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EB-1 Visas

Of all the employment-based immigrant visas, EB-1 visas offer one of the most direct paths to permanent resident status for…

Of all the employment-based immigrant visas, EB-1 visas offer one of the most direct paths to permanent resident status for those who can meet the specific requirements that the USCIS has established. If an applicant can provide clear and compelling evidence that they do in fact qualify for an EB-1 visa under one of 3 subcategories, then they will have cleared the main hurdle towards becoming a permanent resident.

While EB-1 visas can require a moderate to massive amount of documentation, depending on the type of petition you submit, they are still the most desirable immigrant visas for several reasons:

  • Applicants do not need to first obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor as part of the permanent resident process
  • The priority dates are usually current for this category, and so applicants do not need to wait to file for adjustment of status to permanent resident
  • Applicants can file a request for premium processing with their petition, which means that unless the USCIS issues a request for evidence, the petition can be approved within 15 business days

Types of EB-1 Visas

EB-1 visas are ideal for individuals who possess extraordinary abilities in certain fields, as well as for outstanding professors or researchers, and for multinational executives or managers.

1. Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)

EB1-A immigrant visas are for those who hold extraordinary abilities in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics. To qualify for this category, you must provide proof that you have acquired sustained national or international acclaim in your field, and you have received recognition for your achievements. You must provide evidence in at least 3 of the 10 categories listed below:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of membership in associations in the field, which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance in a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts

Applicants for this type of EB-1 visa have the unique option of self-petitioning. You would still need to provide strong evidence to support your petition, and the more evidence you can provide from the above list, the better.

2. Outstanding Professors and Researchers (EB-1B)

EB-1B is for outstanding professors and researchers who have gained international recognition for their achievements in a specific academic field. To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum of 3 years of experience in teaching or research
    • Have a job offer for employment as a professor or researcher from a qualifying US employer
    • Demonstrate outstanding achievements in the field, such as having authored scholarly articles, having won major awards, participating on a panel or as an individual to judge the work of peers in the field, and participating in prestigious conferences

This visa category bears some similarities to the EB-1A, such as the types of evidence that is required, but EB-1B applicants only need to provide evidence in at least 2 criteria instead of 3. Also, unlike the EB-1A, applicants in this category cannot self-petition.

3. Multinational Managers or Executives (EB-1C)

This category is suitable for managers or executives who have been employed abroad for a multinational entity that seeks to transfer them to its U.S. parent company, branch, or affiliate. To qualify for this category, the employee must meet the following criteria:

  • Have worked with the foreign entity for at least 1 year within the last 3 years
    • Hold a managerial or executive position with the foreign entity
    • Have a job offer to transfer to the U.S. for a similar managerial or executive role

Employers must also meet the strict standards established for the EB-1C category, such as proving that they will be able to pay the offered wage; that the position does in fact meet the definition of managerial or executive; and that they have a qualifying relationship with the foreign entity.

How to Apply for an EB-1

Because EB-1 visas are classified as first-preference visas, petitions are subjected to a higher standard of scrutiny than those in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories. If you believe your employment credentials will make you a strong candidate for one of the above EB-1 visas, then it may be worth your while to pursue that option. The first step is to collect the supporting documents you will need to prove your eligibility. Your employer will also need to provide supporting documents unless you are self-petitioning in the EB-1A category. The next step is to complete and file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with the supporting documents and a filing fee. You will also have the option to submit your petition through the Premium Processing Service.

Once your I-140 petition has been approved, you will then be able to file a Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status application) if you’re in the U.S. If you’re outside the U.S., you will have to file an immigrant visa application at a U.S. consulate in your home country. Once your application is approved, the USCIS will issue you a permanent resident card.

How We Can Help You

One of the benefits of having an immigration attorney in your corner is that a good attorney understands the most common reasons why the USCIS rejects EB-1 petitions. This empowers them with the best opportunity to anticipate the kind of questions that typically arise, and to meet and overcome any challenges that a petition may face.

To ensure that a petition has been optimally prepared to meet the rigorous scrutiny that the USCIS uses to assess such petitions, it is best to employ the services of a qualified immigration attorney. At U.S. Immigration Law Counsel, we have decades of experience in helping our clients with various types of immigrant petitions. We can help you navigate the often-daunting process of applying for your EB-1 visa.

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