Q: What is EB-1C?

A: EB-1C is a first preference priority workers, employment-based immigration petition for multinational executives and managers under the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Q: Is EB-1C the same thing as the L visa?

A: No, they refer to different immigration benefits. L visa, which consists of L1A for multinational corporation executives and managers as well as L1B for multinational corporation employees with specialized knowledge, is a temporary nonimmigrant visa authorizing foreign nationals to work and live in the United States temporarily. EB-1C is an immigrant visa petition that will lead to lawful permanent residency, i.e. green card, to the foreign national.

Q: What are the advantages of EB-1C?

A: It is an employment-based first preference, which means there is no visa backlog under this category. The foreign national can always file adjustment of status or consular process application once the immigrant visa petition is approved. For those foreign nationals who are physically present in the United States at the time the visa petition is filed, they have a choice of filing concurrent adjustment of status application to obtain employment authorization and travel document.

Q: Do I need a job offer to file EB-1C?

A: Yes. You need a job offer to file EB-1C. There is no self-petition EB-1C.

Q: Do I need a labor Certification to file EB-1C?

A: No. You do not need a labor certification to file EB-1C petition. Therefore, there is no need to obtain a prevailing wage and conduct recruitment in order to file EB-1C.

Q: What are the basic requirements for EB-1C?

A: There are four requirements for the EB-1C petition. First, there must be a qualifying corporate relationship between the U.S. company and foreign company abroad; second, the foreign national must have worked at the foreign company abroad in an executive or managerial position for at least one year during the last three years; third, the foreign national will enter the United States to work for the U.S. company in a position with executive or managerial capacity; and fourth, the U.S. company filing the EB-1C petition for the foreign national must have been doing business at least for one year.

Q: What is a qualifying corporate relationship?

A: A qualifying corporate relationship means that the U.S. petitioning entity must maintain a parent-subsidiary or affiliate corporate relationship with the foreign company that is located outside the U.S. in another country. U.S. branch offices of foreign companies do not qualify as the petitioner for EB-1C purposes.

Q: What is a parent company?

A: A parent company is a business entity or corporation that has one or multiple subsidiaries. A parent company is a company that has ownership and control of a subsidiary.

Q: What is a subsidiary?

A: A subsidiary is defined as a firm, corporation, or other legal entity of which a parent directly or indirectly owns at least 50% and controls.

Q: What is an affiliate?

A: An affiliate is defined as one of multiple smaller business entities attached to a larger corporation or individual. All of these entities are owned and controlled by the same corporation or individual. A group of individuals can also serve as the owner of affiliates.

Q: What is a job position with executive capacity?

A: According to the federal regulations, executive capacity means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:

  1. Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
  2. Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
  3. Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
  4. Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.

Q: What kind of job position would be qualified as an executive position for the purposes of EB-1C?

A: This is a factual issue and must be decided on a case-by-case basis. One cannot claim that the job position is an executive simply by labeling it in such a title as, Chief Executive Officer, President, General Manager or Executive Director. It is the Petitioner’s burden of proof to establish that the foreign national’s former and current positions both fall into the requirements of the law. Therefore, extensive documentation about the business activities, corporate structure, products or services provided, financial status, and job duties and credentials of important employees for both U.S. and foreign companies should be provided to illustrate the nature of foreign national’s job duties with executive capacity.

Q: What is a job position with managerial capacity?

A: According to the federal regulations, managerial capacity means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:

  1. Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
  2. Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;
  3. If another employee or other employees are directly supervised, has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization), or, if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and
  4. Exercises direction over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.

Q: What kind of job position would be considered a managerial position for the purposes of EB-1C?

A: Like the position with executive capacity, this is a factual issue and must be decided on a case-by-case basis. One cannot claim that the job position is a managerial one simply by labeling it in such a position as, General Manager, Vice President or Managing Director. It is the Petitioner’s burden of proof to establish that the foreign national’s former and current positions both fall into the requirements of the law. Therefore, extensive documentation about the business activities, corporate structure, products or services provided, financial status, and job duties and credentials of important employees for both U.S. and foreign companies should be provided to illustrate the nature of foreign national’s job duties with managerial capacity. According to Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), first-line supervisors do not qualify as the position with managerial capacity unless the supervised are professionals. Thus, if the foreign national would only supervise a receptionist, secretary, and or bookkeeper, the position being held by the foreign national, no matter how it is labeled, will not qualify as the position with managerial capacity. 

