Differences Between the O-1 Visa and the EB-1 Green Card

January 27, 2020 by Prabalta Rijal

If you are planning to live and work in the US the various different types of visas can be confusing and choosing the right one can be super complicated, so today we are going to talk about the O-1 Visa and EB-1 Green Card, what they are and how they are different.

What is an O-1 Visa

The O-1 Visa is a dual intent status and it applies to experts from an array of different fields be it STEM or the arts, it applies to high-level professionals, entrepreneurs to athletes, artists, and artistes. The O-1 Visa is considered to be much higher than the H-1B and can also be obtained by those who have exhausted their authorized stay of 6 years on an H-1B. 

what is o1 visa

What is the EB-1 Category Green Card

The EB-1 green cards like the O-1 Visa can be obtained by an array of experts namely: Academics, Researchers, Scientists, Doctors, Educators, Business Executives and other high-level professionals who are experts in their line of work. According to one of PassRight’s Legal Consultants, Lawrence Jones, unlike the O-1 Visa which is given to aliens with extraordinary abilities without an intention to immigrate to the US, the EB-1 green cards are given to people with extraordinary abilities with the intent to immigrate and permanently live in the US.

These green cards are classified into three  categories:

EB-1A: This is mainly for workers with extraordinary achievements in science, business, education, and art.

EB-1B: Researchers and Academics (Professors).

EB-1C: Managers and Executives.

In order to apply for this green card, an applicant must prove that they have three years of relevant work experience in their line of work. 

The rule applies to almost all applicants whether they are academics or business executives, however, there are exceptions for instance for business relations experts only need to show experience working in a similar position for over one year.

To apply for the EB- 1 green cards an applicant will need to provide documentation showing their job offer with their current U.S. employer. 

eb 1 categories

Differences Between the O-1 Visa and the EB-1 Green Card

Although the kind of evidence that applicants need to provide to prove their abilities in both these cases is similar, the intent for the visas vary, likewise there are a few other differences between the two types of visas concerned.

The granted duration of an alien’s stay in the U.S. 

The O-1 Visa only allows temporary residence of about 3 years in the country, while the EB-1 provides applicants with permanent residency. Similarly, the O-1 Visa holders will not automatically be approved for an EB-1 since the two categories have different guidelines for acceptance. 

The two are not interchangeable

Since the requirements for an EB-1 green card are much more intensive than that of an O-1 Visa. EB-1 candidates should be able to show considerable proof that they are at the top of their field, in other words, the best at what they do. In fact an applicant with a remarkable achievement like a Nobel Prize for example can self petition for it and will not need an employer to sponsor them.

Unlike the EB-1, all O-1 Visa applications require sponsors.

Differences in rights granted to the family 

Another difference between the two is the rights that are granted to family members. O-1 Visa holders’ spouses and children will not automatically receive the right to work in the U.S. More than likely, they will be granted O-3 visas, which will allow them to study in the U.S. but not work. However, spouses and dependents of EB-1 holders are also granted green cards upon approval as long as the children applying as dependents are under the age of 21.

Read also:

Three things you should ask before applying for an O-1 Visa

Contact us

For more information on these two Visas and how you can convert your O-1 Visa to an EB-1 write to us at [email protected]