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EB1 Visa: Extraordinary Ability Green Card

The EB-1 Visa is a first preference employment-based Green Card. Find out more about the EB-1 visa, including the criteria you must meet to be eligible.

If you need assistance with you EB-1 Visa application, get in touch with us today on +1 844 290 6312. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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What is an EB-1 Visa?

The EB-1 Visa is a US immigrant visa that is part of the employment-based visa category. The EB-1 is a first-preference visa that is open to overseas nationals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, or certain multinational executives or managers. You must be able to show “sustained national or international acclaim” in your particular field (which can include the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics).

This type of visa, also known as a Green Card, grants permanent residency. This means that if you receive it, you can stay in the US indefinitely under your green card status. If you would like to apply for U.S. citizenship, you may do so after 5 years of continuous residence as a green cardholder.

The EB1-1 Visa is seen as particularly desirable because the wait for acceptance can be markedly shorter than for other immigrant entry routes, which can take years. Additionally, you do not have to obtain Labor certification. So, in other words, US businesses are not required to see if the role can be filled domestically first.

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Eligibility criteria for the EB-1 Visa

In order to be eligible for an EB-1 Visa, you must be one of the following:

  • An alien of extraordinary ability
  • An outstanding professor or researcher
  • A certain multinational executive or manager

Furthermore, each occupational category comes with its own set of specific requirements that must be met.

Requirements for an alien of extraordinary ability (EB1-A)

If you are applying as an alien of extraordinary ability you must be able to demonstrate your ‘extraordinary ability. This means you can show you are in the top one percent in terms of expertise in your field and have received national or international acclaim. To show that you meet these requirements, you must include evidence of a one-time outstanding achievement, for example, an internationally recognized award like a Nobel Prize, Academy Award, or Olympic Medal. In addition, you must meet at least 3 of the 10 criteria set by the USCIS which are as follows:

  • Evidence that you have received a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in your 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 your original contributions to the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. These contributions must be of major significance to their 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 of 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 your commercial successes in the performing arts

No offer of employment of labor certification is required for an alien of extraordinary ability but they must show evidence that they will continue to work in their area of expertise whilst in the United States.

Requirements for an outstanding professor or researcher (EB1-B)

Outstanding professors and researchers will need to have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in their academic area and must demonstrate international recognition for their outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. To do this they will need to meet at least 2 of the 6 criteria set by the USCIS and will also need to provide evidence of a job offer from a U.S employer.  You must be 2 of the requirements listed below which include:

  • Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  • Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
  • Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about your work in the academic field
  • Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or related academic field
  • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
  • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles in the field

In addition to meeting these requirements, the applicant must be entering the United States in order to pursue either tenure or tenure track teaching or a related research position at a university, an institution of higher learning, or a private employer.

If working for a private employer, the employer must provide both documented accomplishments in their respective field and demonstrate that it employs at least 3 full-time researchers. Again, no labor certification is necessary.

Requirements for Certain Multinational Managers or Executives (EB1-C)

If you are a multinational manager or executive and want to be considered for an EB-1 visa, you must have been employed outside the United States for a minimum of 1 year in the past 3 years preceding the visa petition. If you are already working in the U.S. under a non-immigrant visa, you must also have worked at least 1 year abroad before working in the U.S..

Furthermore, your employer who will petition for your visa must have been doing business for at least 1 year, have a qualifying relationship (such as an affiliate or subsidiary of the same company) to where you worked abroad, and intend to employ you in either a managerial or executive role or capacity. Again, no labor certification is required for this visa petition but the employer must provide a job offer. Unlike other business immigrant visas which require a significant investment, this visa requires little to none.

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How to apply for an EB-1 Visa

The EB-1 Visa application process varies depending on the category that you are applying under.
Those applying as an immigrant with extraordinary ability can self-petition, this means they can submit their application themselves by filing Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker).

If you are an outstanding professor or researcher or are applying as a multinational executive or manager then your employer will need to file Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) on your behalf. During the application process, your U.S employer will need to prove a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date. They may use an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate this.

Again, the EB-1 Visa can be acquired much more quickly than most US Green Cards, this is because PERM Labor Certification is not required from a US employer. Most other employment-based immigration visas do require this which can greatly increase the processing time.


How long does it take to get an EB1 visa?

The processing time for an EB1 visa depends on the USCIS processing time for Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) which you can check here. Depending on the backlog, it can take anywhere from 4-15 months. The majority of applications are processed within 6 months. EB1-A applicants benefit from not having to wait for employer sponsorship like EB1-B and EB1-C applicants may have to wait years.

Once your Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) has been approved, you can travel to the United States and apply for an Adjustment of Status via Form I-485 to obtain permanent residence. This application normally takes about 6 months to process and if you are approved, you will receive your green card within another additional 6 months. If you are in a hurry and want your Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) processed more quickly, you can request premium processing which will process your visa application in 15 calendar days. To do this, you must first file Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service) and pay the $2,500 fee.

EB-1 Visa Help

The Immigration Advice Service has lawyers in the US who are trained in all areas of US immigration law and are experienced in professional immigration applications.

Immigrant visas can be complex to apply for, you will have to carefully and meticulously gather a significant amount of evidence to prove that you are able to meet the requirements. If you choose to hire one of our professional immigration attorneys, they will help you to complete your application, assist you with gathering all the evidence that you will need, will review your application, go through the interview process with the USCIS, and make sure your visa application has the highest possible chance for success.

To make an inquiry call +1 844 290 6312 or use the online form today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The EB1-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa is used to enter the US on the grounds that you have an outstanding talent. This means you are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.

If you are a professional working in the sports industry, you may also be eligible for a P1 Athlete Visa.

You can be approved for an Extraordinary Ability Visa by demonstrating you have that extraordinary ability. This means you must be outstanding in your particular field. For example, have you won a Nobel Prize? You must also meet three out of ten criteria set by the USCIS. However, if you have one particularly outstanding talent, that may qualify you also.

You can also obtain this visa if you are a multinational executive or an outstanding professor or researcher and are able to meet the specific criteria set out for these categories.

You can carry out your work in the field you are talented in permanently in the US. You will be granted a Green Card which guarantees your stay in the country. Once you become a permanent resident, you can also apply for a U.S. Green Card through relatives for your family.

An EB1-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa is hard to obtain. Firstly, because you need to demonstrate a very high level of talent to be accepted.

Secondly, because it has huge benefits in comparison to other US visas: the permanent residency (Green Card) aspect and the lack of need for Labor certification

This is the temporary route version of the Extraordinary Ability Visa. This would allow you to stay for a period of one to three years. The O1 Visa requirements are far less stringent than that of the EB1-1.

The EB1-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa is one of the hardest US visas to obtain. That’s why, here at IAS, we ensure that we are closely scrutinising your application to ensure it receives a successful outcome.

Our specially-trained lawyers will be able to advise you on the visa and how to submit a successful application, including what to do in the interview with the USCIS.