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Jun 5, 2017

Based on Geography, EB-1C Processing Times are Quite Lopsided

Matthew Galati

Processing times for the EB-1C immigrant visa classification vary greatly between service centers at present. This development has resulted in vastly different immigration timeframes based on geographic location and signals the need for USCIS to re-balance its workload.

By way of background, the EB-1C is available to Multinational Managers and Executives. Immigrant entrepreneurs with businesses abroad often leverage the visa to obtain a Green Card by establishing an affiliate or subsidiary in the U.S. Relatively quickly, they can first obtain the nonimmigrant analogue, the L-1A visa, which has similar requirements to the EB-1C but is available in “new office” circumstances.

When the U.S. entity can support the entrepreneur full-time, it can then sponsor him/her for permanent residency by filing Form I-140 with USCIS. The location of where to make the filing, which is usually the service center that will adjudicate the petition, depends upon the location of the beneficiary’s employment

However, processing times are varying significantly between the Nebraska Service Center and the Texas Service Center, which handle EB-1C adjudications. Based on published data through March 31, 2017, below are the associated processing timeframes:


Service Center

Processing cases as of date: 

Nebraska

April 2, 2016

Texas

January 1, 2017

 

Yikes - 9 months! This lopsided processing timeline evidences two very different timeframes for workers seeking Green Cards. Indeed, a company petitioning for a manager in its New York office might see adjudication almost a year faster than for another manager working in its Los Angeles office, even if both were filed on the same day. Unlike most types of petitions, including the EB-1A and EB-1B, premium processing is not available for Multinational Managers and Executives and accordingly businesses are beholden to unpredictable processing times. 

From time to time, USCIS does transfer cases between service centers in an effort to balance its workload and provide similar timeframes from coast to coast. This current situation is a prime example where the agency should step in and take action to bring down unreasonable delays for cases awaiting adjudication in Nebraska.

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