EB-1 Visa GuideThe EB-1 Visa is an immigrant employment visa for persons with extraordinary ability (EB-1A), outstanding professors and researchers (EB-1B), and multinational managers and executives (EB-1C). The EB-1 Visa grants permanent residence (Green Card) to applicants that met the requirements of having national or international awards and recognition. A U.S. permanent residence (Green Card) allows EB 1 Visa holders to stay and work in the U.S. indefinitely. 

EB1A Visa applicants are able to self-petition for the EB1 Green Card without a sponsoring employer and labor certification. Applicants for the EB1B Visa and EB1C Visa must have a job offer from a sponsoring U.S. employer. The priority dates for applicants from all countries remain “current” for the EB1 Visa which means that there is no backlog in the visa application. Meeting the eligibility criteria for the EB-1 Visa can be challenging and requires extensive evidence of outstanding and extraordinary ability. 

What is an EB-1 Visa?

The EB-1 Visa is the first-preference employment-based immigration visa for foreign priority workers. The EB-1 Visa has subcategories for persons with extraordinary ability (EB-1A), outstanding professors and researchers (EB-1B), and certain multinational managers and executives (EB-1C). The EB1 Visa allows eligible applicants to have permanent residence (green card) in the United States. 

How Does an EB-1 Visa Work?

There are about 40,000 EB1 Visas available to applicants who are able to demonstrate their extraordinary ability in the fields of arts, sciences, business, and education. Proof of extraordinary ability come in the form of international or national awards, membership in high-achievement groups or associations, and being featured in high-profile publications. EB-1A Visa applicants are able to self-petition for the EB1 Visa even without employer sponsorship. EB-1B and EB-1C Visa applicants have to be petitioned by U.S. employers to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the EB1 Green Card.

Who is Eligible for an EB-1 Visa?

Each EB-1 Visa subcategory has specific eligibility requirements. Here we will discuss each qualification criteria for the EB1A Visa, EB1B Visa, and EB1C Visa categories. 

EB1A Visa applicants must demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics and have sustained national or international acclaim. You must meet at least 3 of these criteria to qualify for the Extraordinary Ability Green Card.

  • Received a national or international award for your field such as a Pulitzer, Oscar, or Olympic Medal.
  • Be a member of an organization that continually requires advancements and outstanding achievement from its members.
  • Produced publications that have been recognized in journals or media.
  • Judged the work of other people as an individual or as a member of a panel.
  • Contributed significantly to the advancement of your field in science, art, sports, or business.
  • Been the subject of major trade publications or major media.
  • Had your work displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases. 
  • Performed a leading or crucial role in distinguished organizations. 
  • Commanded a high salary for your services.
  • Had significant commercial success in the field of performing arts. 

EB1B Visa outstanding professors and researchers must have at least 3 years of teaching or research experience. EB-1B Visa applicants must be seeking to enter the US to pursue tenure track teaching or a comparable research position at a university, an institution of higher education, or a private employer. You must meet at least 2 of the criteria below to qualify for the EB1B Green Card.

  • Received major prizes or awards for your outstanding achievement/s.
  • Be a member of associations that require its members to have outstanding achievement/s.
  • Participated as a judge, individually or as a member of a panel, to evaluate the work of others in your field.
  • Contributed scientific or scholarly research in your field.
  • Authored scholarly books or articles in your field that are circulated internationally.
  • Had your work cited or featured in written professional publications. 

EB1C Visa multinational managers and executives must be employed by the U.S. petitioning employer outside of the United States for at least 1 year. The minimum 1-year employment must be within 3 years of the EB1C Green Card petition. The U.S. petitioning employer must have been doing business in the U.S. for at least 1 year and have a qualifying relationship to the entity you worked for as a manager or executive. 

What are the Benefits of EB-1 Visa?

These are the top benefits of the EB1 Visa for persons with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives.

