If you have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding researcher or professor, or are a multinational manager or executive, you may be eligible for an employment-based first preference visa. The EB-1C visa is one of three types of employment-based petitions for permanent residence for aliens who have proved to be the most accomplished or capable in their fields. Immigrant visa numbers, which are limited to 40,000 visas per year for EB-1, are immediately available. If you are interested in receiving EB-1 status, you must complete consular processing at a United States consular office abroad or apply for an adjustment of status if already in the U.S.

Who Qualifies for EB-1C Status?

The EB-1C petition is exclusively for managers and executives who meet the L-1A nonimmigrant standards. This visa allows international companies to transfer their top-level employees to the United States as permanent residents. For an employee to become a permanent U.S. resident on an EB-1C visa, the sponsoring employer must submit Form I-140 to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the employee. Both the employer and employee must meet certain requirements in order to qualify for EB-1C status.

Employer Requirements:

  • The company must be a U.S. employer and have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, such as an affiliate, subsidiary, branch, or parent company.
  • The company must operate in the U.S. and one additional country outside the U.S. This can be done directly or through a qualifying entity.
  • The company must have conducted business in the U.S. for a minimum of one year prior to filing for EB-1C visa status.
  • Employee Requirements:

    To qualify as a manager, the alien must provide proof that he or she:

    • Manages the organization or a department or component of the business.
    • Supervises the work of other employees or manages a department or subdivision within the business.
    • Has the authority to make personnel decisions, such as hiring and termination.
    • Exercises discretion over normal day-to-day operations.

    To qualify as an executive, the alien must provide proof that he or she:

    • Directs the organization or management or another major component.
    • Establishes company policies and goals.
    • Exercises discretionary decision-making.
    • Receives limited supervision and only from higher executives, stockholders, or from the board of directors.

    What Are the Types of EB Visas?

    There are several types of EB visas. Depending on your employment status and role in the company, you may be eligible to obtain an employment-based visa if you meet certain qualifications. Employment-based visas require that you already have a job offer from a U.S. employer and this employer must be willing to sponsor you. Some of these visa categories require your U.S. employer to complete and submit a petition to the USCIS. The employer may also have to retrieve approval from the U.S. Department of Labor for labor certification. This labor certification verifies that there is insufficient willing or qualified U.S. workers to fill the jobs and that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect wages or working conditions.

    Permanent Worker Visa Preferences:

  • First Preference (EB-1):
  • First preference is reserved for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, arts, athletics, or business. It also includes outstanding researchers or professionals, as well as multinational managers or executives.

  • Second Preference (EB-2):
  • This preference is reserved for professional individuals who hold advanced degrees or individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, business, or art.

  • Third Preference (EB-3):
  • This preference is reserved for certain workers, such as professionals and skilled workers.

  • Fourth Preference (EB-4):
  • This preference is reserved for “special immigrants”, such as employees of the U.S. Foreign Service posts, certain religious workers, retired workers of international organizations, or alien minors who are considered wards of U.S. courts.

  • Fifth Preference (EB-5):
  • This preference is reserved for business investors who invest at least $1 million or $500,000 (if made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise. To be eligible for EB-5 visas, investors must employ at least 10 full-time United States workers.

    How Do I Obtain an EB-1C Visa?

    The EB1-C green card is designed for the most skilled and proficient foreign managers and executives. After an employee and employer meets all qualifications and successfully submits the proper forms and documentation, there may be a lengthy processing time. On average, it takes about eight months of processing time. Once your application has been approved, it will usually take an additional six months for the USCIS to issue the permanent residence. In some cases, an immigration attorney can speed up your case. Your immigration attorney will go through your case to ensure that all information and documentation is complete and accurate. Due to the time, effort, and money that aliens invest in obtaining their green card, many individuals want to track their investment. However, the USCIS does not have a tracking system.

    Certain evidence may be required to support an EB1-C case and prove capacity as a manager or executive. This may include a description of the alien’s supervisory capacity, a description of staffing levels and development of the company, and a description of the job offer in the form of a statement which indicates that the foreign beneficiary is to be employed in the U.S. in an executive or managerial capacity. In this letter, the employer must thoroughly and with great detail describe the duties to be performed by the alien when he or she takes on the job following EB-1C status.

    Businesses often need to transport their senior personnel across the globe. This includes moving skilled managers and executives to the U.S. to direct American business operations. To avoid having to renew their nonimmigrant status or to simply remain in the U.S. hassle-free, many of these professionals try to obtain their green card. For this type of scenario, the EB1-C visa is the best option. Qualifying for the EB-1C immigrant is also favorable for aliens as no labor certification is required. Filing for EB-1C status requires a significant amount of work and attention to detail. Before taking action, we recommend consulting with an immigration attorney.

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    Beeraj Patel, Esq.

    Partner at KPPB Law
    Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
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