The EB-1A visa category is intended to facilitate entry into the United States for those who demonstrate extraordinary skills in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. It is considered the most prestigious of the employment-based visas and is one of the fastest ways to obtain residency in the country.
The EB-1A visa leads directly to a green card. Unlike other employment-based visas, this visa does not require a job offer in the US and is not subject to the labor certification process. EB-1A approval times are also shorter compared to other employment-based visas.
One major benefit is that your family (spouse and unmarried children under 21) will also benefit from your EB-1A visa.
To qualify for an EB-1A visa you need to demonstrate that you are at the top of your field and that you intend to continue practicing your profession in the U.S. if your visa is approved. To do this, you must accompany your application with documentation demonstrating your achievements or experience in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
Supporting documents that may be submitted include:
Letters of recommendation from outstanding international peers highlighting your achievements also carry weight, as do any financial documents showing that you have been commercially successful in your field.
While both visas are intended for individuals with extraordinary abilities in their field, the O-1 visa is a temporary visa—it only allows you to stay in the country for 1 to 3 years, whereas the EB-1A visa is permanent.
Another important difference is that O-1 visa applications require a sponsor, whereas you can self-petition for the EB-1A visa. If you are currently on an O-1 visa and wish to change your status to EB-1A, we will gladly help you!
If you are applying for an EB-1A Visa in the United States and the priority date for applicants from your country of birth is “current,” you can initiate the process by concurrently filing Forms I-140 and I-485. You may also simultaneously apply for both an Employment Authorization Document and a Travel Document.
If you are outside the United States, you must initiate consular processing at the nearest embassy after securing an approved I-140.
Processing times can range from 5.5 to 16 months, depending on which center receives your application, or you can remit a payment of $2500 for premium processing and receive a response in 15 days. You cannot choose where your application will be processed, as USCIS will automatically assign you to a center at the beginning of the process.
The EB-1A visa eligibility criteria may seem daunting, but given the strenuous requirements the competition is relatively low. At Symphorien-Saavedra Law, we have extensive experience in these cases and are ready to help guide you through the process as quickly and accurately as possible.
Check our clients reviews and contact us at 407-802-1717 to schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys and discuss your specific situation. You may also fill out the online form provided on this page and we will contact you promptly.