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 in their US offices.


Basics and Benefits of the EB-1C Green Card

To obtain an EB-1C green card, you must have worked at a foreign company as a manager or executive and be coming to the US to fill the same role for a related US company.

Utilizing the EB-1C category is one of the speediest ways to get a green card. Usually, filing for employment-based green cards is a 3-part process, but for EB-1C petitions, you can skip PERM, the first step, which makes the process much faster.

Most people who qualify for L-1A visas (used for temporary stay) also qualify for EB-1C green cards (permanent stay). Sometimes, other temporary visa holders may also qualify to file for a green card through EB-1C category.

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Eligibility Criteria

US companies can sponsor their employee for an EB-1C green card if:

  • The US company is “related” to the foreign company
  • The US company has been doing business in the US for at least 1 year
  • Both the US and foreign affiliate are doing continuous business
  • The employee has worked for the foreign company as a manager or an executive for over 1 year in the past 3 years before entering the US
  • The US company will employ the applicant in the US as a manager or executive
  • The US company can afford to pay the employee

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, you can also pay the USCIS an additional premium processing fee and have your I-140 reviewed in less than a month. Usual processing times may several months, sometimes taking over a year.
  • Step II – (I-485 or Consular Processing). This is the 2nd step in the process. If you are in the US, you may qualify to file for I-485 along with an I-140 (Step I), saving you many months in government processing time. If you do not qualify to file both the 140 and 485 petitions together, you will need to wait till your “priority date” is current so you can file this step.
  • If you are out of the US, you must wait till the I-140 is approved before applying for consular processing.

(See this link for explanation of I-485, 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.
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How We Can Help

Proving an EB-1C Case

EB-1C cases require us to collect extensive documentation from the US and the foreign companies. To meet each eligibility criterion, we must provide business records going back at least 3 years, both for the US and the foreign companies. In our experience, the most diligent task for a paralegal team, is to understand the foreign business records. Different countries have different nomenclature for corporate documents. Also, the foreign company’s tax year may not end on December 31st. Their tax structure may be different. Some countries, especially in the Middle East, don’t tax their corporations, or individuals but require filing with financial statements instead. Some countries have self-directed pension plans. Sometimes there is no payroll tax or formal employee documentation. All of these require a seasoned team to review the documents so the petition can be created flawlessly and filed in a timely manner.

Additionally, the legal definition of “manager” and “executive” has changed over time. Many court cases, USCIS regulations and government memoranda have tried to define what the job duties of a manager and an executive should be. 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. For example, does changing the printer cartridge now and then take away from the person’s managerial role? The USCIS has tried to interpret how many non-managerial tasks a person can do routinely before they are not considered managers anymore.

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 inter-company manager or executive.

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.

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