EB-1 Visa Eligibility

The EB-1 visa category is available to people who have extraordinary abilities, are outstanding professors or researchers, or are multinational executives or managers. These people are called priority workers, and people who qualify in this category do not need a labor certification.

EB-1A

The EB-1A visa is available for individuals who have extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

USCIS defines individuals with extraordinary abilities as people who have demonstrated “sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.” Someone who has won an award such as a Pulitzer, an Oscar, an Olympic Medal, a Nobel Prize, or similar awards typically qualifies in this category.

An individual can also qualify for the EB-1A visa if he or she can provide at least three of the following types of evidence:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  2. Membership in associations that demand outstanding achievement of their members;
  3. Material published about them in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  4. Documentation that they have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or as part of a panel;
  5. Documentation of their original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  7. Documentation that their work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Documentation of their performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
  9. Documentation that they command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field; and
  10. Documentation of their commercial successes in the performing arts.

Unlike many other visa categories, someone applying for an EB-1A visa can self-sponsor.

EB-1B

The EB-1B visa is for outstanding professors or researchers who have demonstrated international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. The individual must be entering the U.S. to pursue tenure, tenure track teaching, or a comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher learning.

To apply for an EB-1B visa, the applicant must submit an offer of employment from the prospective U.S. employer and must also submit evidence of at least two of the following:

  1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
  2. Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement;
  3. Published material in professional publications written by others about their work in the academic field;
  4. Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
  5. Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field; or
  6. Authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation.

An EB-1B visa applicant must be sponsored by an employer.

EB-1C

The EB-1C visa is available to multinational executives or managers. The applicant must prove that the sponsoring employer has been in business for at least one year, or was doing business for at least one year as an affiliate or subsidiary of the same corporation or other legal entity which had employed the applicant abroad.

To be successful, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she had been employed in a managerial or executive capacity outside the United States for at least one year in the last three years immediately preceding the application and now seeks to enter the United States to continue that employment in a managerial or executive capacity with the same firm, corporation, organization or legal entity or its legitimate subsidiary or affiliate.

Benefits of the EB-1 Visa

Applying for a green card under an EB-1 visa is particularly desirable because there are shorter wait times than most other visa categories. In addition, there is no need for a labor certification. Finally, the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of an EB-1 immigrant may be eligible to apply for admission under an E-14 or E-15 immigrant status, respectively.

However, because the EB-1 visa category is so sought after, these visas can be difficult to obtain. Working with an experienced immigration attorney will improve your chances of success.