EB-1C Visas: Immigrant Investors
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., it must be understood that 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. This does not include mid-level managers or first-line supervisors.
- The Applicant
- The company must have been operating continuously within the U.S. for a minimum of one year prior to 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 in 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.
The process itself for filing for an EB-1C is fairly simple. However, as one might expect, there is the usual abundance of documentation required to ensure timely facilitation of the process. Missing or incomplete documentation can grind the process to a halt.
- The U.S. employer submits an “I-140 Petition for Alien Worker” to the USCIS along with a letter verification of employment for the beneficiary immigrant.
- Once the I-140 has been approved, the beneficiary immigrant initiates the regular consular process for immigration. (If the beneficiary is already in the U.S. on a temporary status, he or she may simply file a completed “I-485 Adjustment of Status” form.)
Documentation is required from the applicant, its foreign entity and the transferee. It is possible that it may vary to some extent, dependent upon factors such as the size, longevity and prominence of the business.
The beneficiary transferee is typically required to submit documented evidence of education and employment indicating that he or she is qualified and eligible for the proposed position.
Both the applicant and its related foreign entity will be required to submit a range of documents including, but not limited to, articles of incorporation, organizational charts, bank statements, audited financial statements, and tax returns.
The expertise and experience of American Corporate Services can help to ensure that all of your documentation is complete and adequate. We know where the pitfalls and obstacles are that get well-meaning companies and employees trapped in an entanglement of bureaucratic red tape. We know the way to where you want to go, and we can get you there quickly and efficiently.