed professionals.
- At least one (1) year in the past three (3) years before the manager/executive entered the United States, the applicant must have been employed outside of the United States as a manager or executive, preferably with ten (10) or more subordinates, including subordinate supervisors and degreed professionals – As years can pass from the initial U.S. entry to pursuit of permanent residency, it’s especially important to carefully document L-1A qualifications to eventually support the EB-1C strategy.
- The U.S. petitioner employer and the employer abroad must be affiliated by majority common ownership (ex. parent/subsidiary or sister organizations).
- The U.S. petitioner employer is doing business in the United States.
- The multinational enterprise is doing business outside of the United States.
Many international investors and entrepreneurs began their careers and maintain a business enterprise overseas, which can serve as the managerial or executive employment abroad. For E-2 Treaty Investors or managers, it’s common to change immigration status to L-1A Multinational Executive or Manager as a stepping stone to pursuit of a green card under EB-1C. L-1A allows for immigrant intent, which allows for international travel without issue while an application for adjustment of status to permanent resident is pending.
Although many have heard of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor “green card” strategy, EB-5 is substantially more complex, costly, and involving lengthy processing times, compared to processing times often less than two (2) years for the EB-1C green card strategy, where qualifying. Government premium processing is also available now.
Employment-based permanent residency strategies involve a significantly greater level of scrutiny than other areas of immigration law, so it’s important to ensure the appropriate category and filing strategy has been identified and vetted and to work with an experienced business immigration attorney who you trust.
The above is informational and not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an experienced business immigration attorney on your specific facts and circumstances before proceeding with any U.S. immigration strategy.