What is an EB-1A Immigrant Visa?

Getting the EB-1A category is one of the speediest methods of receiving a Green Card. This classification is reserved for those individuals who can demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field, whether it is sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

Who is eligible for an EB-1A Green Card?

Many different types of experts can qualify for the EB-1A Green Card. If you have considerable experience and achievements in your field, you are a potential candidate. The basic idea behind this classification is that a foreign national, with a proven track record should be allowed to enter the United States on this merit in order to apply these skills in the U.S. for the benefit of the country.

There are no specific industry requirements, salary minimums, or required degrees. It is not just a Visa reserved for Nobel prize winners and celebrities. Anyone with the right credentials can qualify.

Is employment a requirement for an EB-1A Green Card?

A unique advantage of this option is that you do not need an employer to sponsor you. You can self-petition, even if you leave outside of the U.S. As long as you are extraordinary, you can apply for this category.

How to demonstrate “Extraordinary Ability”

You qualify for an EB-1A Green Card category, if you have won a major internationally recognized award, such as an Olympic medal or a Nobel Prize, OR you have at least three of the following criteria:


Received prizes or awards for excellence in the field.


Hold valid membership in associations that require outstanding achievements of their members.


Have been featured in published materials from professional publications or major media.


Participated as a judge of the work of others in the field.


Produced original contributions of major significance to the field.


Authored scholarly articles in the field.


Held a leading/critical role for distinguished organizations in the field.


Earned a high salary (relative to others in the field.


Displayed work at exhibitions/showcases.


Have been commercially successful.

In addition to meeting at least three of the criteria above, you must be able to show the totality of evidence submitted indicating that you are at the top of your field. This can be shown in a wide variety of ways, such as having a high citation count, being published in leading journals in the field, or evidence that others in the field are utilizing your work.

What is the estimated timeline to obtain an EB-1A Green Card?

As you petition for a Green Card, we want you to understand what to expect to give yourself the best chance of success. The Green Card process, based on extraordinary ability, consists of two steps and takes anywhere between 6 months and 2 years.


File a successful immigration petition (I-140)

This is when we prepare and file your Immigrant Petition, more commonly known as Form I-140. Because you are pursuing an EB-1A Green Card, you do not need Labor Certification or an employer to sponsor your petition. Another invaluable benefit of the EB-1A is the optional expedited processing time of 15 business days – for an extra fee. This is one of the speediest methods of receiving a Green Card!


Get a Green Card

Once your I-140 petition has been approved, you can either submit Form I-485 (A), which allows you to apply for an adjustment of your non-immigrant status to a legal Permanent Resident OR if you are outside the U.S., you can apply for an immigrant Visa through your U.S. consulate (B).

Adjust your status to Permanent Resident
(I-485 Stage).

At this stage we need to submit financial and civil documents for each of your family members. The average timeline for preparation is about 3-4 weeks, depending on the timely submission of supporting evidence. After submitting your I-485, the processing can take anywhere from 3 to 8 months before you receive your Green Card. The advantage of this option is the potential to obtain work and travel authorization (advanced parole) after just 4-6 months. You need to be physically present in the U.S. at the moment of submission, and you should not leave the U.S. until you have received a travel permit from the USCIS.

Apply for an immigrant Visa through the U.S. Consulate in your home country.

Adjusting your status is only an option for those already present in the U.S. under a different Visa category (such as the O-1). If you are currently outside the U.S., you must undergo consular processing. This means that you will need to complete the DS-260 online immigrant Visa application, and make an appointment with the U.S. consulate in your home country. The timeline for the consular processing depends on the consulate that you use. It can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months.

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A Green Card provides many advantages. Primarily, it gives you the right to permanently live and work in the United States and after 5 years, to become a U.S. citizen. With a Green Card, you can also exercise almost all of the same rights that a U.S. citizen has without having to give up your current citizenship and you can also travel freely between the countries. Also, Green Card holders can sponsor their immediate family members to live in the United States. By the USCIS’s definition, immediate family members are spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Employment-based Green Cards are valid for a period of 10 years. At the end of the validation period, you will need to apply to renew your EB-1A. As long as you have maintained your status, you should not have a problem renewing your Green Card. It is important to keep your card up-to-date. Without a valid card, it may be difficult for you to prove that you are a Permanent Resident, and this could also affect your ability to travel or to prove your eligibility to work in the United States.

No job offer or permanent job position is required in this subcategory, as long as the foreign national will continue working in the field of expertise after arriving in the United States. Self-petition is allowed.

Yes, after your I-140 was submitted and approved, your family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21) can apply with you for an adjustment of status or immigrant Visa.

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