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EB-1A Visa. Employment Based Immigration. Who Qualifies?

EB-1A immigration is the most desirable option for obtaining permanent residency in the United States, as this is one of the fastest ways to get a green card. The EB-1 visa refers to the employment-based first preference immigrant category, which is reserved for priority workers, giving them first preference in the green card acquisition process. Priority workers are foreign nationals who either have “extraordinary ability” in the field of science, art, education, business, or athletics, are outstanding professors or researchers or are executives and managers of reputable international companies who are transferred to the US. It allows them to remain permanently in the US.

The top five advantages of this category (compared to for example EB-2) are:

  • This category is current for nationals of all countries including India and China (as of April 2022).
  • The criteria are flexible and overlap with an O-1 visa.
  • You may apply for yourself – you don’t need a company to sponsor your petition. 
  • No job offer or labor certification is required.
  • The premium processing is available. As such, it is much faster to obtain a green card with this category than any other

EB-1 Visa Eligibility 

The EB-1 visa category is reserved for truly highly capable people and it is divided into three subcategories:


People with extraordinary abilities in arts, science, education, athletics, and business. The achievements of these people must be extensive and/or internationally recognized and they do not need an employment offer to apply for the EB1 visa.


Outstanding professors and researchers who have received international recognition for their contributions in their fields. The professors and researchers must have at least three years of experience in research or teaching and they must prove that they are coming to the US to continue advancing their field in a research or teaching position in a university.


Multinational managers or executives who have been working for an international branch of a US company for at least 1 year in the past 3 years. They must be applying for the EB1 visa to continue working for that company and their position in the US must match or be higher than the one they had in a foreign country.

EB-1A category of Green Card 

A worker with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, may qualify for a EB-1A green card. The person’s achievements must have been publicly recognized and resulted in a period of sustained national or international acclaim. The application process often involves showing that the foreign national is a widely acknowledged leader in the particular artistic, educational, business, or athletic field. No job offer is needed in this subcategory so long as the foreign national will continue working in the field of expertise after arriving in the United States. If, however, the worker has received a job offer from a U.S. employer, that employer can help with the EB-1 application by filing the requiredl petition with USCIS on Form I-140. 

EB-1A Requirements

In order to qualify for the EB-1A visa you must demonstrate that you have won a major international award that is widely recognized. Examples include the Nobel Prize, an Olympic Gold Medal, or a Pulitzer Prize or  meet 3 out of 10 of the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
  2. Evidence of membership in associations in the field which demands the outstanding achievement of their members.
  3. Evidence of published material 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 original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
  6. Evidence of 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 will 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.

Additionally, you must also show that your admittance into the United States will substantially benefit the United States in the future, and you must prove that you will continue to pursue work in the area of extraordinary ability in the U.S. and prove that your work is of substantial and prospective benefit to U.S. national interest. 

EB-1A Documentation and cost 

Documentation and costs of obtaining an EB-1A visa depends on whether you are present in the U.S. or if you will apply from outside the U.S. 

If you are in the U.S.:

  • Form I-140 filing fee: $700
  • Premium processing fee (optional): $2,500
  • Form I-485 filing fee: Varies for different age groups. For ages between 14-78, the filing fee is $1,225 per applicant. 
  • Medical examination fee: varies.

If you are outside the U.S.

  • Form I-140 filing fee: $700
  • Premium processing fee (optional): $2,500
  • DS-260 visa application fee: $325
  • Immigrant visa fee: $220
  • Medical examination fee: varies.


Passright team has handled numerous EB-1 cases in each category.  We understand how to effectively frame a petition so that it accurately captures all of the important aspects and talents of a petitioner, creating the best odds for the success.

Contact us and we will help you to determine eligibility for each unique EB-1 category and develop a successful strategy for preparing and submitting a unique and fitting petition.


  • What is Form I-140?

    Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker is a form submitted to the USCIS by the applicant to work in the US on a permanent basis (become a green card holder).
  • What is the I-485?

    Form I-485 is officially called the “Adjustment of Status Application” and is the official green card application. Certain immigrants who are in the United States can submit an adjustment of status application to change their immigration status to become permanent residents.
  • How to change my status if I am outside the US?

    Changing your status is only an option available to those who are already present in the U.S. under a valid visa (such as the O-1, F-1, or H-1B). If this is not the case and you are currently outside the U.S., you will need to go through the consular processing. This means that you will need to make an appointment with the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country and schedule a one-on-one interview with a consular officer. You will also need to complete the DS-260 online immigrant visa application and bring the confirmation page to the appointment.
  • How to get an EB-1 visa?

    As a person with extraordinary ability, you may be eligible to enter the United States. To win an extraordinary ability case requires extensive documentation and excellent petition demonstrating your accomplishments. Contact our Passright legal team for more information!