• 30 November 2017

The EB-5 investment visa has been plagued by long processing times and uncertainties for Chinese investors – especially those who wish to come to the USA in a shorter time. One of the better alternatives available is the EB-1C immigrant visa program for Multinational Managers.

Quicker Access via the EB-1C Visa Program

The processing time for EB-1C visas is typically much shorter than several years than for an EB-5 application to be approved. Cases are processed in the order they are received. Although times may vary, it is reasonable to expect that most cases can be handled within eight months – far better than for EB-5.

Qualifications for the EB-1C Visa Program

Of the U.S. employment-based, preferential visas available for foreign nationals, the EB-1C is specifically designed to expedite the transfer of executive and high-level managerial staff employees to a company’s U.S. facilities and to permit those persons and their families to enter the United States as permanent residents. The specific purpose of the EB-1C visa is to promote international commerce by expediting the immigration of current high-level employees to the U.S. to enhance a company’s operations here. Unlike most visas, where individuals are the applicants, the company is the applicant for EB-1Cs.

The USCIS has established simple, but separate, eligibility guidelines for the applicant company and the employee. Since the company must already be operating internationally and in the U.S., the U.S. entity is the petitioner or applicant. The immigrant must have a position in which he or she manages an essential function of the business. Mid-level managers or first-line supervisors do not qualify.

  • The Applicant (the company)
    • The company must have been operating continuously within the U.S. for a minimum of one year before the application.
    • The company must have a similarly continuously operating business in at least one other country.
    • The company must be related to a qualifying entity outside of the U.S. wherein there is both common ownership and control. Qualifying entities include:
      • Branch: a division of the company in a location distant from the main offices.
      • Subsidiary: a separate company that is owned in part or whole by another entity that controls its operations.
      • Parent: a company that has subsidiaries.
      • Affiliate: generally speaking, divisions or branches of a company that regularly conduct business with each other.
  • The Immigrant
    • The transferee must have been employed continuously by the related foreign entity at an executive level for a minimum of one year during the three years preceding the filing of the application.
    • The transferee must be reasonably qualified to successfully perform the responsibilities to which he or she will be assigned. That position must include responsibility for policy making, corporate level decision making and oversight of other management-level employees.
    • The transferee should have exposure to and experience with dealing with U.S. businesses.

Benefits of the EB-1C Visa

  • No investment required.
  • A direct path to permanent immigration.
  • Immediate family access to permanent immigration. (Immediate family includes spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
    • If they reside in the United States with valid nonimmigrant statuses such as L, H or F visa, they can file adjustment of status applications with USCIS and obtain immigration benefits such as employment authorization and travel documents.
    • If they reside outside the United States, the whole family, including the immigrant, spouse, and unmarried children under 21 years old, may start the consular process application to obtain green cards once the EB-1C petition is approved.

While this process is much more expedient than EB-5, it is also much more complicated. The information here is a summary. Every step includes understanding technical and timing details that require the expertise of qualified immigration attorneys.

If you have questions, we have answers. Contact us. We are here to help you.