Green Card: EB-1

Eligibility and Filing: No labor certification is needed for EB-1 petitions.

The EB-1 visa is an immigrant visa, which allows foreign nationals with 'extraordinary ability' in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. Your achievements must have been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim be recognized in the field through extensive documentation

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(A) Aliens with extraordinary ability

This category is for Aliens with extraordinary ability "in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics". You must be one of "that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor," to be granted this classification. For example, if you receive a major internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, you will qualify for an EB-1 classification. You must also seek to enter the U.S. to continue work in the area of 'extraordinary ability' and upon entry into the U.S. will substantially benefit the U.S. positively. Other awards may also qualify if you can document that the award is in the same class as a Nobel Prize.

Since few workers receive this type of award, alternative evidence of EB-1 classification based on at least three of the types of evidence outlined below, is permitted. The worker may submit "other comparable evidence" if the following criteria do not apply:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  2. Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members;
  3. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  4. Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
  5. Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
  6. Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  7. Evidence that the alien's work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
  9. Evidence that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
  10. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts.

Satisfying three out of the ten criteria does not guarantee that the INS will grant you EB-1 (A) classification as an alien of extraordinary ability. The INS looks for quality as well as quantity. As in so many other aspects of immigration law, comprehensive documentation of your qualifications is all-important. An offer of employment from a prospective U.S. employer is not required for the EB-1 worker of extraordinary ability, you may petition for yourself.

(B) Outstanding professors and researchers

To qualify for an EB-1 visa as an 'outstanding professor or researcher' you must be a foreign national who:

  • Is recognized internationally as 'outstanding' in a specific academic area
  • Possesses at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area, and
  • Seeks to enter the U.S. for a tenured position (or tenure-track position) within a university or institution of higher education to teach in the academic area; or comparable position with a university or institution of higher education to conduct research in the area; or comparable position to conduct research in the area with a department, division, or institute of a private employer, if the department, division, or institute employs at least three persons full time in research activities and has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

Evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized as outstanding in the academic field must include documentation of at least two of the following:

  1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
  2. Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievements;
  3. Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field;
  4. Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field;
  5. Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field;
  6. Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field.

A petition (Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker) must be filed with USCIS to request EB1- (B) classification. An offer of employment from a prospective U.S. employer is required, in the form of a letter from any of the above-mentioned universities or institutions of higher education or research.

The USCIS must approve a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, filed on your behalf. The State Department must give you an immigrant visa number, if you are already in the U.S. and you must apply to adjust to permanent resident status after a visa number becomes available. If you are outside the U.S., you must complete your immigrant visa processing at the U.S. consulate.

(C) Multinational Manager or Executive

This category is for a 'manager or executive' subject to international transfer to the U.S. A multinational manager or executive is eligible for priority worker status if:

  • He or she has been employed outside the U.S. in the three years preceding the petition for at least one year by a firm or corporation and seeks to enter the U.S to continue service to that firm or organization.
  • The employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer.

A petition (Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker) must be filed with USCIS to request EB1-(C) classification. Upon approval of the EB-1-(C) petition, the individual, his/her spouse and children under 21 years of age may apply for their immigrant visas either through adjustment of status in the United States or through consular processing at a U.S. Consulate outside of the United States. Definitions of terms relevant to this EB-1 category are found in 8 CFR § 204.5.

The USCIS must approve a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, filed on your behalf. The State Department must give you an immigrant visa number, if you are already in the U.S. and you must apply to adjust to permanent resident status after a visa number becomes available. If you are outside the U.S., you must complete your immigrant visa processing at the U.S. consulate.

Frequently Asked Questions about EB-5 Visas
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