Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q: What is EB-1? and what are the document requirements for EB-1 petitions?
A: EB-1 is the Employment-Based First Preference Immigration. An EB-1 petition consists of Form I-140 and supporting documents to show that the beneficiary meets the EB-1 criteria. There are no specific documents that are required under the immigration laws and regulations. However, if filing an EB1-Extraordinary Ability (EB1-EA or EB-1A) petition, you should include documentation demonstrating that you qualify as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability.
According to USCIS, the EB1 Extraordinary Ability classification applies to individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. The individual must demonstrate that they have sustained national or international acclaim, and that their achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise, indicating that they are one of that small percent who has risen to the top of their field of endeavor. The individual must plan to continue to work in their area of extraordinary ability and must substantially benefit the United States.
Q. What does “extraordinary ability” mean?, and who would qualify for aliens of "extraordinary ability"?
A: The "extraordinary ability" is an expertise level that the person is one of a small percentage who has risen to the very top of a field. An EB-1 worker of extraordinary ability may petition for himself or herself. Labor certification is not required for petitions based on EB1 extraordinary ability.
These are individuals who have received major national/international awards. In this category, receipt of an award such as a Nobel Prize or Academy Award suffice as evidence of "extraordinary ability." Absent such a specific award, the individual must provide at least three types of evidence. The evidence may be the same as that enumerated for "outstanding professors and researchers".
In the case of non-scientific or educational "extraordinary ability", individuals should have
- evidence that his or her work has been displayed in more than one country;
- evidence that he or she has had a lead or critical role through an establishment with a strong reputation;
- evidence that the individual has commanded a high salary; or
- evidence of commercial success.
Q. What are the alternative evidences of applying for aliens of "extraordinary ability"?
A: Since very few person receive international award like Nobel Prize, alternative evidences of this EB1-EA classification, based on at least three of the types of evidence outlined below, are permitted:
- Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
- Membership in associations in the field which demands outstanding achievement of their members;
- Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
- Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
- Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence that the alien's work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
- Evidence that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
- Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts.
This is the petitioner’s responsibility to meet the legal burden of proof to establish eligibility in all respects. Whenever a alien applicant makes an application for an immigrant benefit, the petitioner shall bear the burden of proof to establish eligibility for the benefit sought. Therefore, the petitioner must prove, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the beneficiary is fully qualified for the benefit sought.
Q. What is the major advantages of applying for aliens of "extraordinary ability"?
A: 1) No labor certification is required for this EB-1 category;
2) No job offer or permanent job position is required for aliens of extraordinary ability from a U.S. employer;
3) The immigrant visas are current for EB, so it is much faster to obtain a U.S. Green Card in this category than other categories under EB2 and EB3;
4) No U.S. employer is needed as a sponsor; the alien applicant can self-petition in the EB-1A category.
Q. What categories are included in the Employment-Based First Preference Immigration ("EB-1")?
A: This category is for "priority workers." This category includes multinational managers and executives eligible for transfer to the United States, outstanding researchers or professors at universities or with private employers who have established research departments, and aliens of "extraordinary ability" in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
Q: If I have a choice between filing an Alien of Extraordinary Ability and filing an Outstanding Researcher or Outstanding Professor petition, which petition should I choose?
A: If you meet both criteria, you can file for an Alien of Extraordinary Ability petition which will not bind you to any particular employer and which you may file on your own behalf. You can also file an Outstanding Researcher or Outstanding Professor (EB1-OR, or EB-1B) petition at the same time. However, it requires a job offer from an employer. In addition, a change of employers while your EB1-Outstanding Researcher or Outstanding Professor petition is pending may affect your Outstanding Researcher or Outstanding Professor petition. Your particular situation may differ depending on your specific circumstances.
Many applicants file both petitions simultaneously. Often, one petition will be approved earlier than the other. In addition, if one petition is denied for some reason, there is still a chance that the other petition may be approved.
Q. How could I know whether I may meet the requirements for an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card?
A: Answer three questions below to see if you could qualify for an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability immigrant visa:
1) Do you have extraordinary ability in business, science, arts, education or athletics?
2) Do you have sustained national or international acclaim in your field?
3) Are you coming to the United States to work in your area of extraordinary ability?
If you answered Yes to all of the questions above, you may meet the requirements for an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card.
