What is the United States EB-1A immigration program and how does it work?

The EB-1A program is a type of employment-based immigration, meaning that the person can immigrate to the United States of America based on their extraordinary abilities. Qualified applicants are the first preference to be chosen for immigration.  Moreover, the applicants can file the petitions themselves; they do not need a U.S. sponsor (employer)

What qualifies someone to be considered for EB-1A?

Those who qualified for this program have demonstrated extraordinary abilities in a specific field of activity. Whether it is in science, arts, business, education, or athletics, the person applying for EB-1A status must be a leading performer in that field, having achieved recognition nationally or globally for their talents and achievements.

How do you show proof that you’re qualified for EB-1A status?

You have to show evidence that you are well-regarded or awarded in your field. Depending on your circumstances and professional field, you have to choose and submit three or more items from the following list of suggested evidence:

  1. Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  2. Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  3. Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  4. Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  5. Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  6. Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  7. Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  8. Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  9. Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  10. Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

The petitioner may submit comparable evidence to establish eligibility.

The EB-1B program falls into a subcategory of priority workers. To qualify for this category, a petition must be filed that proves the applicant has been recognized as outstanding in a distinct academic area. Moreover, an offer for ongoing employment is required.

Self-Petition is not Permitted

Only the United States employer may file the petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as the petitioner, which makes the foreign applicant the beneficiary of the petition.

What are the Qualifications of EB-1B?

A foreign applicant is eligible for classification as a researcher or professor if the individual receives international acknowledgment as outstanding in an academic area and has at least three years of research or teaching experience in their given field.

Furthermore, an individual must also prove one of the following three requirements:

  1. He or she must be tenured or on a tenure-track position in a research or teaching position.
  2. He or she must have an offer that isn’t based on a fixed term and is expected to obtain permanent employment.
  3. He or she must have a research position offer that is with a private employer. The employer must have no less than three permanent researchers and proven accomplishments in the specific field of research. How to Show Proof of Recognition

The Standard of Review

(An EB-1B petition must show that the foreign applicant has been recognized for outstanding accomplishments in his or her academic area. According to USCIS rules, support letters, which are from established professors or researchers, are allowed to be submitted as evidence.)

The USCIS will conduct a standard of review that takes place as a two-part analysis. The USCIS will determine individual qualifies as “outstanding” in his or her given academic field. The evidence must be convincing.

The EB-1C visa was created to allow executives and managers of foreign companies with a presence in the United States to become lawful permanent residents. The requirements are similar to those of the L-1A nonimmigrant visa, but under the EB-1C program, the alien will have the benefit of receiving permanent residence in the United States.

Advantages of the EB-1C Visa Program For Businesses

The EB-1C makes it easier for smaller overseas companies to expand their presence in the United States. It is particularly convenient for overseas startups and small companies, as they won’t have to hire and train new high-level management staff in the United States.

Requirements to Receive the EB-1C Visa

Both the employer and employee will have to meet a variety of requirements to become eligible to receive an EB-1C visa. Make sure that you meet all USCIS requirements before filing your application.

The general requirements are that the US company sponsoring the alien must have a qualifying relationship with another (foreign) company, they must cooperate for at least 1 year, and they provide products or services to their target market.

The following evidence may be presented to prove the qualifying relationship, the status, and the business of the company:

  1. Articles of incorporation and financial statements of the foreign company;
  2. Evidence that the beneficiary worked at the foreign company at least one year during the preceding three years;
  3. A letter from the beneficiary’s foreign qualifying employer detailing his or her dates of employment, job duties, qualifications, and salary, along with supporting documentary evidence;
  4. A description of the proposed job duties in the US and qualifications, and evidence that proves the proposed employment is in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity;
  5. Evidence that the foreign company has the financial ability to remunerate the beneficiary and to begin doing business in the United States including evidence that shows:
  6. Size of the U.S. investment;
  7. The organizational structure of both sides; and
  8. The financial size and condition of the foreign employer;
  9. Evidence to establish the intended U.S. operation will be capable of supporting the executive or managerial position within 1 year;
  10. Sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured

(The above list is non-exclusive. All documents that can prove listed concepts will be useful.)

The EB-2 visa provides immigration to the United States based on employment and may be awarded to individuals with extraordinary abilities or those with an advanced degree in a specific profession.

Eligibility for the EB-2 Visa

There are two specific criteria that potential applicants must meet to be eligible for the EB-2 visa.

Advanced Degree

An applicant must hold:

  • An advanced degree that is higher than a bachelor’s degree. It could be a master’s degree, for example;
  • Or bachelor’s degree plus five years of work experience in the specific field.