  • No Labor Certification requirement. EB-1 Visa applicants are not required to have an approved labor certification to become eligible for the EB1 Green Card. A labor certification is obtained from the Department of Labor to show that no qualified US worker can fill the job at the prevailing wage. Skipping the labor certification stage allows for faster processing of the EB1 Visa applicants. 
  • Current priority dates. The priority dates for the EB-1 Visa are “current” for all countries meaning that there is no backlog in the application process. 
  • Permanent residence in the US. You and your dependent spouse and minor children become Green Card holders with the EB-1 Visa. You can live, work, travel, and study in the US without restrictions as permanent residents. 

What are the Risks of EB-1 Visa?

These are the disadvantages of the EB1 Categories for priority workers.

  • Challenging criteria for EB1. The eligibility for EB1 can be hard to meet and require extensive proof of extraordinary abilities to qualify.
  • Job offer requirement. Only EB-1 A Visa applicants are allowed to EB-1B and EB-1C Visa applicants have to obtain employer sponsorship and a valid job offer before applying for the EB1 Visa. The U.S. employer submits an immigrant petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the outstanding professor/researcher or the multinational manager/executive.

How Much Does an EB-1 Visa Cost?

The cost of an EB-1 Visa is $700 for the basic filing fee of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. These are the other costs for filing an EB1 Visa.

  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence (applicants within the US): $1,140
  • DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application (applicants outside the US): $325
  • Biometrics fee: $85
  • USCIS fee: $220
  • Costs for a medical exam, documentation, and travel expenses vary
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How to Apply for an EB-1 Visa?

These are the steps to get an EB-1 Visa Green Card through employment immigration.

  • Secure an EB1 Visa sponsorship from a U.S. employer. EB-1A Visa applicants do not need employer sponsorship to petition for an employment Green Card. 
  • File Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker to the USCIS.
  • Get your Green Card. 
    • Go through Consular Processing by accomplishing DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application if you are outside the US.
    • File an Adjustment of Status with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence if you are within the US.

How Long is the Process of EB-1 Visa?

The average EB1 Green Card processing time is 6-8 months. This average EB 1 processing time is applicable as long as the priority dates for the EB1 Visa for your country are “current”. You could check the Visa Appointment Wait Times in your US embassy or consulate if you are going through consular processing. 

How Long Does it Take to be Approved for an EB-1 Visa?

The application for an EB-1 Visa is quicker compared to other immigration visas with an average of 6-8 months of processing time. The optional premium processing shortens the USCIS processing of EB1A and EB1B Visas to 15 calendar days. The USCIS announced on September 15, 2022 that EB1C Visa applicants can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service if their petitions were received on or before January 1, 2022. The premium processing fee for EB-1 Visa is $2,500. 

What are the Requirements for an EB-1 Visa?

These are the documents required from you and your employer to meet the EB1 Visa requirements. 

  • Valid passport.
  • Two valid US Visa photos.
  • Job offer from your US employer.
  • Letters from previous employers.
  • Approved Form I-140.
  • Form DS-260 confirmation page if applying outside the US.
  • Evidence of your qualifications for the EB-1 Visa such as your awards, publications, association memberships, or your company’s organizational chart.
  • Government-issued identity document with your photo.
  • Birth certificate. 
  • Signed medical and vaccine documents.
  • Court and criminal records, if any.

How Long Can I Stay on an EB-1 Visa?

The EB-1 Visa is valid for 10 years. You can renew your EB1 Green Card indefinitely to maintain your status as a lawful permanent resident. 

What are the Interview Questions of EB-1 Visa?

Your visa interview for the EB-1 Visa will be centered on establishing the authenticity of your qualifications, the information you provided in your forms, and the supporting evidence of your eligibility for the EB1 Green Card. Here are 5 examples of EB1 Green Card Interview Questions & Answers.

  1. Who are you going to work for? You should mention your US sponsoring employer and know the details such as the organizational structure, services or goods offered, or location in the US of your petitioning company.
  2. What is your educational background? State your educational attainment and be ready with proof of your credentials.
  3. How much will you be paid for your job? You need to demonstrate that you have commanded or will command a high remuneration for your services to be eligible for the EB1 Visa.
  4. What are your job duties and responsibilities? Mention your roles and responsibilities as stated in your job offer.
  5. Who will be traveling with you to the US? Be honest if you will be coming to the US with your qualified dependents. 