Q: What kind of evidence should be included in an EB1 Extraordinary Ability application?
A: An Form I-140 application filed for an alien immigrant with extraordinary ability must demonstrate that the alien applicant has a level of expertise that the alien has risen to the top of the field. Evidence must be submitted to support an Form I-140 application for an alien of extraordinary ability. An EB1 Extraordinary Ability application must be accompanied by initial evidence:
a) the alien applicant has sustained national or international acclaim; and
b) the alien applicant’s achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise.
All non-English language documents must have an English translation for the pertinent parts of the documents that help to establish eligibility. If you would like USCIS to consider evidence that is written in a foreign language, you must submit English language translation for the parts of the document that could help to establish eligibility for the requested benefit. The translator must certify that:
- The translation are accurate and complete, and
- The translator is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.
Q: What is the first basic requirement for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application?
A: The first basic requirement for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application is that you must be able to establish that you have extraordinary ability in your field. The EB-1 extraordinary ability immigrant visa is for alien applicants who are recognized as being at the very top of a field, and who are coming to U.S. to continue their work in the field.
To establish the eligibility EB-1 extraordinary ability application, the petitioner must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim, and that the alien applicant's achievements have been recognized in the field.
The following are the USCIS requirements for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application:
"The EB1 Extraordinary Ability classification applies to individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. The individual must demonstrate that they have sustained national or international acclaim, and that their achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise, indicating that they are one of that small percent who has risen to the top of their field of endeavor. The individual must plan to continue to work in their area of extraordinary ability and must substantially benefit the United States."
Q: What is the second basic requirement for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application?
A: The second basic requirement for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application is that you must be able to establish that you are coming to the United States to continue to work in your area of extraordinary ability.
Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that you are coming to the United States to continue to work in your area of extraordinary ability includes: letters from current or prospective employers; documents evidencing your prearranged commitments (such as contracts); and a statement detailing your plans on how you intend to continue working in your field in the United States.
Q: I am a lead engineer working for an small private company with H-1B visa for 2 years, and I have some publications. I want to apply for EB1 Alien with Extraordinary Ability category, or EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor category, What are the major differences of these two categories?
A: The major differences between the EB1 Alien with Extraordinary Ability category or EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor category include:
1) The "EB1 Extraordinary Ability" category generally requires higher achievement and ability;
2) The "EB1 Extraordinary Ability'' category can apply to many different fields in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, while the "EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor" category generally applies to scientific or scholarly fields;
3) The "EB1 Extraordinary Ability" category requires no specific employment or job offer, while the "EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor" category requires a job offer for a permanent research position or a tenured/tenure track teaching position;
4) One can self-petition in the "EB1 Extraordinary Ability" category without a U.S. employer's sponsorship, while the "Eb1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor" category requires a sponsorship from the alien's employer or prospective employer;
5) The "EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor" category requires at least three years experience in the field, while the "EB1 Extraordinary Ability" category has no specified minimum experience requirement for any particular field.
Q: What is the "sustained" national or international acclaim for EB1 Extraordinary Ability?
A: An application for an EB1 extraordinary ability must submit evidence that the alien applicant has "sustained" national or international acclaim, and that the alien applicant's achievements have been recognized in the field.
An alien applicant may have achieved extraordinary ability before, but failed to maintain the level of acclaim thereafter. For USCIS to determine whether the beneficiary has the “sustained" national or international acclaim, such sustained acclaim must be continuing without termination or interruption. If an alien applicant was recognized for achievement several years ago, USCIS adjudicators will decide whether the alien applicant has maintained an acclaim level.
Q: How to determine whether an alien applicant has “sustained" national or international acclaim?
A: For EB1 Extraordinary Ability immigrant application, it must be accompanied by evidence that the alien applicant has sustained national or international acclaim, and the alien applicant's achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise.
For USCIS to determine whether an alien applicant has enjoyed “sustained" national or international acclaim, such acclaim must be maintained for over a long period of time. But the word “sustained” does not imply an age limit on the alien applicant. An alien could be young in his/her career and still may show sustained national or international acclaim.
Q. How difficult is it to have a EB-1 petition approved? Also, if I have filed an EB-1, when is my priority date?
A: The burden of proof in EB-1 cases rests solely with the petitioner. As with all other immigration petitions, unless you are qualified, there is no chance of approval. If a beneficiary is qualified, then the probability of success depends largely on the way the case is presented. If the evidence is relevant and well presented, and the argument is made persuasively, then the case should be approved routinely.
