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Different Visa Options Available for Managers and Executives

Different Visa Options Available for Managers and Executives


Companies must build strong worldwide identities in this age of globalization. Businesses that want to expand outside their territorial boundaries must establish international bases and staff them with skilled, experienced administrators and executives. Visas are offered in the US for some qualified managers and executives to either make an intra-company move from their home base to a US-based office or allow new businesses to establish their business affiliations in the country. In this article, we will look at different visa options available for managers and executives, i.e., EB-1 visas, L-1 visas, and E visas. 

EB-1 Immigrant Visa

The purpose of an EB-1 visa is to allow permanent residence to certain multinational Executives, managers, and people with extraordinary abilities in science, art, or business in the US. The ideal type of Employment-Based visa for managers or executives is the EB1-C visa as its process is relatively quick and allows entry of people in business. The other two types of EB-1 visas are for people with extraordinary abilities and outstanding professors and researchers.

To be eligible for a position as a manager or executive for an EB-1 visa, the beneficiary must be able to prove that they have been employed outside the US for at least one year in the three prior years the petition or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission if the beneficiary is already working for the employer in the US. Also, the beneficiary must seek to enter the US to continue services in a managerial or executive capacity. Labor certification is not required in this type of visa, but a job offer is required from the employer in the US. 

The employer must file Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) on behalf of the employee. The employer must show a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date through their annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement. Later, the beneficiary can file Form I-485 to register as a permanent resident under the EB-1C green card.

The perk of this sort of visa is that the processing does not require a PERM Labor Certificate. The beneficiary can quickly get a green card crossing over a long waiting time.

Different Visa Options Available for Managers and Executives 1

L-1A Nonimmigrant Visa

The L-1A nonimmigrant visa is the visa that allows a US-based employer to transfer an executive or manager in the US from its affiliated offices located in other countries. It also allows an executive from a foreign company to establish a business affiliation in the US. 

To be eligible for this sort of visa, the employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company and must be able to prove the existence of regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods as an employer in the US and at least one country during the stay of the beneficiary in the US. The employee, on the other hand, must demonstrate that he has generally worked for a qualifying organization overseas for one continuous year within the previous three years for their admission to the United States and that they are seeking the visa to provide executive or managerial services for a branch of the same employer.

The employer must file Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) on behalf of the employee. This visa allows a maximum initial stay of one year for people who want to establish a new office, whereas the period of stay of other employees is three years. The said period can be extended on request up to a maximum limit of seven years. 

E-Nonimmigrant Visa (E-1 and E-1)

The E visa is issued to treaty traders and investors entering the US under a treaty of commerce and navigation between the US and their native country. There are two types of E visas issued to managers and executives, i.e., E-1 and E-2 visas. 

E-1 Visa 

An E-1 visa or the Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader visa is given to treaty traders conducting substantial trade in goods, including services and technology, mainly between the US and their country of origin. The term ‘substantial trade’ refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items involving numerous transactions over time. This type of visa is generally useful for business owners, senior managers, and other key company employees who manage and develop their business operations in the country. The international trade between the country of the origin and the US must form 50% of the total international trade of the company. 

E-2 Visa

On the other hand, an E-2 visa or the Nonimmigrant Treaty Investor visa is given to treaty investors who commit a significant amount of money and manage a business located in the US principal alien. This visa is generally used for employees in executive or supervisory roles. 

To apply for E visas, if the applicant is residing in the US, they have to file Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) to change their status to E visas, and if the applicant is applying outside the United States, the applicant must file Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application), followed by a consular interview. 

An E-1 visa or an E-2 visa can allow the holder to stay in the US for a maximum period of two years. However, the period of stay can be extended multiple times by requesting two-year extensions when the visa expires.


If you are a business owner or are in a managerial or executive position in a business and want to come to the US for business activities, you can contact Sethi and Mazaheri law firm. Our immensely qualified immigration attorneys will help you in your visa case and guide you through the whole immigration process. 

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