What are the Countries that Can Apply for an EB-1 Visa?

China, Iran, South Korea, Brazil, and France were among the top countries with the most EB-1 Visas granted to their applicants in FY 2021 according to the Report of the Visa Office 2021 by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Applicants from any country can apply for the EB1 Visa as long as they meet the requirements of the Extraordinary Ability Green Card.

What are the Differences Between EB-1 Visa and EB-2 Visa?

The EB-1 Visa and EB-2 Visa are both under the employment-based immigration classification that grants permanent residence to qualified applicants. The EB-2 Visa is the second-preference employment immigration visa for persons with advanced degrees or exceptional ability. Here we have the main differences between the EB-1 vs. EB-2 Visas.

  • Eligibility. The EB-1 Visa requires applicants to demonstrate extraordinary ability through outstanding achievements and national or international recognition. The EB-1 Visa has lesser eligibility standards which include an advanced degree and at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate work experience. 
  • Priority dates. The priority dates for all countries remain “current” for the EB1 Visa. EB2 Visa applicants from China and India are experiencing backlogs in their EB2 Green Card applications.
  • National Interest Waiver. EB1A Visa applicants can self-petition for the EB-1 Green Card without a sponsoring employer and labor certification. EB-2 Visa applicants must first obtain a National Interest Waiver to skip the labor certification stage for the EB2 Visa. The National Interest Waiver is granted to individuals who are able to prove that the waiving of the labor certification benefits the US.

What are the Differences Between EB-1 Visa and Green Card?

The EB-1 Visa is a specific category of Green Card obtained through employment immigration. A Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) is a document that shows that a foreign citizen is allowed to reside in the U.S. indefinitely. The main difference between the EB1 Visa and US Green Card is in the eligibility for these visas. The EB-1 Visa is only for persons with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers and executives. Green Card eligibility depends on the immigration category applied for. Green Card eligibility includes immediate family members of US citizens or permanent residents, special immigrants, refugees or asylees, and victims of abuse, trafficking, and crime. 

Can the Spouse Work Under EB-1?

Yes, your dependent spouse can work legally in the U.S. if you hold an EB1 Visa. Your dependent spouse and minor unmarried children can come with you as Green Card holders with an approved EB-1 Visa.

Can I Obtain EB-1 Visa Despite Having a Criminal Record?

You have to go through additional steps to obtain an EB1 Visa with a criminal record. Immigration officers will evaluate you if you are qualified for an inadmissibility waiver to be granted entry into the US even with a criminal offense. An inadmissibility waiver permits inadmissible foreign citizens to enter the US if their crimes do not fall within the scope of inadmissibility grounds as per U.S. law. Foreign citizens with crimes that fall under the scope of inadmissibility grounds will not be given an inadmissibility waiver. You are inadmissible to enter the US if you have a record of crimes involving moral turpitude (kidnap, rape, murder, manslaughter, forgery) and drug violations. EB-1 Visa applicants with no record of these crimes will be recommended for an inadmissibility waiver. 

Can I Use an EB1 Visa to Access American Healthcare?

Yes, you gain access to American healthcare as an EB1 Green Card holder. It is recommended that you get a health insurance plan to cover your medical expenses while living in the US.

Is a Medical Examination Needed for an EB-1 Visa?

Yes, EB-1 Visa applicants are required to go through the Green Card Medical Examination to determine if they are admissible to the US or not. Medical inadmissibility for the EB1 Visa includes having communicable diseases of public significance, inability to show evidence of required vaccinations, mental conditions that result in harmful behavior, and substance abuse. 

Is Getting an EB-1 Visa Difficult?

Yes, the EB1 Visa can be difficult to obtain because of its requirements for outstanding achievements and proof of extraordinary ability. The approval rate for the EB-1 Visa was only at 28.8% as per the USCIS in 2021 with 7, 868 petitions that are still pending.