Your priority date is the date that the USCIS receives your EB-1 petition. Nevertheless, the priority date is irrelevant in most cases, as the EB-1 category has high priority to the USCIS processing centers.
Q: What are the initial requirements for EB1 extraordinary ability application?
A: For aliens with extraordinary ability, there is no requirement for employment or job offer, but there should be clear evidence that the alien applicant is coming to U.S. to continue working in the area of his or her expertise. Also, the petitioner should provide evidence that the alien beneficiary has sustained national or international acclaim, and the achievements have been recognized in a field.
Q: What evidence should be provided to show that the alien applicant is coming to the U.S. to continue working in the area of expertise?
A: The evidence that can be provided to show the alien applicant is coming to U.S. to continue working in the area of expertise could include:
1) a letter from prospective U.S. employer;
2) the evidence of prearranged commitments, such as employment contract;
3) other alternative evidence, suh as a statement from the alien applicant detailing plan of how to continue to work in U.S.
Q: How to apply for permanent residency (Green Card) based on EB1 extraordinary ability?
A: The U.S. employer or the self-petitioning alien applicant seeking the Green Card (U.S. permanent residency) based on EB1 extraordinary ability can follow the process below:
1) The U.S. employer or the self-petitioning alien applicant needs to file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, with USCIS.
2) It is possible to file the Form I-485 concurrently with the Form I-140, if an immigrant visa number is available for the alien applicant. If the alien is outside the U.S. when an immigrant visa number is available, the alien applicant should complete the U.S. permanent residency process at an U.S. consulate.
3) If the Form I-485 application is approved, the alien applicant is granted an U.S. permanent resident status, and will receive a U.S. permanent resident card in mail. But if the alien applicant went through the immigrant visa process outside United States, the alien beneficiary will enter U.S. with an immigrant visa in his or her passport, and will receive an U.S. permanent resident card in the mail.
Q. Is EB1-Extraordinary Ability a self-petition case? and how many publications are sufficient to meet EB-1 requirements?
A; Like the National Interest Waiver (NIW), the EB1-EA case is a self-petition case, meaning that an employer does not need to sign the petition form. On the other hand, the EB1-Outstanding Researcher or Outstanding Professor case is employer specific, and the employer must sign the petition form. Due to the second preference quota situation for those from mainland China and India, first preference cases offer some advantages worth considering. For those concerned about NIWs, EB1-Extraordinary Ability and EB1-Outstanding Researcher or Outstanding Professor may be options worth pursuing.
There is no specific minimum publication requirement; rather, it is determined by USCIS on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Do I need a job offer or be sponsored by an U.S. employer for my EB1 Extraordinary Ability application?
A: An Form I-140 application filed for an alien of extraordinary ability does not need to be supported by a job offer or be sponsored by an U.S. employer, and the alien applicant can self-petition for the EB-1A application. For a self-petitioned EB-1A application, the alien applicant must demonstrate that he or she will continue to work in the field of extraordinary ability in the United States, and the alien applicant's work should benefit the United States substantially.
There are no standard criteria for what will substantially benefit the United States. In the EB-1A applications, the petitioner must show that the alien will continue to work in the area of expertise in the United States. If USCIS adjudicators are not satisfied that the alien applicant has satisfied the requirements, a Request For Evidence (RFE) notice may be issued by USCIS.
Q: I am O-1 visa holder, do I qualify the EB1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card automatically?
A: In some cases, an EB-1A petition may be filed on behalf of an alien who was previously granted the O-1 visa, alien of extraordinary ability nonimmigrant visa. Though the prior approval of an O-1 visa petition on behalf of the alien may be a relevant consideration in adjudicating the EB-1A petition, USCIS is not bound by the fact that the alien was previously accorded the O-1 visa if the facts do not support approval of the E11 petition; eligibility as an O-1 visa does not automatically establish eligibility under the EB-1A criteria for extraordinary ability.
Each petition is separate and independent, and must be adjudicated on its own merits, under the corresponding statutory and regulatory provisions. Moreover, the O-1 nonimmigrant visa includes different standards and criteria for aliens in the arts, athletics, and the motion picture industry. In such cases, there would be nothing inconsistent about finding that an alien in the arts has “distinction” according to the O-1 nonimmigrant visa criteria, but not “national or international acclaim” according to the EB-1A immigrant criteria.
