The EB-1 Visa is a US immigrant visa that is part of the employment-based visa category. The EB-1 is a first-preference visa that is open to overseas nationals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, or certain multinational executives or managers. You must be able to show “sustained national or international acclaim” in your particular field (which can include the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics).
This type of visa, also known as a Green Card, grants permanent residency. This means that if you receive it, you can stay in the US indefinitely under your green card status. If you would like to apply for U.S. citizenship, you may do so after 5 years of continuous residence as a green cardholder.
The EB-1A Extraordinary Ability category has a number of advantages including:
- Not requiring a permanent job offer in the U.S. or a labor certification.
- Typically faster than the LCA process because you can file a petition and your application for permanent residency simultaneously (also known as concurrent filing).
- There is greater flexibility than the labor certification process and you are able to change jobs sooner.
- Self-petitioning is permitted which means it doesn’t require the signature of someone at the institution or company you are working.
There are some disadvantages to be made aware of. You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability, so being just average or good will not suffice. Sometimes, it can be less predictable than the labor certification process although this depends greatly from case to case.