EB1 priority workers include
1. Persons of Extraordinary Ability;
2. Outstanding Professors and Researchers; and
3. Executives and Managers of Multinational Corporations.
Persons of extraordinary ability must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.
Outstanding professors and researchers must demonstrate international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. They must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area. They must be entering the U.S. in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or a comparable research position at a university, institution of higher education, or private employer.
Multinational executives and managers must have been employed outside the U.S. for at least 1 year in the 3 years preceding the petition or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission if they are already working for the U.S. petitioning employer. The U.S. petitioner must have been doing business for at least 1 year, have a qualifying relationship to the entity you worked for outside the U.S., and intend to employ them in a managerial or executive capacity.
We discuss the criteria for qualifying for each of these 3 categories below:
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EB1 Persons of Extraordinary Ability
In order to qualify, you must demonstrate that you have extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics. This must be demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, and your achievements must have been recognized in your field through extensive documentation. You must be entering the US to continue work in your area of extraordinary ability, and your entry must substantially benefit prospectively the US.
No offer of employment is required.
USCIS uses a two-part adjudicative approach to evaluate the evidence submitted.
First, you must meet 3 out of 10 criteria. If these criteria do not readily apply to your occupation, you may submit comparable evidence to show your eligibility.
Second, all of the evidence which is submitted will be reviewed in its totality for a final merits determination of whether you qualify as a person of extraordinary ability.
EB1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers
To qualify as an EB1 outstanding professor or researcher, you must (1) be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area; (2) have at least three years of teaching or research in the academic area; and (3) seek to enter the US for (a) a tenured or tenure-track position within a university or other institute of higher education to teach in the academic area.
You must include documentation of at least 2 of 6 criteria and an offer of employment from the prospective U.S. employer.
EB1 Multinational Executives and Managers
You must have been employed outside the United States for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation during the 3 years preceding the petition and you must be seeking to enter the United States to continue service for that firm or organization. Your 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.
Employer Criteria for Multinational Managers and Executives:
- Your petitioning employer must be a U.S. employer.
- Your employer must have been doing business for at least 1 year, as an affiliate, a subsidiary, or as the same corporation or other legal entity that employed you abroad.
An employer starts the EB1 process by filing an I-140 visa petition with the USCIS. However, persons of extraordinary ability are free to self-petition.
What is Your EB1 Priority Date?
Your priority date is your place in line to get a green card.
Your priority date is the day that the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) received an I-140 visa petition filed by you or your employer.
Once you know what your EB-1 priority date is, you can see whether it is “current” by checking the State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin.
Most persons in the EB1 category apply to adjust their status to permanent residents without leaving the United States. However, it is also possible for you to apply for an immigrant visa abroad. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to apply for green cards along with you.
28.6% of the 140,000 employment-based green cards, or approximately 40,000 visas PLUS unused special immigrant and investor visas, if any, are reserved for persons in the EB1 category each year.
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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