Q: What is the two-part approach an immigrant visa application?
A: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reviewed the denial of a EB-1A petition in 2010. It is called the Kazarian case. The AAO determines that Kazarian case sets forth a two-part approach. Thereafter, a USCIS memorandum mandates the two-step analysis for EB1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability petition, EB1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers petition, and EB2 National Interest Waiver petition.
In Part One, the USCIS adjudicator will determine whether the immigrant visa petition has submitted evidence to meet the criteria for the immigration classification he or she is seeking, as required by the USCIS regulations.
In Part Two, the USCIS adjudicator will consider all of the submitted evidence in totality to make a determination as to whether the alien beneficiary meets the requisite level of expertise for the immigration category. In this step, the USCIS adjudicator will evaluate all the evidence and determine if it proves by a preponderance of the evidence cumulatively that the alien beneficiary satisfies the general definition of the category.
If the petitioner establishes that the beneficiary has received a one time achievement (a major internationally recognized award), or meets at least three of the ten criteria, we then determine whether the petitioner has submitted evidence demonstrating that the beneficiary
- has sustained national or international acclaim, and
- has achievement that have been recognized in the field of expertise, indicating that the beneficiary is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
In determine whether the beneficiary has enjoyed “sustained” national or international acclaim, such acclaim must be maintained. A beneficiary may have achieved extraordinary ability in the past, but then failed to maintain a comparable level of acclaim thereafter.
Q: What is the "two-part evaluation" process for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application?
A: USCIS uses a "two-part" adjudicative approach to evaluate the evidence submitted for EB1 extraordinary ability petitions:
1) determine if the petitioner has submitted the required evidence to meet the criteria for EB1 extraordinary ability;
2) during a "final merits determination", determine if the the submitted evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that the alien beneficiary could meet the required high level of expertise for the EB1 extraordinary ability.
3) In other words, USCIS officers should not evaluate each type of evidence individually to determine if the alien applicant is extraordinary.
At the first stage, USCIS officers will evaluate the submitted evidence to determine which evidence objectively meets the the regulatory criteria, by applying the preponderance of the evidence standard. At the second stage, USCIS officers will evaluate the evidence in its entirety for the final merits determination, regarding the required high level of expertise for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability.
Q: Does the USCIS' Two-Part Evaluation approach determine the Request For Evidence notice?
A: The USCIS' Two-Part Evaluation approach adjudication method apply to EB1 extraordinary ability petition. The evidence listed in the EB-1A regulations serve only as guidelines for the petitioner. Eventually, the submitted evidence should establish that the alien beneficiary is extraordinary and "at the top of the field"
Simply presenting evidence which relates to 3 of the listed 10 EB-1A criteria does not necessarily mean that the immigrant visa application should be approved, since the USCIS adjudicator needs to evaluate the submitted evidence. If the USCIS adjudicator determines that the evidence does not meet the standard for EB-1A classification, the additional evidence may be requested, which is Request For Evidence, or RFE.
The following is the USCIS' description of Part One evaluation:
"We determine whether the petitioner has submitted evidence to show that the beneficiary has received a one-time achievement (a major international recognized award); or the beneficiary qualifies under at least three of the ten criteria required for this classification."
The following is the USCIS' description of Part Two evaluation:
"If the petitioner establishes that the beneficiary has received a one time achievement (a major internationally recognized award), or meets at least three of the ten criteria, we then determine whether the petitioner has submitted evidence demonstrating that the beneficiary:
1) has sustained national or international acclaim, and
2) has achievement that have been recognized in the field of expertise, indicating that the beneficiary is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
In determine whether the beneficiary has enjoyed “sustained” national or international acclaim, such acclaim must be maintained. A beneficiary may have achieved extraordinary ability in the past, but then failed to maintain a comparable level of acclaim thereafter."
Q: What is the “preponderance of the evidence” standard for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application evaluation?
A: To keep the consistency in immigrant visa adjudication, USCIS will use two-part approach for evaluating submitted evidence for EB1 Extraordinary Ability, EB2 Outstanding Professors or Researchers, and EB2 National Interest Waiver petition.
