EB-1C Multinational Executives and Manager Visa

EB-1C Multinational Executives and Manager Visa

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EB-1C is a permanent residency category available to certain multinational executives and managers. 

U.S. employer is called “Petitioner”, and the foreign employee is called “Beneficiary”.

EB-1C eligibility requirements:

  • Being a certain multinational executive and manager;
  • In the previous 3 years has been employed for at least 1 year by a foreign affiliate or subsidiary;
  • Will continue to render services to the same employer, subsidiary or affiliate in a managerial or executive capacity in the U.S.

EB-1C eligibility requirements will be discussed in detail below.

Advantages and Disadvantages of EB-1C

EB-1C advantages:

  • EB-1 category has shorter backlogs or no backlogs. For applicants born in India and China facing years-long backlogs in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories, this is an important consideration;
  • EB-1C category doesn’t have a labor certification requirement;
  • EB-1C category generally comes with the ability to concurrently file an adjustment of status petition with the Form I-140 since the EB-1 category is often “current” for most applicants.

EB-1C disadvantages:

  • EB-1C category requires foreign employment abroad for a company related to the U.S. petitioner;
  • Business in the United States must be operating for at least a year before the I-140 petition can be filed;
  • USCIS rules seem to favor larger organizations with multiple layers in the organizational hierarchy. Startups can face more challenges.

Employer Requirements

Qualifying Relationship

For an employer to meet the EB-1C requirements, there must be a qualifying relationship between a foreign company and an employer that is currently doing business in the United States. 

There is no requirement that the U.S. and foreign company do business in the same field.

For EB-1C cases it’s important to prove the ownership and control and proper relation between the U.S. entity and the foreign entity that is transferring the beneficiary to the United States.

The law requires the beneficiary to have worked previously for an affiliate or subsidiary of a U.S. firm or corporation, or other legal entity, prior to entering the United States. 

According to USCIS Manual:

  • A qualifying relationship exists when the U.S. employer is an affiliate, parent or a subsidiary of the foreign firm, corporation, or other legal entity.
  • To establish a “qualifying relationship”, the petitioner must show that the beneficiary’s foreign employer and the proposed U.S. employer are the same employer (i.e., a U.S. entity with a foreign office) or related as a “parent and subsidiary” or as “affiliates.”
  • Joint ventures may also qualify as a subsidiary.
  • The rules allow for a broader reading of “control” to include a stake less than 50% if one entity has effective control over the other. 
  • For startups, USCIS allows for “self-incorporated” petitioners with as few as one owner or employee to seek an EB-1C as long as the corporation is a “separate and distinct legal entity from its owners or stockholders.”

Keep in mind that if a company ceases foreign operations before the beneficiary has completed immigrant visa processing, the immigrant visa will be denied.

The U.S. employer must have been “doing business” for at least one year in the U.S.

A brand-new startup or a new branch of an established company will not be able to sponsor an executive or manager for an EB-1C green card.

“Doing business” is defined as:

  • “The regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a firm, corporation, or other entity and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office.” 

EB-1C petitioners are required to demonstrate that they have the ability to pay the offered salary. The following documents can be submitted to USCIS as proof of ability to pay:

  • Annual reports;
  • Federal tax returns;
  • Audited financial statements. 

Employee Requirements

The applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • The beneficiary must have been employed full-time by an overseas entity for a period of at least one year during the three years before the date the immigrant visa petition is filed;
  • The work abroad must have been in a managerial or executive capacity and the beneficiary must be coming to the United States to work in a “managerial” or “executive” capacity. 

According to USCIS, managerial capacity means that the employee primarily:

  • Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
  • 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;
  • If another employee or other employees are directly supervised, has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization), or, if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and
  • Exercises direction over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.

“Function managers” may also qualify for the EB-1C category. 

According to USCIS, “functional” or “function manager” is someone who:

  • Does not supervise or control the work of a subordinate staff;
  • Instead is primarily responsible for managing an “essential function” within the organization.

A manager may qualify as a “function manager” if the beneficiary will be primarily managing or directing the management of a function of an organization, even if the beneficiary does not directly supervise any employees.

A function manager will have the following characteristics:

  • Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
  • Manages an essential function within the organization, or a department, or subdivision of the organization;
  • Functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and
  • Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.

“Executive capacity” is defined by law as an employee who primarily:

  • Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
  • Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
  • Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
  • Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.

