Green Cards

EB1

Q: What is EB-1 status?

First Preference is an employment-based immigrant classification that exempts accomplished aliens recognized as "priority workers" from Labor Certification. Thus, EB-1 aliens may apply for permanent resident status without having to undergo this lengthy, expensive, and uncertain process. The EB-1 visa is divided into three sub-categories:

  • Aliens of Extraordinary Ability in the Arts, Sciences, Business, Education, or Athletics (EB-1(a));
  • Outstanding Professors and Researchers (EB-1(b)); and
  • International Managers and Executives (EB-1(c)).
Q: Does an alien need an offer of employment?

The EB-1(a) category does not require that an alien have a permanent job offer. An EB-1 alien of extraordinary ability may therefore file an I-140 immigration petition by himself or herself, without an employer sponsor. However, both the EB-1(b) and EB-1(c) categories require that an alien have a permanent job offer. Here, a United States employer must file the I-140 immigration petition on behalf of an outstanding professor or researcher, or an international manager or executive.

Q: For EB-1(a) category, how can an alien prove his or her "extraordinary ability?"

A: An alien’s "extraordinary ability" in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics must be demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. His or her achievements must be recognized through extensive documentation in the field, and must represent a level of expertise reached by only a small percentage of people at the very top of the field. For example, evidence of the receipt of a major, internationally recognized award – such as a Nobel Prize or Academy Award – will establish EB-1(a) qualification. Alternatively, without such an award, an alien may establish qualification by producing documentation of at least three of the following:

  • Receipt of a lesser nationally – not necessarily United States – or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field;
  • Membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements by their members;
  • Published material in a professional or major trade publication, or in the major media, related to the alien or the alien’s work in the field, or scholarly articles in the field written by the alien and published in a professional journal or in the major media;
  • A judicial role – individually or as part of a panel – over the work of others in the field;
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions of major significance;
  • Display of the alien’s work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  • Performance of a leading or indispensable role for organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations;
  • Past command of a high salary, or other significantly high remuneration, for services performed in the field; or
  • Commercial successes in the performing arts.
Q: For EB-1(b) visas, how can an alien establish status as an "outstanding" professor or researcher?

A: Three primary legal requirements must be met by an alien seeking to petition as an "outstanding" professor or researcher, including:

  • A tenured or tenure-track teaching or comparable research position with an expectation of long term employment at a United States university or other institution of higher education – if the employer is a private company rather than a university or educational institution, the department, division, or institute of the private employer must employ at least three full-time researchers as well as provide accompanying documentation supporting their accomplishments within the academic field;
  • At least three years of relevant teaching or research experience – teaching or research experience obtained while pursuing an advanced degree, such as a Ph.D., may be counted toward this three-year requirement if such teaching or research has been recognized as outstanding; and
  • Outstanding scientific or scholarly achievement in a particular field

Evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized as "outstanding" in an academic field must include documentation of at least two of the following:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
  • Membership in associations that require outstanding achievements by their members;
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field, or scholarly books or articles in the field written by the alien and published in scholarly journals with international circulation;
  • A judicial role – individually or as part of a panel – over the work of others in the same or allied academic field; or
  • Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field.
Q: For EB-1(c) visas, how can an international manager or executive establish eligibility for "priority worker" status?

The following three legal requirements must be met by an alien seeking permanent transfer to the United States as a top-level manager or executive:

  • The alien must have been employed in a managerial or executive capacity by a firm or corporation outside of the United States for at least one year within the three years preceding the petition, and he or she must seek to continue employment with a United States branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the same firm or corporation;
  • The firm or corporation must conduct business within the United States and a foreign country in the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods or services; and
  • The firm or corporation must have been conducting business in the United States for at least one year.

An alien can meet the "managerial capacity" requirement by providing proof that he or she:

  • Manages the organization, department, component, or function;
  • Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, managerial, or professional personnel;
  • Has authority to make personnel hiring and firing decisions; and
  • Exercises discretion over day-to-day operations or functions.

An alien can meet the "executive capacity" requirement by providing proof that he or she:

  • Directs management of an organization, major component or function;
  • Establishes goals and policies;
  • Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
  • Receives only general supervision from higher executives, board of directors, or stockholders.

Contact Information

U.S. Office Address: 
60 East 42nd Street, 46th Floor             New York, NY 10165, USA
Phone: 646 480-5779 x 4652

Taiwan Office Address:                       台灣台北建國北路二段66號7樓
66 Jianguo North Road, Section 2, 7th Floor, Taipei, Taiwan 
Phone: 02 2515 5855

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