An EB-1C visa is the third category in the first preference, employment-based visa. EB-1C visas are for certain multinational mangers or executives. You may have been either a manager or executive at a company abroad that works with the United States or an employee who has already been working in the United States. In order to qualify for this type of visa, you must have worked for a business entity that had some affiliation, branch, or subsidiary with a business in the U.S. In order to obtain an EB-1C, the business that you work/worked for must be the same entity as the one you will work for in the U.S.
Out of the 40,000 visas that are sanctioned to EB-1 visas, the majority of those are EB-1C visas. Even though it is the most popular among applicants, there is a lot of paperwork and logistics — including timelines and location of filing — that come with petitioning for an employment-based visa. We recommend working with an immigrant attorney who has experience with EB-1C documents.
According to the USCIS, an executive is a person who oversees a company on a large scale. An executive must supervise a team of managers and make decisions without a supervisor of their own. A manager, according the USCIS, is someone who supervises a team of employees and controls their tasks, salaries, and employment (hiring and firing). EB-1C visas requires that the U.S. company employing the applicant is an affiliate, subsidiary, or branch of the company you work for abroad, and they must be doing business with the United States.
In order to qualify for an EB-1C visa, you must meet a few requirements from the USCIS. Qualifiers must be:
For an EB-1C visa, you are not the petitioner. The U.S. employer who you will work for or currently work for will be your petitioner, which makes you the beneficiary. In order for your employer to petition for you, they must meet EB-1C requirements of their own:
Like the other subcategories of EB-1 visas, a DOL Labor Certificate is not necessary for an EB-1C visa. This is also known as a PERM Labor Certificate.
A frequently asked question is if you are able to change employers during your EB-1C petition. Typically, the answer is no. The employer who petitions for you needs to be the company that employs you. The exception to this is if you change to a new employer in the same field or occupation after your Form I-140 has been accepted and if your form I-485 application has been pending for more than six months.
As discussed above, both you and your employer have requirements for applying for this visa. This is proven by evidence presented with your Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. Corresponding evidence must be sent in, which includes a statement from you or from your employer that shows your and your employer’s EB-1C requirements are met.
Speaking with an immigrant lawyer is highly recommended when writing and submitting your evidence. Working with an experienced attorney can be a significant help for the quality of your documents.
The three main differences between the three subcategories of the EB-1 visa are the criteria required for each, the role of the petitioner, and premium processing options.
The first subcategory of the first preference, employment-based visa is for noncitizens with extraordinary abilities. A person who qualifies for this particular visa must demonstrate extraordinary ability in either the sciences, arts, business, education, or athletics. This is proven through sustained international or national acclaim that meets the criteria of either a) a one-time achievement award such as an Oscar or Pulitzer Prize, or; b) provide evidence for at least 3 out of 10 criteria qualified through the USCIS. Unlike EB-1B and EB-1C, those who qualify for an EB-1A visa can self-petition. This means they can petition for themselves by filing a Form I-140 on their own. They must continue working in their field of expertise, but do not need an offer of employment, granting more options for work in the United States. They also do not need a Labor Certificate.
This visa is for those who are outstanding professors and/or researchers. To obtain this subcategory, one must demonstrate that they have international recognition for their research or achievement in their academic field. They must have been working as a professor or researcher for at least 3 years. Another requirement for this particular visa is that the person must be entering the U.S. for a tenure, tenure-track, or a tenure-comparable position.
Similar to the EB-1A and EB-1B Visas, there is no need for a DOL labor certificate for an EB-1C visa. However, you still need proof of an employment offer. Your employer who is offering you the position must petition for you both for EB-1B and EB-1C visas.
For EB-1C petitioners and beneficiaries, premium processing is not an option. Those who qualify for EB-1A and EB-1B can fill out Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, in which the wait time for your priority date is only 15 days. Because EB-1C applicants are not allowed to file for this option, there may be a longer wait time in receiving your priority date compared to the other EB-1 visas.