Q: I am an MBA graduate and spent the last two years pursuing my MBA in the United States. I have now received an offer from a company in the U.S. for the position of marketing manager. Can I have this U.S. company petition an EB-1C on my behalf?

A: You may have a problem meeting the minimum requirements for EB-1C. One of the core requirements for EB-1C is that the foreign national must have worked for the parent, subsidiary or affiliate of U.S. company outside of the U.S. in an executive or managerial position at least for one year during the three-year period immediately before filing the EB-1C petition. In your situation, you may have difficulty to satisfy this requirement if you had not such one-year work experience in the company outside of the United States.

Q: What is “doing business”?

A: According to the federal regulations, “doing business” means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a firm, corporation, or other entity and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office.

Q: How can an EB-1C petitioner establish the “doing business” requirement?

A: Petitioner should provide substantial evidence in the form of business records, statement, and affidavits to demonstrate that the U.S. company has carried out its business activities on a regular, systematic and continuous basis. The business records should include, but not be limited to, bank statements, purchase orders, sales contracts, logistics papers, correspondence from or to customers, promotion material, product or service catalog, and internal communication records.

Q: I am out of the United States. My company is going to appoint me as the vice president to our U.S. subsidiary. Can the U.S. subsidiary file an EB-1C petition for me?

A: Yes, if the U.S. subsidiary meets the requirement for the qualifying corporate relationship with your company; you have worked for the current company for at least one year in a position with managerial or executive capacity; your new position is also with managerial or executive capacity; and the U.S. subsidiary has been in the business for at least one year. Although most EB-1C petitions have been filed for foreign nationals physically present in the United States, the petition can be filed with the foreign national outside of the U.S.

Q: What are the parties involved in an EB-1C petition?

A: There are two parties in one EB-1C petition. Petitioner is the U.S. company. Foreign national is the beneficiary in the petition.

Q: Who else can benefit from the EB-1C petition filed by my company?

A: Your spouse and children under 21 years old may benefit from the petition. That means that once EB-1C petition is approved, all the qualifying family members (spouse and children 21) can apply for adjustment of status or consular process applications.

Q: What form is used to file the EB-1C petition?

A: It is the Form I-140 immigrant visa petition.

Q: Where are EB-1C petitions filed?

A: The EB-1C petition should be filed with the USCIS service center having jurisdiction over the petitioner. There are two USCIS service centers accepting EB-1C petitions, Nebraska Service Center (NSC) and Texas Service Center (TSC).

Q: What will USCIS do after an EB-1C petition is filed?

A: Once USCIS service center receives the EB-1C petition, they will issue a receipt notice. This is usually done within one or two weeks.

Q: How long does it take USCIS to adjudicate an EB-1C petition?

A: As of October 2015, the Texas Service Center has a processing time of seven months to process EB-1C petitions, and the Nebraska Service Center has a processing time of four months to adjudicate EB-1C petitions. For the most updated processing time of EB-1C, please click here.

Q: Is premium processing service available for EB-1C petitions?

A: No. USCIS has not allowed premium processing in EB-1C petitions. Thus, premium processing service is not available in EB-1C petitions.

Q: I now live and work in the United States. Can I file adjustment of status application (I-485) concurrently with I-140 EB-1C petition?

A: Yes, you can. EB-1C is employment-based first preference and immigrant visas under this category are always available, therefore you can file I-140 and I-485 concurrently.

Q: Do I have to file I-485 concurrently with I-140 petition?

A: No. You do not have file I-485 concurrently with the I-140 EB-1C petition. The other option you have is to wait until after the I-140 EB-1C petition is approved to file the I-485 application separately.

Q: What are the pros and cons of filing concurrent I-485 applications?

A: The benefit of concurrent filings is that you, your spouse and children born outside of the U.S. can enjoy immigration benefits such as Employment Authorization (EAD) and Advance Parole (travel document) while the EB-1C petition and your I-485 applications are pending with USCIS. The drawback to concurrent filing is that if your I-140 EB-1C petition is denied, your I-485 will also be denied. This will result in revocation of your already approved Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) and Travel document. The $1070.00 adjustment of status filing fee for each applicant will not be refunded.

