EB-1A Green Cards
Am I Eligible for an EB-1A Green Card?
To qualify for an EB-1A Green Card, you must be able to prove that you have extraordinary ability in one of the following fields: Science, Art, Education, Business, or Athletics. Additionally, you must possess a level of expertise in your field that indicates that you are one of the small percentage of people who have risen to the very top of your field, and your professional achievements must have received national and international recognition.
How Does the Immigration Service Determine if You Have Extraordinary Ability in Your Field?
You can demonstrate your extraordinary ability by showing that you have received a major, internationally recognized award (such as a Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Oscar or Olympic Medal), or, as is the case for most people, by providing a sufficient amount of compelling documentation meeting at least 3 of the following 10 criteria:
- Awards: Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in your field.
- Memberships: Membership in associations in your field that require outstanding achievements of their members.
- Published Articles Written by Others About Your Work: Published material about your work in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
- Peer Review Activities: Evidence of your participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in your field.
- Original Contributions: Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
- Published Scholarly Articles Written by You: Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
- Artistic Exhibitions/Showcases: Evidence of the display of your work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
- Critical Role: Evidence that you have performed in a leading or critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation.
- Comparatively High Salary: Evidence you have commanded a high salary or other significantly high compensation for services, in relation to others in your field.
- Commercial Success: Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.
If the above criteria do not readily apply to your occupation, comparable evidence may be submitted to establish your EB-1A eligibility.
What is the EB-1A Green Card Application Process?
To obtain an EB-1A Green Card, you must file, and receive approval of, an I-140 Immigrant Petition and an I-485 Adjustment of Status Application. There are two application filing strategies available, Concurrent Filing or Separate Filing.
Concurrent Filing: If you have a strong EB-1A profile, you can choose to file your I-140 Immigrant Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application together (also called "concurrent filing").
Separate Filing: If there is some uncertainty regarding the strength of your EB-1A profile, you can choose to file your I-140 Immigrant Petition first, and then once it is approved, you can then file your I-1485 Adjustment of Status Application.
The attorneys of Ellis Porter's High-Skilled Immigration Team will be able to help you choose the best application filing strategy for your specific situation.
What are the Main Advantages of Applying for an EB-1A Green Card?
Employer Sponsorship is Not Required: You can file an EB-1A Green Card application independently (sometimes called a "self-petition") without sponsorship from your employer.
A Specific Offer of Employment is Not Required: You can file an EB-1A Green Card application even if you do not have a job offer from a U.S. employer.
Green Card Backlogs Applicable to Other Green Card Categories Typically Do Not Apply to EB-1A: The Priority Dates for the EB-1A category have generally remained current in the Visa Bulletin, which means that you can file an I-485 Adjustment of Status application concurrently with your EB-1A I-140 Immigrant Petition and avoid lengthy delays that plague individuals born in India or China who are applying for a Green Card under the EB-2 category, as well as individuals who are born in India, China or the Philippines applying under the EB-3 category.
PERM Labor Certification is Not Required: Unlike most other Employment-Based Green Card categories, you do not need to go through the PERM Labor Certification process to show a shortage of U.S. workers in the labor market for your occupation to be eligible to file an EB-1A Green Card application.
Premium Processing is Available: Your EB-1A I-140 Immigrant Petition can be filed under the premium processing program, which means your EB-1A I-140 Immigrant Petition could be approved in as little as 15 days or less if no Request for Evidence (RFE) is issued for your application. Even if an RFE is issued, you will receive a decision on your application within 15 days after the RFE response is submitted.
Will My Spouse and Children Also Get a Green Card?
Yes. Your spouse and children (under age 21) will also be able to file I-485 Adjustment of Status Applications as part of your EB-1A Green Card application process, which will allow them to receive their own Green Cards.
What are the Government Filing Fees for an EB-1A Green Card Application?
- I-140 Filing Fee: $700
- I-140 Premium Processing Fee (if requested): $1,225
- I-485 Filing Fee for Principal Applicant: $1,225
- I-485 Filing Fee for Dependent Spouse and/or Child over age 14: $1,225 each
- I-485 Filing Fee for Dependent Child under age 14: $750 each
What are the Attorney Fees for an EB-1A Green Card Application?
- EB-1A I-140 Attorney Fee: $5,000
- I-485 Attorney Fee: $1,500 (add $750 for each dependent spouse/child)
These attorney fees are flat fees that covers all legal services provided in support of your EB-1A Green Card application.