Lengthy Break in Employment Kills Chance at Managerial Visa

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By Laura D. Francis

An employer can’t sponsor an immigrant for an EB-1 visa for a multinational executive or manager if that person worked for an unrelated company in the U.S. for more than two years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says.

The USCIS policy memorandum released March 22 is the latest in a series of new agency policies aimed at tightening employment visa programs.

Immigrants qualify for the EB-1 visa if they worked for an overseas branch of a multinational company for at least one out of the three years preceding the date the U.S. branch petitioned for the visa, USCIS said. There’s an exception if the immigrant worked for the overseas branch more than three years ago, but has been working for the U.S. branch on a temporary visa the entire time, the agency said in an adopted decision from its Administrative Appeals Office.

But businesses can’t skirt the rule by bringing in a worker on a temporary visa and then rehiring that person after he or she worked for a different, unrelated company in the U.S. for four years, the agency said.

That’s not to say that all breaks in employment with the sponsoring employer disqualify the worker for an EB-1 visa, the AAO said. Rather, it’s breaks of more than two years that affect the worker’s qualifications, it said.

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