- Eligibility Criteria for the EB1 Visa
- Persons with Extraordinary Ability (EB1A)
- Outstanding Professor or Researcher (EB1B)
- Multinational Managers or Executives (EB1C)
- How to Apply for an EB1 Visa
- How long does it take to get the EB1 Visa?
- Can I change from EB1 Visa to a Green Card?
- How Many Employment-Based (EB) Green Card Categories Exist?
- How IAS can help
- Frequently asked questions
What is an EB1 Visa?
The EB1 Visa is an immigrant visa and one of the US employment-based visa categories. Some refer to it as the most employment-based green card category because it offers certain flexibilities and advantages that other similar visas don’t.
It is a first-preference visa that is open to three subgroups of foreign nationals. There is EB1A subcategory for people with extraordinary ability, EB1B for outstanding professors, and EB1C for certain multinational executives or managers.
You are required to demonstrate sustained international or national acclaim in your field. This visa is open to professionals across various fields, including sciences, education, arts, business, and athletics.
The EB1 green card grants successive applicants the US green card, also known as a permanent resident status. This means once you obtain it, you can stay in the US indefinitely and work anywhere in the country unrestricted.
You may also apply for US citizenship after obtaining your EB1 green card. You will be eligible for citizenship application after amassing five years of continuous residence as a green card holder.
The EB1 visa is highly desirable because its application wait time is remarkably shorter than most other immigrant visa categories, which sometimes take years. Additionally, it doesn’t require you to obtain Labour Certification from the Department of Labor, which is a major requirement in most other employment-based visas.
Eligibility Criteria for the EB1 Visa
You may be eligible for an EB1 visa if you are a foreign national who meets any of the following three descriptions:
- A person with extraordinary ability
- An outstanding professor or researcher
- A certain multinational manager or executive
Each of the above subcategories has its own specific criteria applicants must meet.
Requirements for Persons with Extraordinary Ability (EB1A)
If you are applying for an EB1 visa under this subcategory, you must demonstrate that you possess extraordinary ability. This means you can provide evidence of being in the top one percent in terms of expertise in your chosen field and have received international or national acclaim.
There are 10 criteria under this EB1 subcategory. You must meet at least 3 of them or provide evidence of one-time outstanding achievements, such as an internationally known award like Academy Award, Nobel Prize, or Olympic Medal. In addition, you must show evidence that you will continue to work in your field of expertise. The ten criteria are as follows:
- Evidence of receipt of lesser internationally or nationally recognized awards or prizes for excellence
- Evidence of membership in associations in your field which require outstanding achievement of their members
- Evidence that you’ve been asked to judge other people’s work, either individually or on a panel
- Evidence of published material about you in major or professional trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that you have authored scholarly articles in major or professional trade publications or other major media
- Evidence of your original scholarly, scientific, athletic, artistic, or business-related contributions of major significance to your field
- Evidence that your work has been featured or displayed at artistic showcases or exhibitions
- Evidence that you command a high salary or other high remuneration in relation to others in the field
- Evidence of your performance of a critical or leading role in reputable organizations
- Evidence of your commercial success in the performing arts
No offer of employment is required for successful applicants who qualify as persons with extraordinary ability. This means you don’t have to wait for an employer to offer you a job before you can qualify.
This is one of the exceptional advantages that an EB1A visa offers. In addition, Also, they are not required to undergo the Labour Certification process.
Requirements for an Outstanding Professor or Researcher (EB1B)
If you are choosing for an EB1 visa as an outstanding professor or researcher, you will need to have at least three years of experience in research or teaching in your academic area. You must also demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a certain academic field.
You will need to meet at least 2 of the six eligibility criteria set by USCIS. You must also provide evidence of an employment offer from a US-based employer. Below are the six criteria:
- Evidence that you have received major awards or prizes for outstanding achievement
- Evidence of published material in professional publications authored by others about your work in the academic field
- Evidence of membership in associations that require records of outstanding achievements from their members
- Evidence that you have participated, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of other people’s work in the same or similar academic field
- Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles or books (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field
- Evidence of original scholarly or scientific research contributions in the field
In addition to meeting these criteria, you must be entering the United States to pursue either tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research role at a university, a higher institution of learning, or a private employer.
If you are going to work for a private employer, the employer must provide documented accomplishments in their field and show that they employ at least three full-time researchers. But no labor certification is required.
Requirements for Multinational Managers or Executives (EB1C)
To qualify for an EB1 visa as a multinational executive or manager, you must have been employed outside the US for at least one year in the past three years preceding the visa petition. If you are already working in the US on a nonimmigrant status, you must also have worked for a minimum of 1 year abroad before working in the US.
In addition, your US-based employer who will file your visa petition must have been doing business for at least one year. They must also have a qualifying relationship with the company where you worked abroad. Examples of qualifying relationships include being a subsidiary or affiliate to the company abroad. They must provide evidence that you will be occupying a managerial or executive position. Again, there is no labor certification requirement, but a job offer from a US-based organization is a must.
How to Apply for an EB1 Visa
The EB1 immigrant visa application process varies depending on the subcategory you are applying for.
If you are applying under extraordinary ability, you can file your petition yourself. You will need to file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, with USCIS.
In other words, you don’t need to wait for a job offer from an employer, neither do you need one to sponsor your petition.
EB1B and EB1C:
If you are applying as an outstanding professor or researcher, or multinational executive or manager, you will need an employer to sponsor your petition.
The employer will file Form I-140 with USCIS on your behalf.
During the application process, the employer will need to prove they have the financial ability to start and sustain the payment of the agreed wage as of the priority date of your petition.
They may need to provide their federal income tax return, annual report, or audited financial statement to demonstrate their financial ability to pay the wages.
How Long Does it Take to Get the EB1 Visa?
The processing time generally depends on the backlogs at the USCIS office processing your I-140 petition. You should receive a decision from USCIS within 4 to 15 months. However, the majority of petitions are processed within six months.
If you want to expedite the process, you may request a premium processing service that guarantees a decision within 15 days. To do this, you will submit Form I-907 to USCIS, with an additional fee of $2,500. EB1A applicants may enjoy a speedier process than other subcategories, as they don’t have to wait for an employment offer. In general, however, all EB1 visa categories have a faster application process timeline than other employment-based visas.
This is due to the non-requirement of the labor certification process. After submitting your I-140 petition either by yourself or through an employer, you will receive the following notifications from USCIS:
- Receipt of notice confirming they have received your petition
- Notice of biometric appointment, if applicable
- Notice to appear for a visa interview, if required
- Notice of decision, which can be either approval or denial
Can I change from an EB1 Visa to a green card?
Once your I-140 petition is approved by USCIS, you can apply to become a lawful permanent resident if a visa is available according to the State Department Visa Bulletin. The step to get this done will depend on your current location.
If you are already in the United States, you can apply to adjust your status by filing Form I-485, known as Application to Register Permanent Residence, or Adjust Status. This will be submitted to USCIS. Form I-485 application process may take additional six months, and once approved, you will be issued a green card as proof of your lawful permanent resident status.
But if you are outside the United States, you will need to apply for a visa at a US embassy or consulate in your country of residence. This is called consular processing. After receiving your visa, you can enter the United States and become a lawful permanent resident.
How Many Employment-Based (EB) Green Card Categories Exist?
There are five categories of employment-based green cards. They are referred follows:
- EB1 Visa: First Preference Employment-Based Category
- EB2 Visa: Second Preference Employment-Based Category
- EB3 Visa: Third Preference Employment-Based Category
- EB4 Visa: Fourth Preference Employment-Based Category
- EB5 Visa: Immigrant Investor Program
All these visa categories lead to permanent residence. The EB1, EB2, EB3, and EB4 are majorly employment-based. The EB5, on the other hand, is more of an investment visa, which requires applicants to demonstrate the ability to invest $900,000 or $1.8 million in the US economy.
How IAS Can Help
Here at Immigration Advice Service, we have a team of lawyers with vast knowledge of US immigration law. Our immigration lawyers are highly experienced in EB1 visa processing and other US visas.
Though the EB1 application process may appear simple on paper, it is more complex than it appears. It requires every sense of thoroughness and carefulness in gathering the required evidence for eligibility.
You will also need to be highly attentive when filling the application forms. All these can be daunting for a non-professional immigration law expert.
However, if you engage the service of an immigration lawyer, they will guide you through each stage of the entire visa petition and green card application process.
This will significantly improve your chances of being approved. And this is where IAS comes in.
We will prepare your application following the best immigration practice to ensure the highest possible chances of success.
We will also help you review your supporting documents and guide you through the interview process.
To know more on how we can be of help, contact us today via +1 844 290 6312 or use the online form.
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The Form I-140 processing fee is $700. If you want to use the premium processing, you will pay an additional $2,500. After the I-140 approval, if you are in the US and want to adjust your status, the I-485 processing fee is $1,225. If you are undergoing consular processing, the visa application process is $325.
The EB1 visa is considered most advantageous because it gives you a faster application process because it doesn’t require labor certification. Also, if you qualify for the EB1A, you can self-petition the visa. In other words, you can submit your I-140 petition to USCIS yourself without the need for a job offer from an employer.
The requirements vary depending on the category you are applying for. However, the most important thing is to demonstrate you belong to the top one percent in your field of endeavor.
Due to the relatively stringent requirements of the EB1 visa, not all green card applicants will qualify for it. The good news is there are other similar immigrant visa categories that aren’t as stringent as EB1. They are EB2, EB3, EB4. And if you have investment capital of $900,000 to 1.8 million, you can go for the EB5 immigrant investor visa.