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EB-1A Visa: For Employees Of Extraordinary Ability

EB-1A visa is available to foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. To demonstrate your extraordinary ability, some specific criteria must be met. Also, you have the burden to prove that you have sustained national or international acclaim for your achievements, and you have risen to the very top of you field.

Common Questions And Answers About EB-1A Visas

What criteria do I need to meet if I want to apply EB-1A visa? Are those hard to meet?

Extraordinary ability can be demonstrated by receipt of a major internationally recognized award such as Nobel Prize or the Academy Award. This one is very hard to meet for most people.

Alternatively, however, there are relatively easier criteria available for most of the EB-1A applicants. For these criteria, you must meet three out of the 10 criteria below to prove extraordinary ability in your field:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Published material about you in professional or major trade publications or any other major media
  • That you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Proof of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or any other major media
  • Your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • You command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Commercial successes in the performing arts

Some of the criteria may not apply to some fields. For example, “evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts” will not apply to a biologist who wants to apply EB-1A for himself. Since you only need to meet three criteria to proceed your EB-1A case, the selection of the criteria is crucial to your case.

Do I need a U.S. employer to file the EB-1A petition for me? Can I file it for myself?

You do not need a U.S. employer to file the petition for you and the EB-1A petition is available for self-petitioning.

However, it could potentially be helpful if you have a prospective U.S. employer who is willing to hire you to work in your field or if you are currently working in the U.S. in your field. This could help satisfy the EB-1A requirement that you intend to continue working in your chosen field.

After approval of my O-1 petition. I heard that EB-1A has similar criteria to O-1. Is it certain that I get the EB-1A approval after applying for it?

No. The approval of an O-1 petition does not compel USCIS to approve an EB-1A petition. Actually, the standard for EB-1A is much higher. The approval of O-1 may be a “relevant” consideration.

Can I apply EB-1A for myself while I am outside of the U.S?

Yes, you can. If your EB-1A case gets approved, you can get your EB-1A visa through U.S. Consulate in your country.

How long does it take to get the result for my EB-1A petition?

The normal processing time is 4-6 months. However, an EB-1A case is available for Premium Processing which will cost $1,225 and the case processing time would be only 15 calendar days.

After approval of my EB-1A petition. When can I get my Green card?

After your EB-1A is approved, you will need to file an application called I-485 to adjust your status to permanent resident to get the green card. Note that even if you can get your EB-1A case approved. You may still need to wait for some period of time before you can file the I-485 application. This depends on when your priority date can become current according to the dates listed on the visa bulletin for people from your country. If the USCIS approves your I-485 application, you will officially become a legal permanent resident in the U.S.

What is the filing fee for an EB-1A petition?

The USCIS filing fee of EB-1A petition is $700. If you would like to use Premium Processing service for your case, the cost would be additional $1,225.

If I have more questions on an EB-1A visas?

Please feel free to contact us for a free initial case evaluation. You may also call us at 408-606-8911. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding EB-1A that you may have. Fok Immigration Law can also help you with temporary employment or other permanent employment visas.