Q: What kind of evidence or documentation should petitioners collect or obtain to file EB-1C petitions?

A: Generally, EB-1C petitioners should collect or obtain documentation in the following three categories to prepare to file EB-1C petitions. First, documentation regarding the foreign company, which includes but is not limited to: articles of incorporation, bylaws, shareholder list, organizational chart, financial statements, products or services catalogs, and web pages printout. Second, documentation with respect to the U.S. company, which includes but is not limited to: articles of incorporation, stock certificate, organizational chart, stock ledger, bank statements, evidence of business activities, real estate purchase or lease contract, products or services catalogs, and webpage printouts. Third, documentation establishing the foreign national’s eligibility such as employment verification statement, job offer letters, educational credentials, updated resume, and other related evidence. Each company’s structure is unique, its business operated differently, and its own distinct products or services. Thus each company should collect or obtain specific documentation establishing the eligibility of its own EB-1C petition. The above summary is just a general introduction to potential EB-1C clients for the basic understanding of evidentiary requirement under EB-1C. We strongly recommend that you contact us for a consultation about the possible EB-1C petition filed by your company.

Q: What will happen after I submit my EB-1C petition?

A: After submitting your petition, USCIS will send a receipt notice confirming its receipt of your petition. This usually arrives within a few weeks of filing your petition. After the receipt notice, USCIS will send you or your attorney a second correspondence. This can either be an approval notice, a Request for Evidence (RFE) notice, or notice of intent to deny (NOID). An approval notice means that your company has established your eligibility under the EB-1C category, and you and your qualifying relatives can move on to file an adjustment of status application (I-485) or start consular process application with National Visa Center. An RFE means that USCIS has found the documentation you submitted with your petition insufficient to establish your eligibility for EB-1C. You must provide the additional documents requested in the RFE within the designated time frame (usually around 12 weeks) to resolve the insufficiency. A NOID would only give petitioner 30-33 days to rebut USCIS intent, thus it is very time-sensitive. If you have received an RFE or NOID, please contact us. Our experienced attorneys will work with you to come up with the best strategy to win your petition.

Q: What should I do if USCIS issues a Request for Evidence in my EB-1C petition?

A: RFE is effectively a notice of intent to deny. If you have hired an attorney to handle your petition, you should work with your attorney to find out what kind of documents you should submit to respond RFE. If you have not hired an attorney, we strongly suggest that you consult Law Offices of Yongbing Zhang or a licensed, immigration attorney experienced in EB-1C petitions and discuss a plan to respond the RFE.

Q: My EB-1C petition is approved, what am I supposed to do now?

A: Approval of your EB-1C petition will not get you green card automatically. You still have to take one more step to apply for your green card. You may either file an adjustment of status application with USCIS if you are physically in the United States or start the consular process at National Visa Center if you are outside the United States. If you have filed your adjustment of status application concurrently with your EB-1C petition, then you do not have to do anything but wait for USCIS decision regarding the adjustment of status application. If you have not done the concurrent filings, you can go ahead to prepare filing adjustment of status application or consular process.

Q: What if I change jobs while my EB-1C petition is pending?

A: If you change jobs while your EB-1C is pending, your previous employer shall withdraw your EB-1C petition. Even if the EB-1C petition your previous employer filed for you was approved, your employer will notify USCIS and revoke the approved EB-1C petition. Thus, we strongly recommend that you do not change your employer in the course of your immigration process through EB-1C petition.

Q: What kind of services does your firm provide if my employer retains you to work on my EB-1C petition?

A: If hired, our firm will provide the following services:

  • Answer all the questions your employer or you have regarding your EB-1C petition;
  • Direct, advise and counsel you and or your employer to prepare the necessary evidence and documentation supporting the EB-1C petition;
  • Collect sufficient information from you and your employer regarding the foreign company’s information, U.S. company’s information, and information about your background and eligibility for EB-1C petition;
  • Draft, revise, amend or proofread the testimonial letters or statements;
  • Draft a comprehensive petition letter in support of the EB-1C petition filed for you;
  • Complete all the required forms based on the information your employer and you provide with us;
  • Organize the petition package and file it with USCIS service center;
  • Monitor and keep track of your petition, and follow up with USCIS regarding the progress of the adjudication if necessary; and
  • Work with you to collect, draft, prepare and file additional evidence or documentation to respond to USCIS Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny, if necessary.

