If you possess extraordinary abilities, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager with a company that has an office, affiliate or subsidiary in the U.S., then you may qualify for permanent resident status in the U.S. per an EB1 category visa.
Because the terms “extraordinary”, “outstanding” and even “manager” are somewhat open to interpretation (i.e. what one organization considers a manager another may not), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided some guidelines to assist petitioners. These are outlined below.
- Extraordinary Ability: petitioners must be able to demonstrate their superior abilities in business, education, the sciences, arts or athletics, and must have received sustained (i.e. not occasional or one-time) acclaim at either a national or international level. All achievements, such as awards, commendations, honors, medals, patents, trademarks and so on, must be verified through extensive documentation.
- Outstanding Professor or Researcher: petitioners must have at least three years of verified experience as a professor, researcher or teacher in their academic area of expertise (i.e. they cannot have training in one academic field, but teaching experience in another). Furthermore, petitioners must be entering the U.S. to pursue tenure (or a tenure track) research position at an accredited university, college, or other institution of higher learning.
- Multinational Manager or Executive: in the preceding 3 years prior to submitting their application, petitioners must have worked outside of the U.S. for at least 1 year with the multinational firm in question. Furthermore, their employment must have been in a managerial or executive capacity with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary.
All petitioners, regardless of EB1 sub-category —- extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, or multinational manager or executive — must submit Form I-140 to USCIS. However, petitioners seeking a visa under the latter two sub-categories (outstanding professors and researchers, or multinational manager or executive) must have their employer submit the file. They cannot submit it directly on their own behalf.
Working with an Attorney
Petitioning for an EB1 visa (in any sub-category) is a highly complex process with multiple steps, phases and deadlines. Plus, as noted above, the paperwork obligation is extensive, and improperly submitted or incomplete documents will either result in major delays, or in some cases, petitions being outright rejected. Working with an experienced EB1 attorney is an absolute must, regardless of whether employer involvement is required.