Multinational Executives and Managers, EB-1

Section 203(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") permits the issuance of immigrant visas to aliens who qualify as multinational managers or executives. U.S. employers may seek this classification on behalf of foreign national employees through filing an I-140 petition. A labor certification is not required. Multinational Executive and Manager I-140s fall under the employment-based first preference category ("EB-1") in the visa bulletin

The Multinational Manager/Executive classification is the immigrant visa counterpart to the L-1A nonimmigrant visa classification, inasmuch as the qualifications for the two types of visas are very similar. As with the L-1A visa classification, multinational managers/executives must be transferring from a foreign affiliated corporation to the related U.S. company which is filing the petition; must have worked abroad for the related entity for one full year within the three year period preceding the filing of the petition (or, if the alien is already in the U.S. working for a related company, during the three year period preceding the alien's entry to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant); and must be transferring to an executive or managerial role in the U.S.

Despite the similarities between the L-1A nonimmigrant visa classification and the immigrant multinational manager or executive classification, one need not have first obtained an L-1 visa in order to qualify as a multinational manager or executive. Our office has obtained multinational manager classification on behalf of individuals in other statuses, such as H-1B, TN and E-2.

It should also be noted that not all individuals who are in L-1A status qualify for multinational manager classification. For example, someone who is in the U.S. in L-1A status may have been a specialized knowledge employee abroad and a manager in the U.S. Such an individual would not qualify for multinational manager classification because multinational managers must have been managers or executives abroad as well as in the U.S. role.

In addition, the multinational manager requirements differ from the L-1A requirements in two other important respects:

  1. In the I-140 immigrant petition, the petitioner must demonstrate the ability of the U.S. entity to pay the foreign national's wage in the U.S. This must be demonstrated through the petitioner's audited financials, annual report, or federal income tax return. It is noteworthy that while someone in L-1A classification may be paid by the foreign company while in the U.S., once that person obtains permanent residency as a multinational manager or executive, he must be placed on the U.S. entity's payroll.
  2. For a multinational manager I-140 to be approved, the U.S. petitioner must demonstrate that it has been doing business for at least one full year prior to the filing of the petition. This is not a requirement for L-1 classification, which permits the filing of petitions by "new offices" which have been doing business for less than one year.

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