Who may be eligible under the first preference employment category?

Persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers and multi-national executives and managers.

Am I subject to labor certification and is there a cap on numbers?

As a priority worker, you are not subject to labor certification and since those who are eligible are in such a narrow class, while there is a numerical limit, visa numbers are almost always current.

What is an Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) visa?

This visa, which could be said to be the most advantageous of them all, is allocated to those described as one of a small percentage who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor.

What are the requirements of an Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) visa?

You must:

  • Have extraordinary ability in the arts, business, sciences or athletics which can be demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field by extensive documentation;
  • Seek entry to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability (although do not require an offer of employment); and
  • Substantially benefit prospectively the United States by entering.
What evidence do I submit?

The petition must be accompanied by extensive documentation of such extraordinary ability, which shall include evidence of a one-time achievement (that is, a major, international or national recognized prize or award), or at least three of the following:

  • Evidence of receipt of a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field of endeavor
  • Evidence of membership in associations which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized experts
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about your work
  • Evidence of participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field
  • Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, or business-related contributions of major significance
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence of the display of your work in exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence that you have performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments having a distinguished reputation
  • Evidence that you have commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales

How is the decision made?

The adjudicator will administer a two stage test when processing applications. If the first hurdle is surmounted, that is extensive and relevant evidence is proffered, the case will fall on an overall review of the merits i.e. is the applicant in the top 10% of his/her field of endeavor.

What are the requirements of an Outstanding Professor and Researcher (EB-1B) visa?

In order to be considered “outstanding”, you must:

  • Be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area – you must stand apart from the rest of the academic community through eminence and distinction;
  • Have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area; and
  • Possess the requisite offer of employment.

What evidence do I submit?

Evidence of recognition must include at least two of the following:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  • Membership in associations which require outstanding achievements of their members
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the applicant’s work
  • Participation as a judge (individually or as a part of a panel) evaluating the work of others in the same field or concentration
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions in the field
  • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books/articles in journals with an international circulation

Although this category does not require labor certification, a letter must be procured from:

  • A US university or institution of higher learning offering the applicant a tenured or tenure-track teaching or research position in the academic field; or
  • Department, division, or institute of a private or non-profit employer offering the applicant a comparable research position in the academic field. The department must demonstrate that it employs at least three persons full-time in research positions, and that it has achieved documented accomplishments in the academic field.
What are the requirements of a Multi-national Executives and Managers (EB-1C) visa?

Eligibility under this category is premised on fulfilment of the same criteria as under the L-1A nonimmigrant category, which is, the applicant:

  • Has been employed abroad for at least one year of the last three;
  • Was employed abroad in an executive or managerial role; and
  • Will be employed in an executive or managerial role in the US.

The petitioner company must:

  • Maintain a qualifying relationship with the beneficiary’s foreign employer;
  • Prove it will continue to exist at the time the immigrant petition is filed;
  • Be “doing business” in the US for at least one year

While it is by no means a pre-requisite, an immigrant petitioner will have a stronger case for the EB-1C category if they were previously in L-1A status.

What are the benefits of each of the EB-1 categories?
  • No labor certification requirement
  • Quicker process than other IV business categories
  • You as the employer need not show that there are no US workers for the position
  • Priority dates are almost always current so you need not wait years to get to the necessary place in line

What percentage of employment-based immigrant visas are allotted to EB-1?

28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.