The EB-1C petition for multinational managers and executives allows international companies to transfer their top-level employees to the U.S. as permanent residents. To apply, a sponsoring employer submits Form I-140 on behalf of an employee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Requirements for successfully applying in this category are divided between both the petitioning employer and employee beneficiary.
The company must be a U.S. employer with a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, such as a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate. (These are collectively referred to as “qualifying entities.”)
The company must operate in the U.S. and in at least one other country, either directly or through a qualifying entity, in the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods or services.
The company must have been conducting business in the U.S. for at least one year prior to filing.
Some of these requirements are relatively easy to satisfy and do not require extensive documentation, especially for cases involving well-known and established companies. However, when a petitioning company is small or has only recently been established, the employer should be prepared to provide extensive documentation to establish eligibility. Accordingly, we recommend that such companies in particular seek the professional services of experienced immigration attorneys.
Prospective beneficiaries of an EB-1C visa must have been employed in a managerial or executive capacity by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary or branch of the U.S. employer for at least one of the three years prior to filing the petition. They must also intend to immigrate to the U.S. to work in a managerial or executive capacity with the employer. Additional conditions apply according to the professional capacity an alien is seeking to assume.
To qualify as a manager, the alien must prove that he or she personally:
Manages the organization, department, component, or function;
Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;
Has the authority to hire, terminate, and make other personnel decisions; and
Exercises discretion over day-to-day operations of the activity or function.
Generally speaking, unless the employees they supervise are professionals, first-line supervisors are not considered “managers” for EB-1C purposes. There may be exceptions. For instance, a junior supervisor at an accounting firm may qualify under this definition because the employees he or she oversees are professional accountants (item number 2 above).
To qualify as an executive, the alien must prove that he or she primarily:
Directs the management of an organization, major component, or function;
Establishes goals and policies;
Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
Receives only general supervision from higher executives, the board of directors, or stockholders.
Let’s consider the above in a more concrete way through a real-world example.
Jan De Vries has served as Vice President of Marketing at the Amsterdam headquarters of Reclamebureau, an advertising company, for two years. Reclamebureau would like to transfer Jan to its fledgling Boston office so that he can oversee new marketing strategy and client outreach in the U.S. In this capacity, Jan will exercise total discretion over all factors involved in establishing and deploying new marketing policies and over client outreach. He ultimately will be charged with ensuring the success of these objectives.
Would Jan qualify as an alien beneficiary of an EB-1C visa, and if so, under which of the two professional categories?
Yes, Jan would be eligible for an EB-1C, and he would qualify as an executive because (1) he will be personally responsible for devising and implementing regional marketing initiatives and overseeing U.S. clients, and because (2) he will have the independent authority to execute any and all necessary steps in the pursuit of these objectives.
For further information on specific documentation required in EB-1C petitions, click here.
For more information on the EB-1C visa, refer to the following links:
Our experienced immigration attorneys are here to assist you in your EB-1 application. For more detailed information on the EB-1 category, including minimum requirements and USCIS policies, refer to the following links: