EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa

The EB-1 extraordinary ability category is a visa option for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in their field of expertise. The EB-1 is an immigrant visa in that it grants US lawful permanent resident status (green card). Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also obtain permanent residence status as dependents of the EB-1 principal applicant.

How do I qualify for an EB-1 Extraordinary Visa?

The first method is to prove that you have a major, internationally recognized award, like the Nobel Prize for example. In order to show that award is of that high caliber, evidence should include some of the following: (1) the nature of criteria used to grant the award, (2) the significance of the award in your field, (3) the reputation of the organization that granted the award, (4) other winners of the award who have achieved international acclaim, and (5) if the award encourages competition from internationally recognized individuals in the field.

The second method to prove extraordinary ability is to establish at least 3 of these 8 criteria:

  1. Your receipt of a prize or award for excellence in the field that is less recognized nationally or internationally;
  2. Your membership in associations that require outstanding achievement as judged by recognized national or international experts;
  3. Published material about you in professional or major trade publications or major media relating to your work in the field;
  4. Your participation on a panel or individually judged the work of others in the same or similar field;
  5. Your original contributions of major significance in your field of expertise that are scientific, scholarly, or business-related;
  6. Published scholarly articles authored by you in professional journals or other major media;
  7. Your work in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments with a distinguished reputation;
  8. Evidence that you receive or will receive a high salary or other remuneration for your work.

What Is the Process for Applying for an EB-1 Visa?

The application process for an EB-1 Visa, particularly for extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, or certain multinational executives and managers, involves several key steps.

For individuals demonstrating extraordinary ability (EB-1A) in their field, whether it be in science, arts, education, business, or athletics, the process starts with compiling evidence of sustained national or international acclaim.

This might include internationally recognized prizes, publications, memberships in associations that require outstanding achievements, significant contributions to their field, and a high remuneration compared to others in the field.

Applicants may also submit comparable evidence if the standard criteria do not apply to their occupation or achievements.

Outstanding professors and researchers (EB-1B) must demonstrate international recognition for their outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. They need at least three years of experience in teaching or research in that academic area.

Evidence for this category includes major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement, membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievements, published material in professional publications written by others about the applicant’s work in the academic field, and participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field.

The application process involves filing Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Unlike some other visa categories, the EB-1 does not require a labor certification.

Applicants need to provide evidence such as letters of recommendation from peers, audited financial statements, records of commercial successes in the performing arts, artistic exhibitions, and any other documents that prove their extraordinary abilities or outstanding achievements.

In addition to the I-140 form, applicants should also prepare to submit a federal income tax return to demonstrate significantly high remuneration, if applicable.

After approval, they may apply for a visa or adjust their status to become a lawful permanent resident. The EB-1 visa process is complex and varies depending on the specific category an applicant falls under, so thorough preparation and understanding of the requirements are crucial for success.

Outstanding Professor or Researcher

Applicants seeking an EB-1 visa as an outstanding professor or researcher must demonstrate international recognition for their achievements in a particular academic field. Applicants must have at least 3 years of experience teaching or doing research in a particular academic area and must be entering the United States to pursue tenure or tenure-track teaching at a university or other institution of higher education.

To qualify as an outstanding professor or researcher, applicants must provide an offer of employment from a prospective U.S. employer and include documentation of at least two of the following items:

  1. Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  2. Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
  3. Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions to their field
  4. Evidence of published material in professional publications written about the applicant’s work
  5. Evidence of authorship of internationally circulated scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals
  6. Evidence of participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied field

Multinational Manager or Executive

Applicants seeking an EB1 visa as a multinational manager or executive must establish the following:

  1. They have been employed internationally in the 3 years prior to the petition for at least 1 year by the petitioning firm or corporation.
  2. They are entering the United States to continue employment at the same firm or corporation.
  3. The petitioning employer must be a U.S. employer and must have been doing business for at least one year at the time of application.

What is the Difference Between an EB-1 Extraordinary Visa and an O-1A Extraordinary Visa?

The EB-1 visa category is similar to the O-1A extraordinary ability visa category, but there are several differences. First, you can file the EB-1 petition on behalf of yourself, which is something prohibited with the O-1A visa in that it requires the petition be filed by an entity on your behalf. Another difference is that the EB-1 is an immigrant visa, meaning that once the petition is approved, the new become eligible to adjust to green card status. Conversely, the O-1A is a non-immigrant visa, meaning that it is intended to be used to work in the United States on a temporary basis. The EB-1 is a first preference category, meaning that your priority date is very likely to be current allowing for concurrent filing of the I-140 and the I-485.

What is the Lawyer’s Role in the EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa?

At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A. our immigration lawyer will help you prepare and gather all the required information and documentation needed for the EB-1 Visa approval.

We will communicate with you and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) while the application is being processed up until adjudication.

Contact our employment-based immigration attorneys today!


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