What is EB1c Visa?

The EB1c Visa targets management and executive level employees seeking permanent residency in the United States, also known as a Green Card. It is an excellent option for business leaders from around the world wishing to relocate with their family to the United States. Conditions apply so it is important to seek advice from a US attorney to determine the best immigration pathway for you.
To obtain the EB1c visa, you must have been employed outside the United States for at least 1 year in the 3 years preceding the petition or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission if you are already working for the U.S. petitioning employer. The U.S. petitioner must have been doing business for at least 1 year, have a qualifying relationship to the entity you worked for outside the U.S., and intend to employ you in a managerial or executive capacity.

Benefits of EB1c Visa 

There are several reasons to consider obtaining an EB1c Green Card.

  • No large minimum investment: First, the EB1c visa application does not require a large minimum investment to qualify, unlike some other types of visas. Instead, the U.S. company petitioning for the visa must simply show that the business is properly capitalized in its industry and is expected to maintain operations for the next 2-3 years.
  • No labor certification requirement: Similarly, there are no requirements to create new jobs or to go through the labor certification process — both of which can be time-consuming and labor-intensive for employers. Instead of having to demonstrate that the company tried and was unable to hire a qualified U.S. employee, an EB1c applicant business can hire a foreign worker directly.
  • Family members can be included: EB1c visas also allow successful beneficiaries to obtain green cards for themselves and for eligible family members, including spouses and unmarried children who are under the age of 21. Green card holders can travel freely inside the U.S., and travel to and from the country. In addition, people holding green cards are authorized to work and attend schools in the U.S.
  • Simple process for workers: For the prospective immigrant under an EB1c visa and his or her family, another benefit is that the visa process is fairly simple. The applicant employer, not the employee, must compile and submit the required documentation and pay the necessary filing fees. There is no requirement for the immigrant worker to come up with a substantial amount of money to obtain a visa themselves.
  • Unconditional status: Finally, some other types of visas (such as those under the EB5 category) include a conditional period, after which additional filings and documentation are required. However, once permanent residency is established under an EB1c visa, it is unconditional.

EB1c Visa program

There are five main EB1c requirements which must be satisfied in order to obtain a visa under this category.

  • Qualifying relationship test: When the goal is to use an EB1c visa to transfer a qualified employee from a foreign employer to a U.S. employer, there must be a relationship between the employers, such as a parent-subsidiary relationship or an affiliate relationship. That relationship must be in place when the petition for an EB1c visa is filed. It is also worth noting that the U.S. employer — which is the applicant for the visa — cannot be structured as a sole proprietorship.
  • Work duration requirement: The employee who will be the beneficiary of the EB1c visa must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year continuously in the three years leading up to filing the petition for the visa. This requirement applies whether the employee is currently working for the U.S. company or the foreign company.
  • Work capacity (role): There are also requirements related to the type of job the employee held for the foreign employer. In general, the employee must have worked primarily in a managerial or executive capacity. Working as a front-line manager will generally not qualify. Instead, the employee must have worked as an executive with wide latitude in discretionary authority; managed professionals (other workers who hold at least undergraduate degrees); or worked as a function manager, responsible for an essential function, department or component of the company; and exercised discretion over operations.
  • Full-time job offer: In addition to the requirement that the employee worked in an executive or managerial position for the foreign employer, EB1c applicants also must show that the employee has a full-time job offer with the U.S. company to work in an executive or managerial capacity.
  • U.S. company background requirement: Finally, there is a requirement that the U.S. company applying for the EB1c visa must have been actively conducting business in the U.S. for at least one year leading up to the filing of the petition.

If a U.S. company that wants to apply for an EB1c visa is unable to provide sufficient documentation that they meet all five of these requirements, there are other immigrant visa programs that can be explored.