The adjudicative officers will first evaluate each type of submitted evidence objectively to determine if it meets the regulatory criteria. The adjudicative officers then will consider all evidence in totality to make the final merits determination, for the required high level of expertise in that immigrant visa classification.
For immigrant petitions filed for EB1 Extraordinary Ability, EB1 Outstanding Professors or Researchers, and EB2 National Interest Waiver, USCIS will use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard, which means that if the petitioner submits relevant and credible evidence that leads USCIS to believe that the claim is “more likely than not” or “probably true,” then the petitioner has satisfied the standard of proof.
Q. Could a self-petitioned EAD holder (through I-140 in the EB1-EA category, I-485 pending) work as a self- employed consultant in his area of expertise?
A: The EB1-Extraordinary Ability category does not require a specific job offer, but rather only clear evidence that the individual plans to continue his or her work in the U.S. in the field of expertise. Since it appears that this remains your intention, there is no problem with you performing your work as a self-employed consultant rather than a designated employee.
Q: What is a Letter of Recommendation? Whom should I contact to obtain Letters of Recommendation?
A: A letter of recommendation is also called reference letter, and it is a letter written by an expert in the alien's field or some otherwise authoritative person in an allied or supported field. The letter discusses the abilities and accomplishments of the alien seeking an EB-1. Letters of recommendation are an important part of an EB-1 petition.
Recommendation letters should be written by experts or scholars in alien's field. Usually, alien applicants ask their former professors, co-workers, employers and individuals that they have met at conferences. People who are less familiar with the alien are also recommended, as an alien who qualifies for an EB-1 petition would be expected to have some degree of notoriety in his or her field. Anyone who is familiar with an alien's work and has expertise in the field may write a letter of recommendation for an applicant.
Q: What information should be included in the recommendation letters? and If my boss is not willing to write a strong letter of recommendation for me, may I still get a successful EB-1?
A: Recommendation letters provide the primary supporting evidence for your petition. For instance, the letters should include the writers' qualifications for their opinion, your achievements, awards, publishing record, society memberships, etc. There is no specific number of letters set forth by the USCIS. You should generally include three to seven letters of recommendation in an EB-1 case.
It is not necessary to obtain a strong letter of recommendation from your current employer to have a successful EB-1 petition, although you should get a letter from your employer if he or she is willing to write one for you. If you obtain letters of recommendation from other experts to support an EB-1 claim, your case may still be a successful one.
Q: What is USCIS' view of the reference letters for EB1 Extraordinary Ability Application?
A: Many EB1 extraordinary ability application include contain letters of reference. Certain testimonials written by other experts working in the alien applicant’s field may be submitted as evidence. But the letters of reference should not be the cornerstone of a successful application of EB1 extraordinary ability.
Also, the statements in the reference letters should be corroborated with the submitted evidence. The reference letters should explain why he or she believe that the alien beneficiary is in the EB1 extraordinary ability caliber. If a reference letter merely reiterates the EB1 extraordinary ability definitions, or merely make expansive statements for the beneficiary's accomplishments, this kind of reference letter is not persuasive.
When USCIS evaluates the statements in the reference letter, the relationship between the alien applicant and the reference letter writer is also an important considering factor. USCIS expects that an alien beneficiary in the EB1 extraordinary ability caliber should receive recognition beyond the circle of personal and professional acquaintances.
Q: My previous college professor is always busy, for me to ask him for a letter of recommendation, what should I do? Also, do I have to get references letters from some third-part experts in my field?
A: Letters of recommendation are hard to draft. Often professors are too busy to draft these letters themselves and are happy to review a draft and sign a letter provided to them by the applicant. Often, you can draft the letter to ensure that it includes the appropriate language and meet the EB-1 filing requirements.
The independent third-part expert reference letters play an important role in the application, but not required. Also, it is better that the independent third-part experts attach their resume with their reference letters. Their resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is very important to establish the credibility of the reference. USCIS is more focused on the objective evidences, instead of subjective statements made by your acquaintance individuals.
Q: I do not have good relationship with my current employer, and I am worry abut that they may not give me a good reference letter. Do you think this will affect my application?
A: The EB-1 Extraordinary Ability and National Interest Waiver petitions do not need employer sponsorship, and a recommendation letter from your current employer is not necessary. If you qualify for EB1 Extraordinary Ability or National Interest Waiver, theoretically you do not have to have a specific U.S. employer. The EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Outstanding Professor petition does need employer sponsorship, thus a recommendation letter from employer is important in this case, but it is not required also.
