E1 Visa
E1 Visa

What is the EB1 Visa

The United States is often referred to as the land of immigrants. There were 44.4 million foreign born individuals in the US as of 2017, accounting for 13.6% of the entire population of the country, according to an article by Pew Research Center. 

What is an EB1 Visa?

The EB-1 visa is an employment-based green card program. This visa is meant for individuals who have shown some extraordinary ability in their field or are excellent researchers or professors, or an executive of a multinational company transferred to the US. Such individuals are known as priority workers and 40,000 visas are available for this category every year. 

What are the Eligibility Criteria for the EB-1 Visa?

For being eligible for this visa, you must be able to prove that you meet the following requirements:

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This category is for:

  • Those with extraordinary abilities in the field of arts, science, business, education or athletics. The individual must have attained national or international acclaim for their work and must be recognized by the availability of extensive documentation.
  • Their immigration would be substantially beneficial for the US.
  • They should have continued to work in their field of expertise.


This category is for:

  • Individuals who have shown extraordinary talent in the field of academics. At least three years of teaching experience or research in that academic field is also necessary for being eligible under this category.
  • The person must seek to enter the United States for a tenure position in a higher education institute or university to teach or conduct research in their academic field.


Under this category:

  • The individual must have been employed in a country other than the United States for at least three years before the petition or must be employed with an organization for at least 12 months and would like to enter the US to continue their job in that organization.
  • The employment outside the US must be with the same employer, or with a subsidiary or affiliate, and in an executive or managerial position.

What are the Documents Required for the EB-1 Visa?

Also read: Who is eligible for the EB1 visa

Evidence Required for EB-1A Visa

For being eligible for an EB1 extraordinary ability petition, you must provide documentation of at least three of the following ten criteria:

  • Documentation of the person’s receipt of internationally recognized prizes or lesser nationality or awards of excellence in their particular field.
  • Evidence of the individual’s membership in association in the fields that require exemplary achievements of their members, as judged by national and international experts in their fields. 
  • Documentation of published material about the person in a professional or trade publication or any other major media. The published material must be related to the field of the person and the evidence must include date, title and author of the publication. The document must also include translation to English, if required.
  • Evidence of the participation of the person, as an individual or in a group, as a judge of the works of others. The material being judged must be from the field for which the classification is being sought.
  • Documentation of the original scholarly, scientific, athletic, artistic or business-related contributions of the individual.
  • Evidence of the person’s authorship of scholarly articles in major trade or professional publications or any other major media.
  • Proof that there has been display of the individual’s artwork in artistic exhibitions, showcases or galleries. 
  • Proof that the individual has been in a critical or leading role for an organization or company with a distinguished reputation.
  • Evidence that the person has a high salary, or any other significantly high remuneration compared to other fields. 
  • Proof of the person being successful in the field of performing arts. 

Evidence Required for EB-1B Visa

For proving yourself as an outstanding professor or researcher in your field, you must provide at least two of the following documents:

  • Proof that the person has received major awards or prizes for outstanding achievements in their field.
  • Documentation of the individual’s membership in associations in the academic field that demand exemplary achievements of their members.
  • Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the individual’s contribution in the academic field. Such publications must include the title, name of the author and date. It must also include translation to English, if required.
  • Evidence of the participation of the person, as an individual or in a group, as a judge of the works of others. The material being judged must be from the field for which the classification is being sought.
  • Documentation of the original scholarly or scientific research contributions of the individual.
  • Proof of authorship of scholarly articles or books in the field of the individual.

USCIS I-140 Form

For getting an EB-1 visa, you would also be required to fill the I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. The I-140 petition can be rejected in case the necessary documents are not provided. It must also be remembered that all photocopies of the documents must be clear and legible. The petition must be filed by the employer in case of “multinational manager or executive” and “outstanding professors and researchers”. 

Valid Passport

The individual must provide copies of all the pages of their current passport as well as the passport of their spouse and children. None of these passports must be older ten years.


The applicant would also be required to submit two passport-sized photographs. All the facial features and the upper shoulders must be clearly visible in the photographs. It’s important that these photographs are taken without any headgear or glasses that may hide your face.

Criminal Records

The applicant would also be required to disclose any criminal activity that they might ever have been involved in. In case there are records, you would be required to explain your charges.

Marriage Certificate

If the applicant intends to bring their spouse along with them, they must attach a copy of the marriage certificate. 

Birth Certificate

Birth certificates of children under 21 years of age are required, if the applicant plans to bring them along.

What is the EB1 Application Process?

PERM Labor Certification

PERM stands for Program for Electronic Review Management. Although not required for the EB-1 process, the PERM certification is necessary in case of EB-2 and EB-3. In the PERM labor certification, the employer is required to prove that there is no US citizen or permanent resident who is fit for these positions and no job would be taken away by foreign workers. 

In case of PERM certification, the total time taken from initial conversations to job description finalization may range from one to three months. It can take longer in case of larger firms. The determination of the prevailing wages may take between two to five months. Recruitment and filing are generally completed in about three to six months, and the PERM labor approval can take anywhere between two to eight months. 

USCIS I-140 Form

After completing the above step, you would be required to fill the I-140 Immigration Application. The I-140 form is required to verify that the employee qualifies for all the requirements mentioned in the PERM / Labor certification application. The employee has the option of extending their H-1B visa for an additional three years beyond the initial six years, after the approval of I-140. 

I-485 Adjustment of Status

After the approval of the I-140 application by the USCIS, the applicant would be required to fill the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. On approval of this application, you would officially become a legal permanent resident of the United States.

What are the Advantages of an EB-1 Visa?

There are several benefits of immigrating on the EB-1 visa. These include:

  • The waiting time in case of priority dates for EB-1 visa is significantly lower than with other visas.
  • With EB-1 visa, one has the freedom to live and work in the US.
  • EB-1 visa gives the person the ability to freely travel in and out of the US. 
  • With this visa, one also has the option of applying for a dependent visa for their spouse or unmarried children. 

What are Priority Dates?

Priority date is what determines the processing time in case of most green cards. Your EB-1 priority date is the date on which your petition is received by the USCIS. The priority date is specific to a person’s case and does not change. The “final action dates” are listed in a monthly visa bulletin released by the Department of State according to every green card and country of origin. The final action dates move each month depending on how many people from each country have applied for the same green card. It is important for the applicant to monitor these bulletins to know how the priority date leads up to the final action date. 

If you still require any additional information, consider contacting the US embassy or consulate in your home country.

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Blogger, Entrepreneur, Mentor. Having lived in the US and the Middle East for about a decade, and gone through immigration many times, I have a lot to share. Add me on Facebook or contact me on WhatsApp +0014084894785

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