The EB-1 Visa for Permanent Workers


The EB-1 Visa for Permanent Workers

The EB category of visas is intended for workers wanting permanent residence in the U.S. One preference category of the EB visas is the EB-1 for applicants with extraordinary academic ability, outstanding professorial reputation, or managers and executives of multinational companies.

If you are applying for the EB-1 visa in the “extraordinary ability” category, it is not necessary to have a job offer in order to be granted your visa. However, you should have full documentation of your commendations in the arts, sciences, business or sports. In order to be eligible to get an EB-1 permanent visa with outstanding ability, you must meet at least 3 of the following criteria:

  • evidence of national or international prizes or awards
  • membership in selective or exclusive professional associations for highly qualified members
  • published material in relevant publications and well-known media
  • history or prospect of judging the work of others in your field
  • evidence of your major contributions to your field of work
  • commercial success or fame
  • history of a leading role in professional organizations
  • high salary or other significant compensation for your services in your field of work.
  • performance or participation in showcases or exhibitions

Applicants who have received a significant award, such as the Nobel Prize or Pulitzer, do not need to have meet the above criteria but must provide evidence of their winning.

Applicants applying for EB-1 preference visa for professors or researchers are required to have an offer of employment before applying for permission to immigrate with a work visa. The EB-1 for professors and researchers also requires at least 3 years of professional scholarly experience. In addition, applicants need to meet 2 of the following criteria in order to be eligible to apply:

  • receiving major prizes in the field of work
  • membership in professional associations requiring excellence and exclusivity
  • published materials by others about or in response to your work
  • authoring published works in the field
  • judging or commenting on (ex: working as a judging panelist) the work of others in the field.
  • evidence of significant contributions to your field

International executives or managers need to have been working their position for at least 3 years. In order to immigrate as a manager or executive, you need to have worked at the same company that will be employing you in the U.S. for at least the past year from abroad. You cannot have been working in that position in the U.S. prior to applying.

If you qualify for the EB-1 preference category for permanent work visas, you will need to file a petition for alien worker. If you are applying as an “extraordinary ability” applicant you can petition for your visa yourself. Professors, researchers, managers, and executives must have their U.S. based employer petition for their admittance on their behalf. This petition has a $580 filing fee and can be filed by sending your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services lockbox in Dallas.

Once you file this petition and a visa becomes available to you, you can also file your petition for permanent residence. This form, called the “change of status” form, will update your visa to that of permanent resident and you can then get your green card.

For more information and help with getting a visa, contact immigration attorney Phillip Kim

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