EB-1, Extraordinary Abilities

EB-1 visas are reserved for immigrants who are among the most capable and accomplished in their professional fields within the arts, sciences, education, business, and sports. EB-1 Visas are immigrant visas, meaning that recipients will be allowed to stay in the United States permanently. The most notable advantage for those who qualify for an EB-1 petition is the lack of requirement of a labor certification requirement. Also, the EB-1 visa category is generaly always current, which means that an individual will not have to wait for visa numbers to become available before applying for adjustment of status and receiving a green card.

EB-1 Visas Are Divided Into Three Subgroups:

  1. EB-1A: Individuals of Extraordinary Ability 

  2. EB-1B: Outstanding Researchers/Professors

  3. EB-1C: Managers and Executive Transferees

EB-1A: Individuals of Extraordinary Ability

The EB-1A classification applies to aliens who have distinguished themselves professionally in their fields of work or study. EB-1A visa candidates do not have to secure sponsorship from an employer because EB-1A petitions require neither a job offer nor a labor certification.

The required qualifications are as follows:

  1. They are able to demonstrate “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim,” AND

  2. This extraordinary ability is well-supported through “extensive documentation.”

In the absence of such a rare honor, applicants can still demonstrate their extraordinary abilities, supported by extensive documentation, by meeting any three of the following 10 criteria:

  1. Evidence of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.

  2. Evidence of membership in associations in the field that demand outstanding achievement of their members.

  3. Evidence of published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications or other major media.

  4. Evidence of participation by the alien as a judge, either individually or on a panel, of others’ work.

  5. Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.

  6. Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or major trade publications or other major media.

  7. Evidence of work that has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.

  8. Evidence of having taken on a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.

  9. Evidence that the applicant commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration relative to others in the same field.

  10. Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts, as shown by either box office receipts or cassette, compact disc, video, or DVD sales.

Also: applicants must prove that they will continue to pursue work in the United States in the field in which they have demonstrated extraordinary abilities. A strong applicant will also show that their work is of substantial and prospective benefit to United States national interests.

EB-1B: Outstanding Researchers/Outstanding Professors

The EB-1B Visa classification applies to individuals who are internationally recognized as exceptional in a particular scientific or scholarly field. EB-1B visas are employer-sponsored visas; in other words, an employer must petition on behalf of an alien. The Employer must demonstrate that the individual has secured a permanent job offer with the employer and that the alien will continue his or her demonstrably “outstanding” abilities as a researcher or professor in that capacity. Individuals living within the United States or outside of the United States may apply for EB-1B Visas.

EB-1C: Managers and Executive Transferees

EB-1C Visas provide a route for small or new foreign companies to expand their businesses to the United States. The advantage to smaller companies is that the EB-1C Visa allows for the transfer of highly knowledgeable managers or executives who have extensive knowledge of the company’s operations. The intention is to help ensure that starting a new U.S. branch of a company is easy, methodical, and according to the specifications of the company.

The required qualifications are as follows:

Employer Qualifications

  • The employing company must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent, subsidiary, affiliate, etc.)

  • The employing company must conduct business in the United States and in one other country. The business may be done directly or through a subsidiary.

  • The company must exist for at least one year in the United States.

Employee Qualifications

The manager or executive must have been employed outside the United States with the related foreign company for 1 year in the preceding 3 years. The employment must have been in a managerial or executive capacity.

Managers must prove that they:

  • Manage a function or a department of the organization.

  • Supervise the work of others as well as hire and fire subordinates.

  • Are able to control the daily activities and salaries of employees

Executives must make sure they:

  • Are able to direct managers in your organization

  • Make far-reaching decisions without substantial supervision

  • Establish large-scale goals and policies

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