How can you make your EB1(a) Green Card?

The EB-1 Visa is a US immigrant visa that is part of the employment-based visa category. The EB-1 is a first-preference visa that is open to overseas nationals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, or certain multinational executives or managers. You must be able to show “sustained national or international acclaim” in your particular field (which can include the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics).

This type of visa, also known as a Green Card, grants permanent residency. This means that if you receive it, you can stay in the US indefinitely under your green card status. If you would like to apply for U.S. citizenship, you may do so after 5 years of continuous residence as a green cardholder.

The EB-1A Extraordinary Ability category has a number of advantages including:

  • Not requiring a permanent job offer in the U.S. or a labor certification.
  • Typically faster than the LCA process because you can file a petition and your application for permanent residency simultaneously (also known as concurrent filing).
  • There is greater flexibility than the labor certification process and you are able to change jobs sooner.
  • Self-petitioning is permitted which means it doesn’t require the signature of someone at the institution or company you are working.

There are some disadvantages to be made aware of. You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability, so being just average or good will not suffice. Sometimes, it can be less predictable than the labor certification process although this depends greatly from case to case.

Criteria for Demonstrating Extraordinary Ability

In order to demonstrate you have sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in your field of expertise, you must either include evidence of a one-time achievement (major internationally-recognized award) or 3 of the 10 listed criteria below (or comparable evidence if any of the criteria do not readily apply):

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your 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 your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts