The EB-1C is an employment-based green card petition that gets foreign nationals a “spot in line” to file a permanent residence application. But what makes it different from other immigrant petitions, and who qualifies?
EB-1C Visa Requirements
U.S. employers can provide certain managers and executives with a path to permanent residence through the EB-1C.
To be eligible to sponsor their employees, a company must:
- Have been established in the U.S. for at least one year; and
- Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (a parent, a subsidiary, a branch, an affiliate, or a sister company).
There are requirements for the employee as well:
- The foreign entity must have employed the employee for one continuous year within the three years; and
- The employee must have worked in an executive or manager role at the foreign entity.
Grace worked for Microsoft’s office in her home country for five years but was recently transferred to a U.S. office via an L-1A visa. Back home, Grace managed a team of 20 employees. In the U.S., she is also a manager. She qualifies for the EB-1C.
Ahmed has been growing a robotics startup in Egypt for the past year but would like to move operations to the U.S. However, there is no U.S. entity yet. He does not qualify for the EB-1C, but he may be eligible in the future if he establishes a U.S. company and continues operations in both countries for at least a year.
Diego is an executive at a multinational mining company. He’s been working for the company for two years in Chile, but his employer wants to send him to the U.S. entity, which has been established for several years. He qualifies for the EB-1C.
EB-1C Frequently Asked Questions
What are the pros and cons of the EB-1C visa?
- A path to permanent residency: The EB-1C provides immigrant workers with a direct route to permanent residence in the U.S.
- No PERM labor certification process: Most immigrant visas require the PERM, which adds an additional year to the green card process.
- Premium processing: USCIS will soon offer premium processing for EB-1Cs. With premium processing, EB-1Cs are adjudicated in 45 calendar days or less.
- Strict requirements: The EB-1C requirements are precise. There isn’t any wiggle room, unlike other immigrant visas with more flexible criteria.
- Not eligible for self-petitioning: The EB-1C requires a sponsoring company, unlike other immigrant visas that can be self-petitioned.
- No work authorization: You cannot live or work in the U.S. with an approved EB-1C alone. You either need another visa or apply for a green card.
What types of roles qualify as executive or manager?
Manager: Both people managers and functional managers can qualify for the EB-1C. A people manager oversees employees, while a functional manager oversees critical functions within the company.
Executive: An executive has a wide latitude to make decisions—for example, a Director of Marketing or a Vice President of Operations.
How is the EB-1C different from the L-1A?
The L-1A is a nonimmigrant visa that is valid for a maximum of seven years. The EB-1C is an immigrant visa that provides a path to a green card, which will be valid for up to ten years.
Also, a pending or approved immigrant visa (such as EB-1C) does not give a foreign national legal status to stay and work in the U.S. If a foreign national is “current,” they can apply for an immigrant visa and a green card at the same time. However, they cannot apply for a green card without filing an immigrant visa or other qualifying petition.
Is the EB-1C a green card application?
Immigrant visa petitions like the EB-1C get you a “spot in line” to file a green card application. The EB-1C by itself does not get you a green card. Read more about the difference between immigrant petitions (Form I-140) and the adjustment of status green card application (Form I-485).
Can you file an EB-1C petition for an employee currently in the U.S.?
Yes, as long as your employee previously worked for the foreign entity related for at least one continuous year within the past three years.
Can you apply for an EB-1C while in the United States on L-1A status?
Yes, many immigrants file an EB-1C while in the U.S. on L-1A status.
Do you have more questions about the EB-1C?
Set up a consultation with our business immigration team today to get your questions answered.