The EB-1A Green Card is an extraordinary visa category designed for individuals with exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. This category offers a unique avenue for such highly skilled people to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
In order to qualify for an EB-1A Green Card, applicants must demonstrate that they possess extraordinary ability in their field and are able to contribute substantially to the progress of their respective area.
To prove extraordinary ability, you must provide evidence of a one-time achievement such as winning a major international award or honor (e.g.: Nobel Prize, Oscar, Pulitzer, etc.) or be recognized by experts in the field as having a level of expertise significantly above their peers. Alternatively, you may demonstrate that you have had sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for your accomplishments over a period of time by having at least 3 of the below 10 listed criteria:
• Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
• Evidence of your 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 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 process of applying for the EB-1A Green Card consists of two steps, rather than the traditional three step employment-based green card process. First, the applicant must file Form I-140 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form requires documentation to demonstrate that the applicant meets the criteria mentioned above.
Next, if USCIS approves Form I-140 and the applicant is inside the U.S., the applicant can then file Form I-485, which is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form requires additional documents such as proof of identity and criminal background checks, among others. If the applicant is from a country where there are no visa backlogs, then the I-140 and I-485 can be filed concurrently.
If the applicant is outside of the U.S., then after Form I-140 approval, the applicant may file for an immigrant visa with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which will include an in-person interview. At this time, the applicant will need to provide additional documents such as proof of medical examination or police records.
The primary advantage of the EB-1A Green Card is that it provides permanent resident status, allowing the individual to live and work in the United States indefinitely. Unlike other visa categories, no job offer or labor certification is required, and the processing times are typically shorter. This makes the EB-1A an attractive choice for those with extraordinary abilities seeking to establish a permanent home in the United States.
Learn everything you need to know about applying for an EB-1A green card, from timelines and costs to what you should expect when submitting your application! Schedule a consultation to get answers from the experts at Direct U.S. immigration!