Green Card for International Business Owners & Employees


Immigration Desk routinely files EB-1C green cards for multi-national companies who have relocated owners and employees from their overseas offices to work permanently at their US offices.

Multinational Company Transferees

Eligibility for EB1C

EB-1C green cards are used by US companies to permanently transfer owners, managers and executives from their overseas companies to live and work in the US. US companies can sponsor their international transferees if:

  • The US company has been doing business in the US for at least 1 year
  • The US company is “related” to the foreign company
  • Both the US and foreign affiliate continue to do routine business
  • The employees have worked for the foreign company as managers or executives for over 1 year in the past 3 years before entering the US
  • The US company will employ them in the US as managers or executives, and
  • The US company can afford to pay the employees' salary

At Immigration Desk, we routinely help US businesses get EB1C petitions approved for their employees. Additionally, we have helped many foreign business owners successfully start businesses in the US and obtain green cards through the EB1C route.

The Filing Process

EB-1C petitions can only be filed with the USCIS in the United States. It is a 2-part process:

  • Step I – (I-140) The employer files a 140 petition with the USCIS requesting a green card in the EB-1C category. Along with the base petition, the employer is permitted to expedite the petition by requesting premium processing.
  • Step II – I-485 (Adjustment of Status) or CP (Consular Processing). This is the final step in the process. Adjustment of status is filed if you are in the US. If you are out of the US, you will file for consular processing. See this link for explanation of adjustment of status, consular processing and the concept of “priority date”.

  • Green cards issued in this category are usually valid for 10 years and can be extended.
  • Green card holders can file for citizenship 5 years after obtaining their green cards.
  • Most people who qualify for L-1A visas (used for temporary stay) also qualify for EB-1C green cards (permanent stay).

To read updated timeline and fee details about the EB-1C green card process, visit the USCIS website here.

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Benefits of the EB-1C Green Card

Like the other EB-1 categories, EB-1C green cards are given preferential treatment leading to a very speedy green card approval.

  • Short process. Unlike the more commonly used EB2 and EB3 category, EB1Cs do not have to file for PERM labor certification. This helps save many months, sometimes over a year in the processing timeline.
  • Very little the wait typically caused by visa backlogs. There are fixed quotas for how many green cards are issued in each category, for each country and worldwide each year. Once the quota for that category is filled, pending cases are not processed till the quota opens again the next year. Because not many people qualify for EB1Cs, there is little backlog in this category. See here to understand backlogs better.
  • Many foreign business owners use the EB1C to live and work permanently in the US.
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Proving an EB-1C Case

EB-1C cases require us to collect extensive documentation from the US and the foreign companies.

The legal team must be familiar not only with accounting and business practices in the US, but also in different countries round the world. Some of the crucial knowledge that a legal team must possess to build a successful EB1C case:

  • Corporate structure and business knowledge
  • The legal difference between “manager” and “executive”
  • Consider the timing of the petition

Corporate structure and business knowledge

  • Business records going back at least 3 years, both for the US and the foreign companies need to be studied. In our experience, the most diligent task for a paralegal team, is to understand the foreign business records and choose the documents that will prove our EB1C case. Different countries have different nomenclature for corporate documents.
  • Tax documents. The US and the foreign company may have different tax years. Sometimes they have consolidated tax returns. Sometimes they do not. Their tax structures may be different. Some countries, especially in the Middle East, don’t tax their corporations, or individuals but do require filing of the financial statements instead.
  • Corporate operations.Just as companies in different countries have different procedures, even in the same country, large companies and smaller employers operate differently. Their employee benefits, bookkeeping procedures and even corporate operations differ, depending on the size of the company.

All of these require a seasoned legal team to review the documents so the petition can be created flawlessly and filed in a timely manner.

The difference between “manager” and “executive”

  • Additionally, the legal definition of “manager” and “executive” has changed over time. EB1Cs can only be used to get green cards for managers and executives. Many court cases, USCIS regulations and government memoranda have tried to define what the job duties of a manager and an executive should be. Attorneys who routinely handle EB1C petitions know about the complicated history behind this.
  • This definition gets even more complex when it comes to smaller companies, where managers are more hands-on and some of their duties may not be “managerial” in nature.

The timing of the petition

  • Sometimes it is a question of timing. People need the certainty of a green card so their families can settle down. Children might be getting older and may want to work.

Needless to say, there is a lot to consider when creating a solid EB-1C green card petition for an intra-company manager or executive. With a foundational knowledge of business, our legal team at Immigration Desk is adept at creating winning EB-1C petitions.

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The Immigration Desk Solution

We represent multi-national companies who are filing for their international transferees, individuals who hire us to work with their employers to file their green cards, and also owners of smaller businesses who have moved to the US to start a branch of their foreign company.

Oftentimes we start preparing for your green card when we file for your first L-1A visa. For our corporate clients, we help you establish a timeline and a clear path for approval, taking into consideration the company’s need for the employee long-term. For individual clients, we discuss your professional goals and family’s needs. For individuals who have started new businesses in the US, our services include offering suggestions on how to develop your company and personal profile so that you will meet all the EB-1C requirements.

As your attorneys, we are experienced, organized and aim to get the EB-1C green card approved speedily and efficiently. Our team compiles your business records and our attorneys work diligently to create a thorough, clear and well-argued petition, all with the aim of getting your EB-1C green card approved with minimal disruptions to your business.

Above, we have described some of the common considerations while filing for a green card through the EB1C category. As attorneys, we believe in helping our clients succeed. It is our privilege to help you and your employees in re-locating to the US.

Please contact us to discuss how we can make the EB1C process easy for you and your employees.

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