US Citizenship and Immigration Services has adopted new policy guidelines for adjudicating Function Manager visa petitions based upon a recent case ruling from the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides both temporary (L-1A) and permanent (EB-1C) visa categories for multinational executives or managers. The INA recognizes two different types of managers that qualify in both categories: personnel managers, who supervise and control the work of personnel, and function managers, who manage an organizational function. The AAO clarified that, in order to establish that a beneficiary will be employed in a managerial capacity as a “function manager,” the petitioner must demonstrate that: 1) the function is a clearly defined activity; 2) the function is “essential,” i.e., core to the organization; 3) the beneficiary will primarily manage, as opposed to perform, the function; 4) the beneficiary will act at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and 5) the beneficiary will exercise discretion over the function’s day-to-day operations. Persons interested in applying under this category should keep in mind they will need to furnish supporting evidence addressing these eligibility factors, such as organizational charts and letters from other company managers or executives detailing the “essential function,” including the impact that function has on the company and the authority the beneficiary has over that function.
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