There are two different ways of obtaining an EB-1C visa: through an adjustment of status from nonimmigrant to immigrant status, or consular processing. For both options, a Form I-140 needs to be filled out and submitted to the USCIS. The EB-1C visa timeline varies depending on your country, the number of applicants for your visa (EB-1), and the number of forms at the service center. EB-1C multinational manager processing time usually takes around 6 months and getting your visa number can take anywhere between 6 months to 5 years.
The first step is securing an employment offer. You must obtain an employment offer to be eligible, and your employer needs to file the form as your petitioner.
The second step is filling out the form. Your employer will need to fill out Form I-140 in its entirety and sign it. Once that is done, any evidence and payment required ($700) needs to be submitted with the form. Your employer then needs to send the form to the direct filing address associated with your form’s particular needs/requirements.
Once the USCIS has received the form, you will receive your priority date. The USCIS will send you a receipt notice for the form itself. They may require a Requests for Evidence (RFE) if necessary. If you do not receive an RFE, you will be given a notice of their decision of acceptance or declination. This process takes an average of 6 months, but varies depending on the number of forms sent into the service center at the time you apply.
Your priority date is the date you receive when the USCIS accepts your form I-140 for processing. Your priority date does not change and is important to your entry into the U.S. EB-1 multinational manager processing time can take up to 6 months but could be longer based on how many forms are being filed at the processing site.
The final action date is the date your visa number will be available. An important difference is that this date does change. Final action dates depend on how many people in your country applied for a visa, and the type of visa you applied for. The U.S. Department of State puts out a visa bulletin every month. It’s essential to keep track of this to be aware of when your country’s final action date is. Date fluctuation occurs when either more people than expected apply for visas (the date gets pushed pack, called retrogression) or less people than expected apply for visas (the date is moved earlier). Depending on the amount of people applying, wait time can last between 6 months to 5 years, respectively. This is just an estimation; the date could be sooner or take longer depending on the variables.
Once your priority date matches or exceeds the final action date, you can then move onto the next step in the visa application process.
There are two main ways that your employer can petition for you after your Form I-140 has been submitted: Adjust of Status from an L-1A Status or doing the process abroad through consular processing.
The USCIS issues L visas for temporary workers. There are two categories: L-1A and L-1B. To petition for EB-1Cs specifically, L-1As are needed because L-1As are for intracompany transferees who work in managerial or executive positions in a company located in a country abroad from the United States. This temporary visa requires a direct transfer from an abroad business to an affiliated U.S. office.
Obtaining an L-1A form requires an I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The filing fee is $450. In order to qualify for an L-1A, you must have been:
Once an employee has an L-1A temporary work visa, then their employer petitions for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) under Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The filing fee depends on the age of the one petitioning or being petitioned for, whether you need to pay a biometric service fee, or whether you have been admitted as refugee. For the purpose of filing an I-485 in order to petition for an EB-1C, your employer must file for your adjustment of status from temporary nonimmigrant employee to permanent immigrant employee. Your employer must prove they have offered you a permanent job position before filing a petition on your behalf.
If you are outside of the United States and want to have your employer petition for an EB-C1, the process of filing for a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers and taking the necessary steps for an EB-1C visa must be done at a U.S. consulate. This process is a bit more complicated because it involves an interview at the U.S. Embassy in your country. During the one-on-one interview, a consular officer will conduct questions to determine if you meet all of the requirements for your EB-1C case.
The direction you go in is dependent on if you are currently in the U.S. or if you are living abroad from the U.S. when your Form I-140 is filed.
Petitioning for an EB-1C is a complicated process that takes diligence, patience, and a keen eye for detail. Working with an experienced attorney can benefit you while completing this application. Having a lawyer on your side to both guide you through and review all documentation may make for a more successful outcome. The attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. have decades of combined experience with immigration law. We can help you file for your EB-1 visa, gather evidence, navigate Requests for Evidence, and support you during the whole process. Contact us today with any questions you may have about the EB-1C visa or any other immigration question.