What is the EB-1 Visa?
People who qualify for work in the United States can apply for a specific type of visa known as the EB-1 employment-based immigration.
The EB-1 visa is reserved for those who have extraordinary abilities, who are working on the establishment of an outstanding academic career or who are multinational executives or managers. More information about the EB-1 terms and conditions is available on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Who Can Apply for the EB-1 Employment Sponsored Visa?
Apart from the above-mentioned requirements, there are several other EB-1 visa eligibility criteria that will need to be fulfilled.
Extraordinary ability, for example, is defined as a specific set of advanced skills in the fields of science, art, business, education, athletics. To prove extraordinary ability, an applicant will have to meet at least three out of the following 10 criteria:
- Having a national or an international award for excellence within the respective field
- Being a member of an association that vouches for the extraordinary abilities of its members
- Having published materials about your professional accomplishments in relevant niche journals pertaining to your area of expertise
- Having been asked to assess the work of others in the respective field
- Providing evidence of your contribution that has resulted in significant developments within an artistic, educational, scientific field, etc.
- Evidence of the publication of your scholarly articles in reputable niche journals
- Proving that your work has been exhibited or demonstrated during exhibitions and showcases of relevance
- Proving that you’ve had a critical role in a distinguished organization
- Showing that you’ve received a significant salary or other types of compensation in your area of experience
- Providing evidence of commercial success
Outstanding Academic Career
Those who want to prove an outstanding academic career will also need to provide a specific set of documents alongside their application. These documents include:
- Evidence of receiving major awards
- Information about membership in academic organizations
- Published materials in reputable journals
- Original scholarly research
- Authorship of scholarly books and articles
As you can see, extensive documentation is required to establish extraordinary abilities or accomplishments. If you’re not confident about your ability to gather and present all of the required information, a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney could be highly beneficial.
If you do not have extraordinary abilities or an outstanding academic career, you will need to get a potential U.S. employer involved in the process.
Applying for the EB-1 Visa Without Extraordinary Abilities
You will also need to complete a number of administrative steps that will also involve your potential United States employer. In the beginning, the U.S. employer will have to obtain labor certification and file the petitions required by law. Professors and researchers applying for an EB-1 visa also need to have an employer onboard during the process. The same applies to managers.
If the first part of the EB-1 visa application process is completed successfully, the potential employee will need to attend a U.S. Embassy interview in their home country. A complete list of U.S. embassies and consulates is available here.
EB-1 Visa Fees and Processing Time
Before embarking on this journey, you should factor in the cost of the EB-1 visa application. Anyone interested in the EB-1 visa will need to file I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. The filing fee is $700 dollars. There could be additional charges, like a visa application processing fee and a USCIS immigration fee.
Some additional charges to anticipate include a medical examination fee, charges related to obtaining and legalizing all of the required documentation and translation fees. If the U.S. embassy or consulate is located in another city, travel and accommodation expenses will also have to be accounted for.
Once all of the proper documents are submitted, there will be a waiting period to receive the approval. EB-1 visas have a cap, which means that the number of approved applicants each year is fixed. Hence, the waiting period is typically going to be a few months. In some instances, however, the entire EB-1 visa application process can stretch to 12 months or even more than a year.
What To Do If Your EB-1 Visa Application Is Denied
Even if you supply all of the required documents and evidence, there’s still some possibility for EB-1 visa denial. If this happens to you, get in touch with a visa immigration attorney as soon as possible. With a help of a lawyer, you can approach the situation in a couple of ways.
For a start, you can refile the EB-1 visa documents. This is typically possible whenever documents are missing and the U.S. authorities are requiring additional information. The lack of sufficient documentation is one of the easiest problems to overcome.
If you’re confident that the USCIS made a mistake, you can file a motion to reopen the case. This is a good opportunity for people who get additional evidence and documentation after they’ve received an EB-1 visa rejection.
A final possibility would be to appeal the decision. In this instance, the case will be forwarded to the Administrative Appeal Office. Winning an appeal is incredibly difficult, which is why you need to partner up with an experienced legal representative.