EB-1C, the Pandemic and U.S. Green Cards, by Lawmaks

EB-1C & the Pandemic: Is It Still A Great Option for Foreign Managers and Executives to Obtain U.S. Green Cards?

With the current pandemic and the climbing unemployment rates, the U.S. Administration has already taken steps to limit employment-based visas such as H-1’s or EB-3’s where a foreign national would replace an otherwise qualified U.S. worker.

However, there are other Employment Based categories which would in fact create more jobs in the United States, namely EB-5 & EB-1C immigrant visas.

The Administration appears to welcome visa categories which create jobs as evident from the April 23rd, 2020 Presidential Proclamation where President Trump designated an especial exemption for EB-5 investors, allowing them entry while banning most other Immigrant visa categories.

Being that EB-1C also requires investment and job creation in the United States, we predict that this visa category will also be favored.

There are two different ways to file for EB-1C; most often, it is used in the context of the L-1 visa, and after a foreign Manager or Executive has started a new U.S. office which is an subsidiary, branch or affiliate of an already existing “parent” company overseas.

The second way to use EB-1C is to skip the L-1 altogether, and to purchase an existing company in the U.S. which has been fully functional for at least one-year.  While EB-1C may at first glance appear to be an “easy” option, it is quite complex, and presents challenges which must be carefully planned by utilizing an experienced immigration lawyer.

The most important requirement where allot of EB1-C applicants fall short is the ability to effectively demonstrate “managerial” or “executive” roles.

For this, USCIS will focus on whether the applicant is engaged in day-to-day activities or whether they are managing those activities.  The more the applicant is involved at a “functional” level and “hands-on” with the day-to-day activities, the less likely it is that USCIS will find they are in a managerial or executive role.

Often USCIS will deny cases if the applicant is just managing employees unless the applicant is managing professional employees.  In our experience, it is often best to build “layers” of management; for instance, a successful EB1-C Manager or Executive may be one who manages other managers who manage other professionals.

The content in this newsletter should not be construed as legal advice.  We encourage you to contact an Immigration Attorney for any immigration law questions you may have.  Furthermore, the content herein is the work product of LAWMAKS and should not be copied or redistributed in any form or fashion by any individual or entity.