Documentation is required for petition based on advanced degree category:

  • An official academic record that proves you have earned the United States advanced degree or foreign equivalent
  • An official academic record that proves that you hold a United States bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent degree
  • Official letters from your employers that prove you have had at least five years of experience in your field or specialty since receiving your bachelor’s degree

Exceptional Ability

If a petition is based on the exceptional abilities rather than an advanced degree as discussed above, they can be proved by the following:

  • An official academic record that represents you have a degree, certificate, or diploma from a school, college, university, or another educational institute that relates to your specific area of expertise
  • Letters from your former employer(s) that prove you have had at least 10 years of experience in your profession
  • A license or certification to practice your chosen profession
  • Evidence that you have earned a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrate your exceptional abilities
  • Membership in a professional association
  • Recognition for your achievements and other contributions from your peers, business organizations, or others in your chosen field
  • Other types of evidence of your eligibility.

Lastly, if you have a family, your spouse and any children younger than 21 years can be included in your immigration petition and, in case of approval, receive permanent resident status in the US with all benefits, such as employment authorization, unlimited traveling, health insurance, participation in various state residential programs.

Ask your immigration attorney for more information.

People with Advanced Education

If you are a person with an advanced degree in any number of academic fields, you might be highly valuable to the United States workforce. Usually, all foreign professionals require sponsorship from a U.S. employer. National Interest Waiver is a legal program that waives the labor certification requirement for people who can demonstrate that their professional skills will be valuable for the country on the national level (beyond any single municipality). The U.S. government waives the job offer requirement for such people to make their road to the U.S. easier and more expeditious.

How To Apply For Such A Program

There are two components of the petition. First, you must select one out of two:

  1. You are a person with an Advanced Degree, or
  2. You possess exceptional Skills in science, arts, or business

The second part of the petition is a Request for a National Interest Waiver. Here your immigration attorney must prove why your skills will be in the national interests of the United States, and therefore, a job offer from a U.S. employer may not be required.

Showing that you have an advanced degree is a way that allows your immigration attorney to push forward your green card application.

Exceptional skills are a little more challenging to prove, but many people get into the country this way. These individuals might not have an advanced degree, but they must prove that their skills would be valuable to the country.

Other Things To Keep In Mind

There are many ways to prove that in fact, you are valuable to the country, some of them are below:

  • Membership in a professional association
  • At least ten years of experience in your field
  • Official diploma or other paperwork proving you possess a particular degree of education

These are just a few examples of the things that you might be asked.

If the main goal of the potential immigrant is to gain employment in the US, the EB-3 Third Preference program may be a good option.

Professional Worker

This is someone who holds a bachelor’s degree or higher in the United States or the equivalent (from another country).

That person may intend to use that education for a job that requires at least that level of education for an entry-level position.

If you don`t have a foreign equivalent to your degree – professional experience may be accepted.

(Every 5 years of experience = 1 year of studying in college)

Skilled Workers

It means someone who has at least two years of experience in a specific field. They must also be attempting to find work where is a lack of qualified workers in the United States.

Unskilled Laborer

This one may be harder to prove as unskilled labor is generally abundant.

You may have an intention for proving skills or education, supplemented with the ability and willingness to take a job that other Americans do not want.

There is the type of highly valued immigrants in the USA. These are individuals whose special skills fundamentally help the United States.

Categories Outlined By The EB-4

There would be certain types of people and certain types of work that the United States would bend over backward to get people from abroad. These are essential jobs that cannot be done just by anyone. Consider the following categories with your immigration lawyer to see if there are any that you may be qualified to do:

  • Religious Workers
  • Broadcasters
  • Member of the Armed Forces
  • Afghan and Iraqi Translators
  • Panama Canal Zone Employees

Family of These Workers

It is not just the workers themselves who are admitted into the United States to start doing the tasks that they have been brought in for. The family members of those brought to the United States to work may also be eligible for a green card as well.


The spouse of someone working under an EB-4 green card may be eligible to enter the United States as well. The same goes for unmarried children of a worker who are under the age of twenty-one.

The Special Need For Broadcasters

The United States has a special need for broadcasters. These individuals can apply for their green card by just having experience and credentials to work in broadcasting.

A work permit is an official document that allows you to work in the United States as a foreigner.

It comes in the form of a wallet-sized card containing your basic personal details, including a full name, photo, date of expiration, alien registration number, and the terms and conditions of your permit.

(A person who applied for asylum in the United States can apply for employment authorization in 150 days after the filing date of his application.)

The Purpose of Form I-765

The work permit equals evidence of employment authorization.

Once you file Form I-765 and get approved for employment, you will be qualified to apply for a job in the United States.

Eligibility for Form I-765

The form contains various questions that you need to answer when applying for the permit. Question 16 will pertain to information regarding your eligibility for a work permit. It contains 8 eligibility sections from which you need to select.

The sections :

  • Foreign student
  • Nationality category
  • Family-based non-immigrants
  • Dependents of international organizations, NATO, or diplomatic missions
  • Adjustment of status
  • Refugee/asylee plus their children and spouses
  • Employment-based non-immigrants
  • Other categories

Each section is subdivided into more specific subsections. If you have lost your EAD or wish to renew it, you are eligible to file Form I-765.

