The EB-1A Visa is an immigration visa that fits in the EB-1A first preference visa category. The EB-1A classification applies to individuals who have notably distinguished themselves in a particular field of expertise or study. EB-1A applicants must demonstrate an extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. Out of the three total categories for EB-1 status, only the EB-1A permits self-petition.
This means that the individual may petition for their EB-1A status themselves without an employer petitioning on their behalf. Immigration law also does not require those of EB-1A status to have received a job offer or labor certification in order to enter the U.S. as a green card resident.
EB-1A Visa Qualifications
Though the EB-1A Visa is granted to individuals who have extraordinary abilities, they must also meet certain requirements that solidify their place as an extraordinary and worthy of being accepted in the first-preferential category. Aliens that live in the U.S. or another country are eligible for EB-1A classification if they are able to demonstrate extraordinary abilities in the above mentioned fields, as well as have their abilities verified through well-supported and “extensive documentation”, according to the USCIS.
Prestigious, globally recognized achievements such as an Olympic Medal, Nobel Prize, or Academy Award are generally requisite evidence of high success. For those who have demonstrated great abilities and high achievement in scholarship, the EB-1A visa makes it easy for them to obtain permanent resident status. Such people like scholars, researchers, Ph.D. students or other professionals with advanced degrees are at an advantage in applying for an EB-1A green card.
If applicants do not possess a prestigious award or achievement, they may still demonstrate their extraordinary abilities through extensive documentation of other means. To prove extraordinary ability in their field, applicants still can obtain an EB-1A visa by meeting 3 out of the 10 official criteria for EB-1A status:
- Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
- Evidence of 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 of judging the work of others, either individually or on a panel
- Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
- Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
- Evidence of performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
- Evidence of high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
- Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts
In addition to meeting the above criteria, applicants must also state their intention to continue pursuing employment in the U.S. within their field of extraordinary achievement. This way, they are demonstrating that their work or study will be of maximum benefit to the interests of the U.S.
EB-1A Application Process
The EB-1A application is filed using Form I-140, a Petition For Alien Worker. Since no offer of employment or employer sponsorship is necessary for obtaining an EB-1A Visa, aliens are allowed to petition for the visa themselves. However, they must ensure that they provide the supporting documentation necessary to prove that they have met at least 3 out of the 10 above-mentioned requirements to qualify for EB-1A status.
Since the petitioning process for an EB-1A visa is individual, obtaining an EB-1A visa is one of the quickest ways to obtaining a green card.
Consult With An Immigration Attorney
Because of the complexity of the EB-1A application process, it is important that applicants retain an experienced immigration attorney. Johnson & Masumi has extensive legal experience in assisting individuals with EB-1A applications and handling any complications that may occur. We take an approach that maximizes the chances of a client’s EB-1A petition being successful. Call our offices or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.