Guide To EB-1 Visas
Employment-based immigration enables companies and other organizations to hire foreign talent.
One type of employment-based immigration puts people in the EB-1 category, which is an employment-based, first-preference visa available to people of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.
A skilled, knowledgeable business immigration attorney can help you obtain an EB-1 visa for yourself or to bring in a foreign worker.
What is an EB-1 Visa?
An EB-1 visa is a temporary authorization to come to – and stay in – the United States. With an EB-1 visa, you don’t need a labor certification – but in some cases, a prospective employer must provide you with a job offer.
Not everyone qualifies for this type of visa. They’re only available to:
- Persons of extraordinary ability
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- Some multinational managers and executives
Application Process for EB-1 Visas for Outstanding Professors and Researchers
The application process for EB-1 visas for outstanding professors and researchers requires the employer to file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. A person cannot apply for a visa in this category themselves – an employer must do so.
The employer must show that it’s able (and will continue to be able) to pay the wage it offers the prospective worker. USCIS will accept several types of documentation to prove the employer’s ability to pay, such as annual reports, federal income tax returns or financial statements.
EB-1 Visas for Multinational Managers or Executives
Some multinational managers and executives are eligible for EB-1 visas. Only people who have been employed outside the United States by a U.S. petitioning employer for at least a year out of the previous 3 years, or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission may apply. The U.S. petitioner – the company – must have been doing business for at least a year, have a qualifying relationship to the entity the worker worked for outside the U.S., and intend to employ the worker in a managerial or executive capacity.
While no labor certification is required for an EB-1 visa for a multinational manager or executive, the petitioning employer must:
- Be a U.S. employer
- Intend to employ the worker in a managerial or executive capacity
- Have been doing business in the United States for at least a year as a legal entity with a qualifying relationship to the entity that employed the worker abroad
Application Process for EB-1 Visas for Multinational Managers or Executives
Only a U.S. employer can file a petition for an EB-1 visa for a multinational manager or executive. The employer has to file USCIS Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. The employer must also be able to demonstrate its ability to continue to pay the worker the offered wage. There are several acceptable methods of proof, including federal income tax returns, annual reports and audited financial statements.
Common Questions About EB-1 Visas
Many people choose to work with a business immigration attorney to file for EB-1 visas – and that’s true whether they’re individuals of extraordinary ability or they’re companies that need to bring in foreign talent. These types of visas can be confusing, particularly when it comes to meeting the USCIS’s stringent requirements, but an attorney will be able to answer all your questions, explain the process, and give you legal advice if something goes wrong.
Check out these common questions about EB-1 visas to see if yours are answered here – and if they’re not, please feel free to call us and schedule a free consultation with an experienced business immigration lawyer.
How Much Does it Cost to Apply for an EB-1 Visa?
Form I-140 has a $700 filing fee, and the Department of State visa processing fee is $345.
How Do You Apply for an EB-1 Visa?
There are a few steps that everyone must follow when applying for an EB-1 visa. Your lawyer will complete the majority of these steps for you – you won’t have to worry about them. These are the steps:
- Complete and sign Form I-140, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
- Include the appropriate filing fee with the petition (as well as the biometrics fee, if applicable)
- Gather documents that prove eligibility
- Submit the form
What Happens After You Apply for an EB-1 Visa?
After USCIS receives your petition for an EB-1 visa, whether you filed for it yourself or you filed on behalf of a company, it will send you a receipt notice of your Form I-140, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. You’ll also receive notice for a biometrics appointment. Additionally, you may need to attend an interview. If USCIS determines that you need an interview, you’ll receive notice of your interview date and time from USCIS. Sometimes interviews coincide with biometrics appointments.
At your interview, the immigration official may ask you questions about your work in the United States, your experience, your extraordinary ability and the arrangements you’ve made so far in the U.S. Just answer honestly and tell the truth – and if you don’t know something, it’s okay to say so.
How Hard is it to Get USCIS to Approve an EB-1 Petition?
When you apply for an EB-1 visa, it’s your responsibility to prove that you meet the appropriate criteria (or your employer’s responsibility). You must provide evidence with your application.
USCIS officials look at these applications using two steps.
First, the adjudicator – the person making the judgement on the application – looks at whether the petitioner has submitted evidence that meets all the required criteria. Then, if the petitioner does meet the criteria to come in under the category for which he or she applied, the adjudicator will consider all of the submitted evidence to make a determination.
Information for Families of EB-1 Visa Holders
If USCIS approves your petition for an EB-1 visa, your spouse and children – provided that they are unmarried and under the age of 21 – may be able to apply for admission to the United States in E-14 and E-15 immigrant status.
Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Attorney About EB-1 Visas?
If you’re considering an EB-1 visa as a pathway to the United States, we may be able to help you. Call us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney who can evaluate the evidence in your case and answer all your questions. If an EB-1 visa isn’t the right choice for you, your lawyer can also help determine if there’s a more appropriate visa that will meet your needs.