The EB 1-(3) Investment Option
Program: Provides permanent-residency visas to foreigners and their immediate families if they invest in a U.S. enterprise and take an active role in the management of the enterprise.
Investment: Varies based on ownership percentage and size of the enterprise.
Value: Many opportunities exist for foreign investors to place direct equity investments in or to purchase U.S. companies seeking liquidity and new ownership. It’s a win-win for both parties.
EB 1-(3) Requirement Summary
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There must be a multinational enterprise -- a company doing business abroad and another one doing business in the United States.
The two companies must do business for at least one year by providing goods and/or services on a regular, systematic, and continuous basis.
The multinational enterprise must be under common ownership of at least 50% and must commonly control a family group of at least two companies -- one within and one outside the U.S. -- which are related to each other as a parent (one person or an entity), a subsidiary, or affiliated subsidiaries, but if two or more people together own the entities, then their respective ownership interests must be about the same and they must together control the related entities.
The VIP -- if outside the U.S. -- must have been a full-time executive or manager at the related company outside the United States for at least one of the three years before the EB-1(3) visa petition is filed.
If the VIP is inside the U.S. when the EB-1(3) petition is submitted, then he or she must have been a full-time executive or manager at the company abroad for at least one of the three years before entering the United States in nonimmigrant visa status.
With respect to the major components or functions of the U.S.- based and foreign companies, an EB-1(3) “executive” must “primarily” (more than half the time) oversee management, establish goals, exercise wide latitude in discretionary decision- making, and receive only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.
With respect to the U.S.-based and foreign companies or one of its or their departments, subdivisions, functions, or components, an EB-1(3) “manager” must manage the company, department subdivision, function or component; must supervise and control the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or must manage one of a company’s essential functions; and must have authority to make or recommend hiring, firing and other personnel decisions over employees directly supervised.
If no employees are directly supervised, then an EB-1(3) “manager” must serve at a senior level within the company or with respect to the management of a company function and must direct the day-to-day operations of the activity or function over which the manager has authority.
Although, as just explained, the VIP must have one year of prior executive or managerial employment abroad with a multinational enterprise, and each of the two companies must have been doing business for at least one year, the U.S.-based and foreign businesses need not be under at least 50% common ownership and need not control the organizations for at least one year before the date when the EB-1(3) petition is filed.
Any period of 50% or greater common ownership and control will be sufficient, as long as (a) the acquisition of ownership and control happens before the EB-1(3) petition is filed, and (b) both companies are “doing business,” as defined earlier.
The U.S.-based and foreign businesses that make up the multinational enterprise may be in the same or a completely different business or industry, but each must remain in business until the EB-1(3) Green Cards are granted.
Thus, a VIP employed abroad by a “multinational” enterprise as a qualifying EB-1(3) “executive” or “manager” under the “one year out of the last three years” rule could directly or indirectly buy the stock of an established and operating U.S. company that has been doing business for at least a year -- in the same or a different industry -- and immediately qualify for classification under the EB-1(3) Priority-Worker, First-Preference immigrant visa category.