Also, there are some cases when you are not eligible for filing Form I-765:

  • Conditional residency
  • Lawful permanent residency
  • Non-immigrant with special authorization for employment via form 8 CFR 274a.12(b)

Application Process

Typically, the application involves filing Form I-765 and submitting the duly completed form to the USCIS. The form must be accompanied by the following:

  • Your photos
  • Proof of eligibility for a work permit
  • Application fee

(You can submit the form in one of the two ways – by mail or e-filing.)

Sometimes the latter may be convenient, you will still need to submit your supporting documents via mail.

It is a must-have document for all potential immigrants, issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) with the purpose to allow a person to travel (leave and safely return to the U.S.) while their immigration application is pending.


Eligibility for Advance Parole

Advance parole is necessary for the U.S. aliens with the following:

  • Pending adjustment status
  • Asylee status
  • Family Unity Program benefits
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • Pending asylum application status


Any potential immigrant with a valid reason to travel out of the United States temporarily is also eligible for advance parole.

Non-immigrants may not apply for this document if they:

  • Reside in the United States with invalid immigration status
  • They earn with a private bill
  • Are foreigners on exchange under the requirements of residence
  • Are under removal proceedings

Evidence Required to Apply for Advance Parole

Whether the applicant hires the immigration attorney or not, the application typically involves filing a duly completed USCIS Form I-131 with a local USCIS office.

  • Two photographs of the applicant are required in case of presence in the United States at the time of application.
  • Applicant’s copy of the official identity document, such as a permanent resident card, driver’s license, or passport identity page. A valid copy(photo) must contain official names, date of birth, and photo of the applicant.

Applicants with a pending adjustment of status (I-485) must also submit an I-797C Notice of Action.

To get more detailed and proficient information hire the services of an immigration lawyer.

Why is the PERM Needed?

PERM was launched to protect the US job market and its workers from the overwhelming competition as a result of the influx of foreign workers. The PERM process was essentially established by the DOL in the ETA Form 9089.

The Applications Requirements

The PERM applicants or the American employer ought to submit all the relevant applications to the DOL. The forms can be completed by the immigration lawyer on behalf of the employer. The applicant must demonstrate exceptional skills that the foreign employee possesses whereas the U.S worker does not.

Some of the requirements for qualification under the PERM:

  • The presence of a permanent job offer in the United States
  • Matching wage requirements by the DOL for a particular job category
  • Evidence that local American worker is not to apply for this vacancy
  • Audited files from the US employer regarding attempts of recruitment. The evidence can include job orders, website printouts, and newspaper tear sheets.

The Process

Before applying for PERM, the petitioning employer is required to conduct a recruitment exercise to test the labor market. If no suitable candidate is willing or qualified to fill the vacancy, the employer may continue and submit the PERM Labor Certification.

Once approved, the PERM applicant or the employer will contact the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an immigration authorization. Finally, the employer will petition for the green card on behalf of the foreign worker.

First, before you can apply for permanent resident status in the United States, you must have an approved immigrant petition, also you should have a visa number immediately available.

If you are currently located in the United States, Adjustment of Status is the process that you may seek for obtaining lawful permanent resident status.

With Adjustment of Status, you have the benefit of staying in the United States while your application is being processed.

If you are abroad (not in the US) or if you`d like to leave the US before you are ready to apply for a green card, you must obtain your immigrant visa through consular processing. To obtain the immigrant entry visa, you must have an approved immigration petition, receive a visa number from the National Visa Center, and then submit your application for an immigrant visa. Once all documents are received and reviewed, you will be scheduled for an interview. After crossing the border USCIS will send you a green card. Expect to receive it within a month.

The processing time for each of these pathways can vary greatly. It depends on the underlying immigration petition (e.g. in which preference category the applicant is).

Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns.

We are glad to solve your problems and answer your questions.

An I-601 Waiver is a form used in certain situations by immigrants who are applying for a green card and are denied for the reasons discussed below. It can also be used when an immigrant wants to apply for an immigrant benefit, they may not be immediately qualified to receive it.


An immigrant will not be admitted into the United States if it is proven they intentionally lied or misrepresented themselves about a significant item when they tried to obtain an immigrant visa or admission in the United States.

Unlawful Presence

If a foreign national has unlawfully resided in the United States for more than 180 days and voluntarily left the country before removal proceedings were started against them – they won`t be able to come to the US for three year period. These individuals can apply for a waiver.

Basis For Waiver

By submitting an I-601 waiver application, an immigrant is trying to show they have a relative who is a legal citizen of the United States or a permanent resident and this resident will experience extreme difficulties if the immigrant is denied entry into the United States or removed from the country. Or the entire family is being forced to relocate overseas.

Extreme Hardship Proof

An immigrant can provide a statement about the difficult conditions in their home country and the struggles other relatives would experience if forced to leave the United States. Newspaper articles, official reports as well as letters from experts, and more can be submitted. They can also provide a statement describing the financial difficulties the relative would experience without them. This could be done with bank statements, wage statements, property deeds, and more.