EB-1 Visa - Green Card for Priority Workers
First Preference, Employment-Based Immigration
- Extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- Certain multinational executives and managers
Definition of Extraordinary Ability for EB-1
Aliens with extraordinary ability (for the EB-1 visa) are those with "extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation." You must be one of "that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor," to be granted this classification. For example, if you receive a major internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, you will qualify for an EB-1 classification. Other awards may also qualify if you can document that the award is in the same class as a Nobel Prize. Since few workers receive this type of award, alternative evidence of EB-1 classification based on at least three of the types of evidence outlined below, is permitted (If the following criteria do not apply, the worker may submit "other comparable evidence".):
- Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
- Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members;
- Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
- Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
- Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence that the alien's work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
- Evidence that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
- Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts.
Such applicants do not have to have a specific job offer so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue work in the field in which they have extraordinary ability. Such applicants can file their own petition with the USCIS, rather than through an employer.
Outstanding Professors and Researchers
Outstanding professors and researchers are recognized internationally for their outstanding academic achievements in a particular field. In addition, an outstanding professor or researcher must have at least three years experience in teaching or research in that academic area, and enter the U.S. in a tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. If the employer is a private company rather that a university or educational institution, the department, division, or institute of the private employer must employ at least three persons full time in research activities and have achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.
Evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized as outstanding in the academic field must include documentation of at least two of the following:
- Receipt of 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 alien'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.
No labor certification is required for this classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the USCIS.
EB-1 Visa for Certain Multinational Executives and Managers
Some executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the U.S. may qualify for an EB-1 Green Card visa. A multinational manager or executive is eligible for priority worker status if he or she has been employed outside the U.S. in the three years preceding the petition for at least one year by a firm or corporation and seeks to enter the U.S. to continue service (in a managerial or executive capacity) to that firm or organization. The employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer.
The petitioner must be a U.S. employer, doing business for at least one year, that is an affiliate, a subsidiary, or the same employer as the firm, corporation or other legal entity that employed the foreign national abroad.
No labor certification is required for the EB-1 visa classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the USCIS.
EB-1 Visa Application Procedures
A USCIS Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) is required. All I-140 petitions must be filed at the USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over the place where the individual will work. The petition packet must include the required documentary evidence and should follow the specific filing guidelines of the Service Center. No labor certification is needed for EB-1 petitions. The EB-1 Visa is eligible for Premium Processing.
While the EB-1 worker of extraordinary ability may petition for himself or herself, the employer must file the petition for an outstanding professor or researcher and a multinational executive or manager.
Immigration forms are available online, or by calling 1-800-870-3676, or by submitting an online request to receive immigration forms by mail. Further information on forms, filing fees, and fee waivers is available in USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations. Please see the USCIS field offices for more information on USCIS office locations.
For more information, return to: Employment Immigration Green Cards