The EB-1 employment based immigrant visas are reserved for the most highly regarded foreign national employees. There are 3 separate categories under the EB-1 category: 1) People with Extraordinary Ability, 2) Outstanding Professors and Researchers, and 3) Multi-National Executives or Managers.

Below are the descriptions and requirements to qualify for each category. These categories do not require a labor certification and the category for Extraordinary Ability does not require a job offer (the applicant can self-petition without an employer). There are no delays or backlogs for this type of visa which means applicants may file the application concurrently with an application for Adjustment of Status (green card).

People with Extraordinary Ability (EB-1-1)

These petitions are reserved for people who have truly reached the very top in their professions. Unless the applicant has been nominated for, or received a major international award such as the Nobel Prize, Academy Award, Grammy, etc., the applicant must be able to show that he/she has established national or international acclaim for his or her work.

The applicant must show a minimum of 3 out of the 10 criteria below:
  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demands outstanding achievement of their members.
  • Evidence of published materials about you in professional on major trade publications or other major media.
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel.
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field.
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts.
The applicant must also show that he or she plans on continuing to work in their field and that his or her work will substantially benefit the U.S. It is very difficult to achieve USCIS approval in this category because of the recent federal court case Kazarian v. USCIS which placed increased scrutiny placed on these applications. In Kazarian, USCIS took the position that merely satisfying 3 out of the 10 above-listed criteria, in and of itself, is not enough for approval in this category.

USCIS has now added a 2nd requirement in evaluating these petitions. If an officer believes the applicant has satisfied 3 out of the 10 criteria, the applications must then be assessed as a whole to determine whether the applicant is extraordinary. This has resulted in a much higher percentage of denials in this category. Even though the criteria for this category are very similar to the O-1 temporary work visa, which are also used for people with extraordinary ability in the arts – in practice, USCIS has a much higher standard for EB-1 visas.

Our immigration attorneys at Weinstock Immigration Lawyers have represented a number of employers and individuals in extraordinary ability petitions. Our experienced immigration lawyers can help you prepare these petitions so your chances of success are much higher.

Outstanding Professors and Researchers (EB-1-2)

Any U.S. institution of higher education that seeks to employ a professor or researcher who is outstanding in an academic field may file an I-140 immigrant visa petition under the EB-1 classification. A petition for an outstanding professor or researcher must meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific area. Such evidence must include at least two of the following criteria:
    • Documentation of the applicant’s receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field.
    • Documentation of the applicant’s membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members.
    • Published material in professional publications written by others about the applicant’s work in the academic field.
    • Evidence of the applicant’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field.
    • Evidence of the applicant’s original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field.
    • Evidence of the applicant’s authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field.
  • The applicant has at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area.
  • The applicant must have an offer for a tenured or tenure-track position with a university or institution of higher education to teach in the academic areas, or to conduct research in the area.
Simply achieving a PhD or providing a CV showing all of your publications and research accomplishments will not be sufficient for a success outstanding professor and researcher application. The applicant must submit a detailed petition letter and voluminous exhibits with their application to prove that at least two criteria have been met. One of the most important evidence that is submitted are expert reference letters.

Weinstock Immigration Lawyers have successfully represented a number of universities and individuals in outstanding professors and researchers petitions. Our experienced immigration lawyers work with you in preparing these applications and expert letters on a customized basis that includes all the details required for USCIS to approve your petition. If you are interested in filing an outstanding professor or researcher petition for yourself or for one of your employees, call our office today so we can help you increase the likelihood of approval in your case.

Multi-National Executives or Managers (EB-1-3)

Most multi-national executives and managers enter the U.S. on an L-1A non-immigrant work visa. The requirements for the L-1A non-immigrant visa are very similar to the EB-1 requirements for Multi-National Executives or Managers. Managers and executives are defined in the same way between the two visa categories. An executive is one who directs the management of the company or a major part or function of the organization, and has a supervisory role in the organization (such as President, Vice President, Director, etc.). In contrast, a manager directs only part of the company, i.e., a department, or a singular function within the company.

However, in practice, USCIS imposes a higher standard of scrutiny on the EB-1 visas when compared to the L-1A visas. For example, an employee who has been approved for an L-1A visa previously will not necessarily be granted an EB-1 immigrant visa.

In general, the requirements for the EB-1-3 category are as follows:

  • There must be an active U.S. company or organization that is willing to offer you a permanent job in the U.S. The company must be doing business for over one year.
  • You must have worked abroad for one full year for a “qualifying related organization” that has a corporate ownership relationship with the petitioning company (for example, parent-subsidiary or affiliated companies). This one year work requirement must have been fulfilled within the 3 years preceding your entry into the U.S.
  • The company abroad must still be active.
  • Your one year of employment abroad and the offer of employment in the U.S. must be in a managerial or executive capacity.
The additional scrutiny the USCIS places on EB-1 visas makes it more difficult for approval. Nonetheless, Weinstock Immigration Lawyers has successfully filed many EB-1 petitions for our clients. If you wish to apply for yourself or for your employee, call our office today so we can help you achieve the most favorable results with the least amount of stress!
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