When applying for an EB1c visa, the applicant company must provide certain documentation, including:

  • Signed statements documenting the relationship between the U.S. and foreign companies
  • Articles of incorporation, by-laws, tax returns, organizational charts and stock ownership records for both companies
  • The U.S. company’s business license, lease agreement or other documentation to meet the requirement that the company be in business for at least a year
  • Signed statements detailing the employee’s job description and day-to-day responsibilities with the foreign and U.S. companies

Your immigration lawyer can help you understand whether the documentation meets the minimum requirements. She or he can also help prepare and submit your documentation with the petition for the EB1c visa using Form I-140.

Depending on the immigrant employee’s status (whether the employee is currently in the U.S. or in a foreign country,) the next step in the process would either be an “adjustment of status” from non-immigrant to immigrant or visa processing, which involves obtaining a visa through a U.S. consulate in another country.

Processing times for EB1C visas vary. Unfortunately, expedited or “premium” processing is not an option with this visa category. Depending on the volume of applicants, it can take six months to five years for the initial petition to be fully processed. Your immigration attorney can help eliminate unnecessary delays by ensuring the documentation submitted with your application is complete and that it meets minimum requirements for the type of visa for which you are applying.

There are different types of visas under the broad ‘EB-1’ umbrella. Each of these categories comes with different requirements and roles for petitioners. Instead of the EB1c, other potential options include the EB1a or the EB1b visas.

The EB1a visa is an employment visa designed for qualified applicants who have extraordinary abilities in specific fields, including the arts, sciences, athletics, education or business. It is not enough for an applicant to simply claim they have extraordinary skills or abilities; they must be able to provide evidence of national or international acclaim, such as having won a Pulitzer, Oscar or Olympic medal. Alternatively, applicants can provide specific evidence that they meet at least three criteria out of ten established by the USCJS.

Whereas the employing company in the U.S. is the applicant for workers under the EB1c category, applicants for EB1a visas can self-petition. While they must continue working in the field where they have extraordinary skill or abilities, they do not need to document a job offer from a U.S. employer, nor do they need to provide evidence of a Labor Certificate

Applicants for visas under the EB1b category must be able to prove that they have been recognized internationally for their research. Alternatively, they must show that they have been recognized for outstanding achievements in their academic fields. Qualified professors and researchers must have at least three years of teaching or researching in their fields. In addition, they must have plans to enter the U.S. for a tenured professor position, a tenure-track role, or a comparable research position for a university, other higher education institution or a private employer.

As is the case with the EB1c visas, applicants for EB1b visas must show they have an offer of employment from a prospective U.S. employer. If that employer is a private company, the employer must employ at least three full-time researchers and must show documented accomplishments.

Applicants under either the EB1a or EB1b options can opt for premium processing, which cuts the wait time for a priority date to just 15 days.

The EB1b visa category for outstanding professors and researchers is likely not an option worth considering if you are an entrepreneur or startup company. As previously discussed, the EB1c visa requires that the applicant U.S. company be in business for at least one year prior to submitting the petition and must be related somehow to the foreign company.

An EB1a visa may be an option for startup companies or entrepreneurs who want to establish new businesses in the U.S. An employee applicant for an EB1a visa needs to be able to demonstrate that they have extraordinary abilities in their fields, which can be a high bar to meet. However, if you have not won a national or international award, you can still obtain EB1a status by proving extraordinary ability by meeting a combination of certain other criteria. This can include receipt of prizes or awards for excellence; publishing scholarly articles; membership in associations wherein achievement is a membership requirement; being the subject of published articles about your work; and more.

If you meet these requirements and can demonstrate that you want to come to the U.S. to further your work or continue working in your area of extraordinary ability, an EB-1 visa may be attainable. Your immigration attorney can help you evaluate all potential options and weigh the benefits and considerations of each.