Q: What can I do if my EB-1C petition gets denied by USCIS?

A: Depending on the strength of your EB-1C petition, you can choose one of two options after your EB-1C petition is denied. First, you may appeal the denial to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) of USCIS in Washington, DC for review of the Service Center’s decision. You will have 30 days to file such appeal. Once an appeal is filed, the Service Center will review the appeal first and treat it as a motion to reopen/reconsider. If they agree with your position, they may withdraw the denial and enter a new decision approving the EB-1C petition. If the Service Center does not agree with your position, it will transfer your case to AAO for further review. Second, your employer can always choose to re-file EB-1C petition with a set of new evidence. Although you must disclose the denial of your first EB-1C petition in any subsequent petitions, USCIS will not deny a new EB-1C petition based only on the previous denial. USCIS is required to review your entire petition package and make a decision based on the evidence provided. If the evidence you submit for the second petition has clearly established your eligibility, USCIS must approve the petition despite the previous denial.

Q: What is the procedure to retain your firm as my attorney to work for my EB-1C petition?

A: 1) Please contact us by filling out the online questionnaire to obtain a free evaluation by one of our experienced attorneys;

2) One of our attorneys will contact you and provide you with a free assessment of your case;

3) If we believe you are eligible for EB-1C, and your petition stands a decent chance of being approved, we will notify you;

4) You may agree to engage our services by signing the fee agreement and paying the first half of the legal fee;

5) The attorney will sign the fee agreement and send a copy of the agreement back to you, establishing the attorney-client relationship;

6) Your attorney will prepare and send you a list of requested documents, which will be specifically tailored to your companies and yourself;

7) You will send all the documents to the attorney, including English translation of such documents;

8) our office will draft testimonial letters or statements for companies to sign;

9) Your attorney will draft the petition letter, and our office will prepare and organize the package for submission;

10) We will file the petition package with USCIS Service Center and notify you upon receiving the receipt notice from USCIS;

11) We will notify you upon USCIS’ approval of your petition, completing our representation;

12) alternatively, we will notify you upon receiving USCIS RFE notice and work with you, which may include but is not limited to, providing a list of additional documents based on RFE notice, drafting additional testimonial letters or statements if necessary, preparing and organizing the response package, and filing the response package prior to the deadline;

13) notify you upon receiving the approval notice of your EB-1C petition, marking the completion of our service at that time.

Q: I see that your office is located in Chicago, Illinois. I live in Miami, Florida. Can you represent me as my attorney in my EB-1C petition?

A: Yes, even though you will work in Miami, Florida, we can still represent your employer in your EB-1C petition. United States immigration law is federal law. Any attorney admitted to a federal court can practice federal law nationwide. Therefore, you can hire an attorney who does not have an office or practice in Florida to represent you in your immigration matters. The Law Offices of Yongbing Zhang regularly takes cases from other states and even outside the United States.

Q: How much is your firm’s legal fee for the EB-1C petition?

A: We charge a flat fee of $5,000.00 for an EB-1C petition. Upon signing the fee agreement, the client must pay the first half of the $5,000.00 fee; the remaining half of the $5,000.00 will be due upon the approval of the EB-1C petition. There is no additional legal fee for the service of responding to RFE notice. For each case, we also charge an additional $150 case processing fees for the costs of printing, mailing and case management. In addition to the legal and case processing fees, clients are also responsible for the filing fee to the government for each petition. Click here for a copy of our EB-1C petition fee agreement.

Q: How much is the government filing fee for the EB-1C petition?

A: Currently, USCIS filing fee for the EB-1C petition is $580.00. The petitioner must pay this entire amount at the time of filing. The filing fee is subject to change in the future by USCIS. The petitioner will not be able to get a refund of filing fee from USCIS if the EB-1C petition is denied or withdrawn.

DISCLAIMER Please be advised that the above information is only provided for educational purposes and to assist in the general understanding of United States immigration law. This should not be construed as professional legal advice or services. We strongly suggest you contact a licensed, experienced immigration attorney to advise you on your case. If you would like to have a free evaluation of your petition from the Law Offices of Yongbing Zhang, please follow the directions above.