EB1 Visa: Become a U.S Permanent Resident via Education or Work
The EB1 Visa is an employment-based green card available to foreign nationals who demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field, whether the sciences, the arts, education, business, or athletics. So, apart from family and immediate relative immigration visas like IR1 and IR2 CR1, the United States of America also gives visas to people who have professional ability in their area of study, qualifying them to work in the U.S. Moreover, these Employment Sponsored Visas allow foreign workers who have found an employer willing to hire them to come to the U.S. permanently and work without an Employment Authorization Document.
With respect to the provision of this visa, we provide you with a thorough guide and easy process to apply for this EB1 Visa. In addition, we have also covered the visa application cost, requirements, and other necessary information you need for this visa.
Meaning of EB1 Visa
The EB1 Visa is an immigrant visa and one of the U.S. employment-based visa categories. Some refer to it as the most employment-based green card category because it offers flexibility and advantages that similar visas don’t.
Moreover, the EB1 Visa allows certain Multinational Executives, Managers, and people with extraordinary abilities in science, art, education, business, or sport to gain legal permanent residence in the U.S. The best way for many immigrant workers to gain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. may be the EB1C employment-based immigrant visas for multinational managers and executives.
The EB1C immigrant visa process is relatively quick compared to other employment-based immigration. It also allows the entry of business people with no significant investment requirement.
Qualifications to Apply for the EB1 Visa
The qualification for an EB1 visa is based on the various achievements that people have made. Therefore, the U.S. government has divided the EB1 visa into three sub-categories:
- People with extraordinary abilities in arts, science, education, athletics, and business.
- The achievements of these people must be extensive and/or internationally recognized, and they do not need an employment offer to apply for the EB1 visa.
- Outstanding professors and researchers who have received international recognition for their contributions in their fields.
- The professors and researchers must have at least three years of experience in research or teaching, and they must prove that they are coming to the U.S. to continue advancing their field in research or teaching positions in a university.
- Multinational managers or executives who have been working for an international branch of a U.S. company for at least one year in the past three years.
- They must be applying for an EB1 visa to continue working for that company and their position in the U.S. must match or be higher than the one they had in a foreign country.
General Eligibility Criteria for EB1 Visa
Based on the three sub-categories of the EB1 visa, there are various requirements that applicants must meet.
Standard EB1 eligibility criteria
To qualify for the EB1 green card category, you must prove that you meet at least 3 of the criteria below:
- Have received a national or international prize/award for their achievements and excellence.
- Be a member of an association for their field, which continuously asks for advancements from its members.
- Have published papers or research in your field which has been recognized in journals or the media.
- Be asked to evaluate other people’s work either as an individual or in a panel.
- Contribution in your field in a scholarly, scientific, artistic, athletic, or business-related field in a significant way.
- Have written articles that have been published in trade publications or major media.
- Have your work featured in exhibitions or other showcases.
- Evidence that you have performed a crucial role in a distinguished organization.
- Receive a high salary and you are expected to be paid significantly as compared to others in your field.
- Be the recipient of commercial success in performing arts.
EB1 eligibility criteria for Professors and Researchers
The eligibility for an EB1 visa by the Professor or Researcher category states you must meet 2 of the criteria below and have an offer from a U.S. employer.
- Be the recipient of awards/prizes for your achievements.
- Be a member of an association for their field which continuously asks for advancements from its members.
- Proof that others have written and published material about your work and achievements in your field.
- Evidence that you were asked to evaluate the work of other people either as an individual or in a panel
- Be an author of scholarly or scientific contributions in your field.
- Have written and published articles or books in international trade journals in your field.
EB1 Eligibility Criteria for Multinational Managers
To qualify for the Multinational Manager or Executive EB1 visa, you must:
- Have a valid job offer from the company which has a branch or subsidiary in the foreign country, and you were employed or worked with them.
How to Apply for the EB1 Visa?
The application process for EB1 visas has multiple steps which involve both the employer and the foreign employee. The application process has these two parts:
- The U.S. employer obtains labor certification and files the necessary petitions.
- If approved, the foreign employee then applies for the EB1 visa at a U.S. Embassy in their home country.
If you are applying based on Extraordinary Abilities, you do not need to have an employer file a petition, but you can file one yourself. However, for the Professor/Researcher and Multinational Manager EB1 visas, you must have an employer file the petition.
EB1 visa application procedures from U.S. employer
The first person to initiate the application process for EB1 Visa is the employer of which; the processes are:
#1. Getting the labor certification
The first requirement for a U.S. employer to hire a foreign employee is to get a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. This is done by filing Form ETA 750 to the DOL. By submitting this form, the U.S. employer states that they have tried to find a U.S. employee for that job position but could not and that the foreign worker will be paid a prevailing wage.
The DOL processes the form, and the employer and employee are notified of the decision. If approved, the U.S. employer can go on to the next step, but the foreign worker cannot get an EB1 visa if the certification is denied.
#2. Filing the petition
In addition to the labor certification, the employer must file a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is done by filing Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The employer must also attach financial statements, audits, and tax returns to prove that the company is financially stable. For the Extraordinary Ability EB1 visa, you, as the applicant, can file the petition to USCIS and pay the fee.