With respect to newer U.S. operations, there must be sufficient staff (e.g., contract employees or others) to enable the beneficiary to be primarily employed in the executive function.

The petitioner must also establish that the U.S. entity itself is in fact conducting business at a level that would require the services of an individual primarily engaged in executive (or managerial) functions. 

To prepare a strong EB-1C application, you should be very specific about:

  • Job duties;
  • The percentage of time being spent on each job duty;
  • How the employee is going to manage a function or a department;
  • How an executive’s senior-level role is reflected in their day-to-day specific job duties;
  • Organizational chart;
  • Showing there are sufficient employees below in the hierarchy managing everyday operation and that the manager or executive is not also filling those roles.

EB-1C application should be accompanied by a letter from the foreign entity verifying:

  • One year of full-time employment outside the United States;
  • The nature of the work performed abroad by the petition beneficiary and the salary paid;
  • Foreign company’s organizational chart showing the beneficiary’s role.

EB-1C Checklist of Required Documents

Type of document

Examples of acceptable documents

Who provides it

Foreign company documents

  • Incorporation documents:
    • Partnership or Joint Venture Agreement;
    • Articles/Memoranda of Incorporation;
    • Bylaws;
    • Stock certificates/ledger;
    • Name change/registration.
  • Business permits/licenses/registration;
  • Company annual report/marketing brochure/resume;
  • Lease/deed;
  • Mortgage or rent receipts;
  • Organizational chart;
  • Articles, promotional materials about the company, its products, services or key people;
  • Recent company tax return or financial statement;
  • Awards, memberships or special achievements by the company or key personnel;
  • Photographs of the inside and outside of the facilities.

Foreign company

U.S. company documents

  • Incorporation documents;
  • Branch qualification to do business in the U.S. or state;
  • Business permits/licenses/registration;
  • Company’s annual report/marketing brochure/resume;
  • Latest financial statement or federal tax return;
  • Four most recently filed IRS Form 941 Employee Quarterly Report;
  • Four most recently filed State Employee Quarterly Reports;
  • Documentation showing any changes affecting corporate structure (if applicable);
  • Lease/deed;
  • Mortgage or rent receipts;
  • Organizational chart;
  • Articles, promotional materials about the company, its products, services or key people;
  • Awards, memberships or special achievements by the company or key personnel;
  • Photographs of the inside and outside of the facilities.

U.S. company

Employee’s position abroad

  • Highly detailed job description of the employee’s position abroad, including:
    • Foreign job title;
    • Description of duties;
    • Task performed in the position;
    • Estimated percentages of time spent on each activity
    • Description of how the beneficiary supervised and controlled the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or 
    • Managed an essential function, department or subdivision of the organization.
  • Organizational chart which should list:
    • Beneficiary’s position; 
    • All employees in the employee’s immediate division, department, or team by name, job title, summary of duties, education level and salary.
  • If the beneficiary supervised other employees:
    • Work product examples showing how he supervised and directed these employees (for example, copies of performance appraisals or reviews, any other evidence that demonstrates the beneficiary had sufficient managerial authority).
  • Payroll records showing employment of all employees under the beneficiary’s direction;
  • Pay stubs or other documentation showing employee’s employment by the foreign company for at least one year during the previous three years.

Foreign company

Offered U.S. position

  • Highly detailed job description of the U.S. position being offered, including:
    • Job title;
    • Description of duties;
    • Tasks performed;
    • Estimated percentages of time spent on each activity;
    • Description of how the beneficiary will supervise and control the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or
    • Manage an essential function, department, or subdivision of the organization.
  • Organizational chart showing:
    • U.S. position being offered to the employee;
    • All employees in the employee’s immediate division, department, or team by name, job title, summary of duties, education level and salary.
  • If the beneficiary will supervise other employees:
    • Work product examples showing how he supervised and directed these employees (for example, copies of performance appraisals or reviews, any other evidence that demonstrates the beneficiary had sufficient managerial authority).
  • Payroll records showing employment of all employees under the beneficiary’s direction;
  • Employment agreements entered into by newly hired employees now shown in the payroll records who will be managed by the employee;
  • Assignment or transfer letter/contract showing proposed terms of assignment and salary.

U.S. company

Related links:

EB-1A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) – Eligibility, How to Apply & Costs

Form I-140 Instructions for EB-1C Applications

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers