If you want to live and work in the United States without applying for a traditional work green card, you may be able to obtain a special green card called an EB-1. Foreign nationals may apply for a first preference visa if they are an individual of extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a certain multinational executive or manager. Each of these occupational categories has certain requirements that must be met, with eligibility criteria outlined below. Read thoroughly and contact a qualified immigration attorney in South Florida if you need further legal advice.
You must demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.
Required Documentary Evidence for EB-1A
You must submit documents that satisfy at least 3 of 10 regulatory criteria, or provide evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal). You must also submit evidence showing that you will immigrate to the US to continue work in the field of extraordinary ability. No offer of employment or labor certification is required.
Criteria Eligibility for EB-1A
To demonstrate that you are a person with extraordinary ability, you must submit documentary evidence meeting at least 3 of the following 10 regulatory criteria:
- You have performed in leading or critical roles at distinguished organizations.
- You make a higher salary than other workers in your job category.
- You have received a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize or award in your field.
- You have judged, evaluated, and/or assessed the work of other individuals in your field, individually or on a panel.
- You have contributed to original artistic, scholarly, or scientific work, which has had a major impact or degree of significance in your field.
- You are a successful performing artist, as measured by box office receipts or sales, such as the number of albums sold, or tickets purchased.
- You have had work and professional accomplishments written about you and published in major media and/or other major trade publications.
- You have authored of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Your works have been prominently displayed in a legitimate art gallery show.
- You are a member of a prestigious professional organization that requires outstanding achievements of its members.
Alternatively, you can provide proof of a single extraordinary achievement. The criteria are pretty stringent for the single achievement category. They will look for such honors as:
- An Academy Award
- A Pulitzer Prize
- An Olympic Medal
EB-1A Application Process
You may apply for yourself by filing Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. You are deemed both the petitioner and the beneficiary of Form I-140.
You must demonstrate that you have,
- International recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field, and;
- at least 3 years’ experience in teaching or research in that academic area.
You must also show that you are immigrating to the US to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or a comparable research position at a university, institution of higher education, or private employer.
Required Documentary Evidence for EB-1B
You must submit documents that satisfy at least 2 of 6 regulatory criteria (explained below). You must also provide an offer of employment from the prospective U.S. employer. The private employer must show documented accomplishments and that it employs at least 3 full-time researchers. No labor certification is required.
Criteria Eligibility for EB-1B
To demonstrate that you are an outstanding professor or researcher, you must include evidence of 2 of the 6 listed criteria below (or comparable evidence if any of the criteria do not readily apply): Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
- Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
- Published material in professional publications written by others about the noncitizen’s work in the academic field
- Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
- Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
- Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field
EB-1B Application Process
Requires your U.S. employer must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker and must demonstrate a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date (the date Form I-140 is filed). This requirement can be proved by submitting an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay your wage.
You must demonstrate that you have been employed outside the US for at least 1 year in the 3 years preceding the petition, or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission, if you are already working for the U.S. petitioning employer. The U.S. petitioner employer must have been doing business for at least 1 year, have a qualifying relationship to the entity you worked for outside the U.S., and intend to employ you in a managerial or executive capacity.
Required Documentary Evidence for EB-1C
Your petitioning employer must be a U.S. employer and intend to employ you in a managerial or executive capacity. The petitioner must have been doing business in the U.S. for at least 1 year, as a legal entity with a qualifying relationship to the entity that employed you abroad in a managerial or executive capacity. No labor certification is required.
EB-1C Application Process
Requires your U.S. employer must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker and must be able to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date. This requirement can be proved by submitting an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate a continuing ability to pay your wage.
Benefits of EB-1 Classification
A labor certification is not required for any of the First Preference visa classification categories. To protect Americans in the US domestic labor market, a PERM labor certification process is implemented. A PERM labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows a US employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. In most cases, before the U.S. employer can submit Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, to the USCIS, the employer must obtain a certified labor certification application from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. Benefits of no labor certification include shortened overall processing time to obtain a Green Card if Form I-140 is approved.
A filing fee is required for many immigration forms filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you do not submit the correct fee, USCIS will reject your form. Foreign nationals should frequently consult the USCIS official website, as it periodically adjusts its fees. Forms of payment include check or credit card. USCIS does not accept cash for filing fees. USCIS filing fee for Form I-140 is US $700.
Family of EB-1 Visa Holders
Applicants may list all immediate dependents – spouse and children – on Form I-140. If your I-140 petition is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States in E-14 or E-15 immigrant status, respectively.