Updated: May 16, 2017
1. Multinational Executives and Managers – EB-1-3
Persons employed by a business in the UK, or in any country outside the US, have a potential fast track to lawful permanent residence in the US, if they can satisfy certain requirements. The non-immigrant visa for such persons, the L-1, is described in detail in our article entitled ‘Intracompany Transfers.’
In order to qualify for a green card as a multinational executive or manager, the applicant must have been employed outside the US for one continuous year in the previous three, in a position that was either managerial or executive. An affiliated business in the US, once it has been actively trading for one year, may petition for immigrant status to allow that employee to move permanently to the US in order to work for it in an executive or managerial position. The US business must have one of the following four relationships with the non-US employer to qualify: The companies may be parent or subsidiary of each other; they may be subsidiaries of a common parent; one may be the branch office of the other; or the two companies may be owned by the same person or group of persons, in the same or similar percentages.
If the applicant wishes to transfer to the US business right away (that is, more quickly than the 18 to 24 months it is currently taking to obtain green card status as an EB-1-3) the US business may petition for an L-1 visa for him, to allow his employment in the US while the immigrant petition is pending. An L-1 visa may be obtained within a matter of a few months, or even more quickly if the petitioner is willing to pay the US Government the additional $1225.00 required for Premium Processing Service. The non-US business must, either directly or through a parent, subsidiary, branch or affiliate, continue to do business as an employer for the entire time the executive or manager is in L status in the US. As a result, the L visa is not suited for ‘one-man band’ operations that will not survive the transfer of the primary owner or operator to the US.