EB-1 visas are employment-based visas issued to noncitizens of outstanding abilities so that they can immigrate to the US permanently. This category is for “first placement priority workers,” or people who have demonstrated outstanding abilities in their fields.
Not only will this visa grant certain immigrants the ability to live and work in the US legally, but down the road, they can also apply for US citizenship (provided that they have held the EB1 visa without any problems).
Since the EB1 is not a terrifically well-known visa, let’s check out some of its details.
Who’s Eligible for the EB1 Visa?
- People of Extraordinary Ability. Candidates who have significantly contributed to the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics are eligible provided that they meet three of the 10 criteria below, or present evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., Oscar, Pulitzer, Olympic medal, etc.) as well as evidence showing that they will stay in the area of their expertise. No offer of employment or labor certification is required.
- Outstanding Professors and Researchers. People who have demonstrated international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field also may qualify. They must have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in that academic area as well as entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or a comparable research position at a university, institution of higher education, or private employer. These candidates must meet at least two of the six criteria listed below and 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.
- Certain Multinational Managers or Executives. These candidates must have been employed outside the United States for at least one year in three years preceding the petition or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission if they are already working for the U.S. petitioning employer. Instead of meeting any of the below criteria, the U.S. petitioner must have been doing business for at least one year, have a qualifying relationship to the entity they worked for outside the U.S., and intend to employ them in a managerial or executive capacity. No labor certification is required.
Criteria Regarding Extraordinary Ability
For those applying as having extraordinary ability, here’s the list of all criteria immigration officials will be looking at. Only three of these need to be fulfilled (unless, however, there’s evidence of a one-time achievement such as an Oscar, Pulitzer, Olympic medal, etc.).
- Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
- Evidence of membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
- Evidence of published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that the candidate has been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
- Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
- Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that the candidate’s work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
- Evidence of a performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
- Evidence that the applicant commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
- Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts
Criteria Regarding Outstanding Professorship or Research
For those who are applying in this category, here’s the list of all immigration criteria that only two of which need to be fulfilled:
- 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 the noncitizen’s 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 allied academic field
- Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
- Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field
How to Apply for One of these Visas?
For Extraordinary Ability, the applicant must apply by filing a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.
For Outstanding Professors and Researchers, the candidate’s employer must file I-140, or Petition for Alien Worker with the employer demonstrating the continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date (typically using an annual report, federal income tax return or audited financial statement as evidence)