Afterward, USCIS will process the petition and will notify the employer. Finally, the case will go to the National Visa Center (NVC) if approved. If denied, the U.S. employer is not allowed to hire a foreign worker.
#3. Get the NVC Case Number and Invoice ID
When the case goes to the NVC, they assign a case number and invoice I.D. number. These documents will be part of the package with instructions on how to apply that will be sent to the foreign employee in their home country. However, since there is a cap on the EB1 visas, the NVC will only send this package when the applicant’s priority date becomes current.
EB1 visa application procedures for foreign worker
Outside the application procedures of the employer on the employee’s behalf, the worker also undergoes the following procedures to apply:
#1. File Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application
The applicant or foreign worker must complete this form which serves as an application for the EB1 visa. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will process the form they are applying for.
#2. Complete medical examination and vaccination
In the NVC package, there will also be requirements about medical examinations and vaccination that the applicant must conduct. Again, the applicant must go to a licensed doctor to complete the documents and have them signed.
#3. Compile the supporting documents file for the EB1 visa
After the NVC approves your Form DS-260, you must send the supporting documents for your case.
Supporting documents for EB1 Visa
You must provide the following documents to your application file in the process of EB1 application:
- Your passport must be valid for more than six months after your intended departure to the U.S.
- Your employment offer from the U.S. employer
- The approved labor certification
- The approved petition
- Your DS-260 confirmation page
- Your signed medical and vaccine documents
- Two photographs meet the requirements for a U.S. visa photo
- Proof that you meet the criteria for the category you are applying
- Letters from previous employers
- Court and criminal records
- The NVC might require other supporting documents depending on the case, so you must follow their instructions carefully.
#4. Attend the EB1 visa interview
The NVC will review your application and supporting documents, and if there are no more requirements, they will schedule an interview for you at the U.S. Embassy you are applying from. Attend the interview and be as specific as possible in answering the questions regarding your background and other details. The interviewer will make the final decision on whether they should issue you an EB1 visa or not.
#5. Receive the NVC package and travel to the U.S.
If your EB1 visa is approved, you will receive a package from the NVC. You must not open this package under any circumstances. Take it with you when you travel to the U.S. and give it to an immigration officer at a U.S. port of entry. Only they are allowed to open it and decide whether you should be allowed to enter the country or not.
How to get a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status
What to do after you have gotten your EB1 visa is to get a Green Card. To change your Status from your immigrant visa to a Lawful Permanent Resident, you must first have an approved petition from USCIS and the visa, as well as life in the U.S.
Afterward, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to USCIS. This form will be processed, and if approved, you will get your Green Card in the mail after a few weeks.
Other Types of Employment Preference Visas
Other types of Employment Visa
EB1 Visa or First Priority Workers Visa is for outstanding professors, researchers, people with extraordinary abilities in arts, science, business, athletics, or education, as well as executive managers who have worked at a foreign branch of a U.S. company for the past three years
EB2 Visa or Second Priority Workers Visa is for professionals with advanced degrees and people with extraordinary abilities in arts, sciences, or business.
EB3 Visa or Third Priority Workers Visa is for skilled workers with more than two years of experience, professionals with a higher education degree, or unskilled workers with less than two years of experience (EW-3 Visa).
EB4 Visa or Fourth Priority Workers Visa is for various religious, government, or international organizations workers
EB5 Visa or Fifth Priority Workers Visa is for investors in the U.S. who will invest between $500K to $1 million in the U.S. economy
What are the EB1 visa fees?
There are many fees that you are responsible for paying while you apply for the EB1 visa. The amounts vary and are decided by USCIS and the U.S. Embassy in the country you are applying to. In general, you will have to pay the following fees:
- USCIS Form I-140 petition filing fee
- Form DS-260 processing fee
- Medical examination fees
- Fees for obtaining supporting documents
How long is the EB1 Visa Processing Time?
The processing time for an EB1 visa can be from a few months to a few years. Since employment-based visas have a cap, the EB1 processing time can be long. This is determined by when you apply and whether you are next in line from USCIS and NVC.
Do I Get Access to American Healthcare With an EB1 Visa?
Yes, you will have access to healthcare in the United States as an EB1 visa holder; however, the costs of getting medical treatment in the U.S. are one of the highest in the world.
Treating a broken leg or arm will cost you $2,500, while staying at a U.S. hospital may cost over $10,000, on average. So you should pick a health insurance plan that fits you best, is affordable, and covers your needs.
How hard is it to get an EB1 visa?
EB-1A Visas are the most difficult to get and the most flexible, as you can self-petition without a job offer. You’ll need to fulfill 3 of 10 USCIS requirements or show a one-time achievement that justifies the visa offer. Examples are winning a Pulitzer Prize, an Oscar, or an Olympic medal.
Is an H1B visa holder eligible for EB1?
Yes, but you must have worked for this employer abroad for at least one consecutive year in the three years before filing your petition. In addition, you must be coming to the U.S. to work as a manager or executive for that employer.
How long is an EB-1 green card valid?
Ten years. Employment-based green cards are valid for ten years. At the end of the validation period, you will need to apply to renew your EB1A.
So if you want employment with an opportunity for permanent residence in the U.S., apply for US EB1 Visa by following our guide and steps. Always visit our website for more information.