An Employment-based First Preference Immigration petition (EB-1) is an immigration petition for the aliens who have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. Each occupational category has certain requirements that must be met. Priority workers receive about 40,000 annual visas for EB-1 category. The most notable advantages for aliens who qualify for an EB-1 category is (1) that the Labor Certification requirement in their green card process is waived, and (2) that visa numbers are almost always current for the EB-1 category. This means that an alien will not have to wait for visa numbers to become available before applying for Adjustment of Status (I-485) and receiving a green card.
There are three sub-groups in this category:
- EB-1(a): Persons of “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics”.
To quality as “extraordinary”, the applicant must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Applicants’ achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. However, such applicants do not have to have a specific job offer of employment so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue work in the field for which they are recognized to have extraordinary ability.
Requirement: EB-1(a) petition must be accompanied by evidence of receipt of a highly prestigious, internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize or an Academy Award. However, in the absence of an internationally recognized award, the alien can establish him or herself as an alien of Extraordinary Ability by providing documentation of any three (3) of the following:
- 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, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their fields;
- Evidence of published material in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence of participation as a judge (individually or as a part of a panel) evaluating the work of others;
- 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 your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Evidence of performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations/ establishment with a distinguished reputation;
- Evidence that high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
- Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by either box office receipt figures or cassette, compact disk, video, or DVD sales figures. The alien must show that his or her admittance into the U.S. will substantially benefit the U.S. in the future.
Application Process: The applicant may petition for his or her own behalf by filing a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. No labor certification is required.
- EB-1(b): Outstanding Professors and Researchers.
To qualify as an outstanding professor/ researcher, the applicant must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. The applicant must have at least 3 years’ experience in teaching or research in that academic area and must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education.
Requirement: An EB-1(b) petition must be accompanied by evidence and documentation that the petitioner is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field. Such evidence must include at least two (2) of the following:
- 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 alien’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.
Application Process: The alien’s employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. No labor certification is required for this classification, but the prospective employer (universities or private employers that have established research departments) must provide a job offer and serve as the petitioner in the I-140 petition.
- EB-1(c): Certain executives and managers subject to an international transfers to the U.S.
In order to qualify for EB-1(c) category, the applicant must
- The immigrant must have been working for a company in the executive or managerial position outside the U.S. for at least one year in three years immediately preceding the filing of the EB-1C petition (if the person is already in the U.S. on a temporary visa (i.e. L-1A), it is possible to qualify based on having been employed as an executive or manager at that company for one of the three years before arriving in the U.S.);
- The immigrant must be coming to the U.S. to work in an executive or a managerial capacity – i.e. (1) management of organization, (2) supervision and control of other supervisory, managerial, or professional personnel or management of an essential function, (3) authority to make personnel decision (hire-fire, etc) or functioning at a senior level if a function is managed; and (4) exercise of discretion over operations or a function.
o Note: It has to be a bona fide managerial employee and that merely first-line supervisors are not included and staffing levels are to be considered in relation to the reasonable needs of the business and its stage of development.
- The U.S. operation must be the parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of a company in another country and must already have been doing business for at least one year.
EB-1(c) petitions pertain to managers and executives who meet the L-1A non-immigrant standards and are interested in becoming lawful permanent residents. While the requirements for EB-1(c) are similar to those for the L-1A visa application requirements are similar, the main difference between L-1A and EB-1(c) is that L1-A status is offered to those who will be coming to the United States only temporarily and EB-1(c) is for those who are interested in obtaining a green card status. Although L-1A status is not a prerequisite for immigrant benefits in this category, an immigrant petitioner will have a stronger case for the EB-1C immigrant category if they were in L-1A status prior. However, it is also possible for clients to apply for EB-1C status without ever having obtained L-1A status.
Application Process: The alien’s employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. No labor certification is required for this classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and serve as the petitioner in the I-140 petition.