EB1c visas both target management and executive level employees. The L1 visa is a time-limited non-immigrant visa, whereas the EB1c offers permanent residency, also known as a Green Card. It is possible to apply for an EB1c visa directly, although most applicants first arrive on an L1A visa and then transition to an EB1c visa. The L1 Visa allows for the transfer of an employee from an overseas branch to the American branch of the same company. It is possible to set up a new U.S. office and transfer yourself or a colleague there to manage that branch.

To obtain an EB1c visa, you must have been employed outside the United States for at least one year of the preceding three years before entering the United States on an L1A visa.

The E2 Treaty Investor Visa can also be transitioned to a Green Card through an EB1c application with careful planning. An E2 Treaty Investor is permitted to move to the United States for the purpose of owning and operating a business. Franchise businesses are eligible for the E2 Visa . Anyone who is not a citizen of an E2 Treaty country must first become one through a process of E2 plus CBI. If the E2 business qualifies, it is possible to obtain a Green Card through EB1c.Transitioning from and E2 visa to a Green Card under EB1c requires careful planning and it is important to engage with D&A at an early stage to ensure you qualify.

our U.S. employer must file USCIS Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. As part of the application process, your employer must be able to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date. Your employer may use an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay your wage

In a decade of filing applications for EB1c, D&A have never had a client of any size have an EB1c Petition denied, an EB1c related immigrant visa or an H1B to EB1c application refused. Although no guarantees can ever be made, we believe that properly presented EB1c Petitions will be approved. Contact us today to discuss your interest in the EB1c visa category.

Why make Davies & Associates Your EB1c Visa Application Lawyers

  • Davies & Associates has helped many clients successfully obtain an EB1c visa, and have never received a denial for an EB1c visa application.
  • The EB1c visa team sits with our L1 Visa practice group and many clients often start with an L1A Visa and progress to an EB1c visa when they wish to transition to permanent residency (Green Card).
  • Our firm has helped hundreds of clients obtain an L1 Visa and a substantial proportion of these later opt for an EB1c so they can stay in the United States permanently.

Contact us to discuss your eligibility.

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Paolo Domingo
Paolo Domingo
4 months ago

5 stars and a high five! Thank you Verdie and Etta for assisting us with our change of status application. They were very professional and accommodating with all our questions and concerns throughout the process. Despite the time constraint, we pulled it off and we could not have done this without you guys! Keep up the good work!

Christine Envall
Christine Envall
a month ago

Getting my E2 Visa was a very in-depth process that took just over a year from when I committed to it, but 8 months from when I found a business I wanted to purchase. The only reason I'm giving 4 and not 5 stars is because the timeframe was a lot longer than expected from the initial information. Aside from the timing, Verdie and his team led me through the Visa process, providing all the guidance I needed to be successful, including advising me on the RIGHT type of Visa to suit my goals. Within the process I purchased a business and the greater Davies team included lawyer Rinat who helped me put the deal together. One of the biggest parts was my Business Plan which created from my info by Ana Ortiz, who did an incredible job. The process is certainly tedious and Verdie & Christina were always there to answer my questions, provide suggestions and advice and ensure I had all the documents I needed to support my application. I appreciated their patience with my questions and their advice and in the end, the application was so thorough the interview process was quick and easy. I highly recommend Davies & Associates and look forward to working with them again when it's time to renew my Visa.

Amandeep Singh
Amandeep Singh
5 months ago

I had talked with Alex Jovy, he was very quick to respond, had a lot of useful information which I was not aware of. Took time out of his day to discuss my situation and was very helpful. They go into a lot of detail which other companies do not. Overall a great service!

Eduardo Salvo
Eduardo Salvo
6 months ago

I received an world-class help in how to immigrate to the USA succesfully! Alex was very open to answer my questions and is definitely a professional in what he does! Strongly recommend this firm.

8 months ago

We were in a hurry and Verdie and the team were highly responsive and supportive, even when we threw in some curve balls along the way. We had our visas approved without any issues and felt confident and well prepared for document submissions and the interview. I'd certainly recommend this team for an E2 visa process.

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