There are a number of misconceptions about the EB-1C visa, but a common misconception is that a person must hold an L-1 visa as a precondition to applying for EB-1C. The belief is that if the person does not hold an L-1 visa, then they will not be able to apply for EB-1C. This is false.
A person does not need to have an L-1 visa in order to apply for EB-1C. Even more, having an L-1 visa does not guarantee success on an EB-1C multinational manager or executive petition. Also, the idea that an L-1 approval automatically leads to an EB-1C approval is incorrect and without any merit. To learn more, visit our page.
In fact, it is possible to apply for EB-1C directly, without holding an L-1 visa or any other type of visa, or after obtaining a visa. These are two distinct situations, and the article discusses how to apply for EB-1C without L-1 visa in both cases. However, before delving deeper into the topic it is important to understand the EB-1C visa.
The EB-1C multinational or executive is a green card (permanent residency) for the United States that allows a US company to transfer a manager or executive from a foreign related company to the US to render services in a managerial or executive capacity. The US company must have been doing business for at least 1 year at the time of applying for EB-1C and must be a subsidiary, parent or affiliate of the foreign company. The multinational manager or executive must have been employed abroad with the foreign company in a manager or executive position for at least 1 year. For a complete overview of the EB-1C visa and its requirements, please visit our EB-1C visa page.
Applying for EB-1C without L-1 visa
While most EB-1C applicants are already working in the United States on an L-1 or another visa, that is not a requirement to apply for EB-1C.
Persons currently working abroad can apply for an EB-1C without having to first obtain an L-1 or another visa. They can simply be the beneficiaries of an EB-1C petition and can process the EB-1C immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate in the country of residence.
To apply for an EB-1C without an L-1 or another visa, the manager or executive must have a US company file an EB-1C petition on their behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the EB-1C petition is approved, then the manager or executive can apply for the immigrant visa at the nearest U.S. consulate to get the green card and start working in the United States.
Certainly, both the US company and the foreign manager or executive must meet the legal requirements at the time of submitting the EB-1C petition. When applying for EB-1C without L-1 or another visa, the manager or executive must meet the foreign employment requirement and show that he or she has been employed outside the U.S. with a qualifying company for at least 1 year in the 3 years prior to the date of filing the EB-1C.
For example, if you are the Chief Executive Officer of a logistics services company, a UK affiliate of a US company, and you have been employed in this position for at least 1 year, then the US company can petition for an EB-1C on your behalf without you having an L-1 provided that all other requirements are met.
Applying for EB-1C with a visa other than L-1
Most persons applying for EB-1C are generally already working in the United States on L-1 visa. If you are already working in the United States, then you can apply for EB-1C, even if you are not in the United States on an L-1 visa. It is possible to apply for EB-1C if you are in the United States on a work visa other than L-1 such as TN visa, E-2 visa, E-1 visa, E-3 visa, H-1B visa, O-1 visa and others.
To apply for EB-1C if you are working in the United States for the same employer or a related employer with or without an L-1 visa, you must show that you have been employed outside the U.S. with a qualifying company as a manager or executive for at least 1 year in the 3 years prior to the date of entry in the U.S. as an nonimmigrant.
For example, if you are the Manager of a US management consulting firm and you are working for the US employer on a TN visa and in the past you have been employed by its Canadian subsidiary as a manager for at least 1 year prior to entering on a TN visa, then your US employer can apply for EB-1C on your behalf without an L-1 visa.
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Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Immigration Lawyers