What is EB-1A and How to Apply?

What is EB-1A and How to Apply?

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The EB-1 (Employment-Based First Preference) Green Card allows individuals with outstanding academic achievements or extraordinary skills to immigrate to the U.S. permanently. It is a way to obtain a Green Card through employment in the U.S. The EB-1 Visa has three categories:

  • EB1-A: for people with extraordinary abilities
  • EB1-B: for outstanding professors and researchers
  • EB1-C: for multinational managers and executives

In this writing, we will explain EB1-A Green Card, its requirements, and application procedures.

EB1-A: Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

Individuals with extraordinary abilities in science, arts, education, business, or athletics can apply for the EB1-A Visa. It is an immigrant visa. It allows individuals to settle in the U.S. for the rest of their lives. To qualify for EB1-A Visa, the individual should provide sufficient evidence for their significant talent in their fields of study.

The essential advantage of the EB-1A is that it does not require either a job offer from employers in the U.S. or a labor certification by the Department of Labor (DOL). In addition, EB-1A allows applicants to self-petition and avoids long-processing times due to the labor certification process.

Once the individual obtains their EB1-A Visa, they qualify for a Green Card. In addition, the spouses and children of the individual (under 21 years of age) can also receive their Green Card through the individual’s EB1-A Visa approval.

EB1-A Requirements

If you are an exceptional talent with outstanding success in your field, EB1-A requirements are easy to meet. Internationally recognized awards are often presented as proof of exceptional skills. Here are the main requirements:

  • The individual must have an exceeding ability in their field.
  • The individual is expected to continue working in the area of their expertise once they migrate to the U.S.

In order to prove you will conduct the work in their work of expertise once they arrive in the U.S., there are some documents they can submit on their application:

  • A letter from their potential employer
  • A contract between the individual and a U.S. company expresses that the individual will work in the same field.

However, keep in mind that you do not need a job offer to apply for the EB1-A visa.

  • The individual must be able to prove their abilities by submitting internationally recognized awards such as Pulitzers, Oscars, Olympic medals, etc.

If you do not have such an award, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) outlines additional ten criteria that the individual must meet instead. For example, if the individual can possess at least three of the following ten criteria, they would be eligible to be considered as an individual with an extraordinary talent:

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

In some cases, these categories do not apply because of the field of expertise. In such cases, the individual must provide comparable evidence. The individual should firmly explain why the criteria are not ascribed to their field and why their comparable evidence should be considered instead.

EB1-A Application Process

EB1-A application process you should follow depends on whether you are in or outside of the U.S. There are two different application paths;

  • Adjustment of Status
  • Consular Processing

EB1-A Adjustment of Status Application Process

If the individual is currently in the U.S., they should adjust their status to EB-1A Green Card to complete the application. But before doing so, you must file the Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. Most employment-based visas require an employer to file this Form on your behalf, but this is different with EB1-A applications.

After the USCIS approves your petition, you can adjust your status to EB1-A Green Card by filing Form I-485 with the USCIS. If your I-485 Form is approved, you will immediately be granted your EB1-A Green Card!

EB1-A Consular Processing Application Process

If you are outside the U.S., you should apply for EB-1A through U.S. consulates in your home country. This process is known as consular Processing and requires you to fill out DS-260 Immigrant Visa Application Form, schedule an interview at the U.S. consulate, and bring the DS-260 confirmation page to your interview.

Before you set your interview date, as an adjustment of status applications, you must file Form I-140 with the USCIS and wait for a decision on your case. If your I-140 Form is approved, and you complete the following steps, you will be issued your EB-1A Green Card and move to the U.S. to live and work permanently!


If you have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, business, education, or athletics and can prove your abilities with valid documents, you may apply for an EB-1A Green Card! However, the application process is complicated. Therefore, seeking legal help is essential.

At Grape Law, we excel at understanding our client's needs and providing them with the resources. You can contact us by emailing [email protected] or scheduling a face-to-face meeting on our website.


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