Your petition depends on other expert letters of recommendation and your personal qualifications, ant it does not depend on your relationship with your current employer. If your other evidences can establish your personal qualifications, or other reference letters provide sufficient support for your application, then there is no need for you to worry about your relationship with current employer.
Q. Do I have to have many citations to apply for EB1 Extraordinary Ability?
A: In scientific fields, citations are required in most cases when a researcher uses another scientist's research findings of for his or her own research. These citations are normally not considered to be probative for the alien applicant's extraordinary ability in the field. When evaluating citations to an alien’s work, USCIS will evaluate the submitted citations to determine the significance of the alien applicant’s original contribution to the field.
The frequent citations by independent researchers may show the interest in alien’s work, and may serve as evidence that the alien applicant is indeed an authoritative in the field. In some situations, alien’s significant and original contributions in a field can bring the subsequent references and citations.
As an example, consistent references and citations by other researchers for an advanced technology developed by the alien applicant would be relevant to the alien's extraordinary ability. But other researcher's citations to the alien’s similar research techniques without accrediting any significant findings to the alien applicant may not be probative.
Q: How to prove that my award meets the prize or award requirement for EB-1A?
A: To meet this criterion, the petitioner should establish that the prizes or awards are given for excellence in the beneficiary’s field of endeavor, or that the primary purpose of the prizes or awards was to recognize excellence in the beneficiary’s field. To demonstrate excellence in the field is the basis for the prizes or awards, the petitioner may submit:
Documentary evidence describing how the prizes or awards relates to excellence in the beneficiary’s field.
Documentary evidence of the criteria used to grant the prizes or awards, including evidence that a criterion for winning the prizes or awards was excellence in the field.
Q: What kind of membership in associations should I have to meet the EB-1A criteria?
A: To satisfy this EB1 extraordinary ability criterion, the submitted evidence should establish that the alien applicant’s significant achievement in the field is the basis for the alien’s membership in the association. It is not sufficient for this criterion if the membership is based on education level, or is based on years of experience in the field.
To satisfy this criterion, alien applicant's membership in associations should require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by national or international experts in their fields. Also, USCIS believes that the membership fee payment or an association’s publication subscription is not sufficient for this criterion, because membership in some associations can be a requirement of an occupation, such as union membership or guild affiliation for actors.
To satisfy this criterion, the petitioner should show that the membership of an association is exclusive, which means that membership is limited only to those who have been attained outstanding achievements in the field as judged by their peers.
Q: How to prove that my membership meets the association membership requirement for EB-1A?
A: To meet the membership criterion, the petitioner should provide evidence to confirms that the association requires outstanding achievements of its members. To assist the USCIS in determining that the beneficiary’s membership satisfy this criterion, the petitioner may submit the section of the association’s constitution or bylaws which discuss the criteria for membership for the beneficiary’s level of membership in the association.
And, the submitted evidence should show that the basis for granting memberships in the submitted association is the beneficiary’s outstanding achievements in the field of endeavor as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field. To assist in determining that the beneficiary’s membership satisfy this criterion, the petitioner may submit:
- Information to establish that the individual who review prospective member’s applications are recognized as national or international experts in their disciplines or fields.
- The section of the association’s constitution or bylaws which discuss the qualifications required of the reviewers on the review panel of the association.
Q: How to meet the EB-1A criterion of "original" scientific contributions?
A: To satisfy this EB1 extraordinary ability criterion, the petitioner should provide evidence of the alien's "original contributions of major significance" to the field. The arguments alone are not sufficient. Although published work and funded research could be "original contributions” to a field. USCIS will check if the published work and funded research is indeed a major, significant contribution to the field. USCIS will determine whether the alien has made original contributions in the field, and whether the alien’s original contributions are of major significance to the field.
USCIS officers will evaluate whether the alien applicant's work constitutes major, significant contributions to the field. Although funded research and published work may be “original,” this fact alone is not sufficient to establish that the alien applicant's work has "major significance." For example, peer-reviewed presentations or peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals may have significance of the alien’s contributions to a field, if the presentations or articles have provoked widespread commentary or received a goodly number citations.
Q: How to prove that my contribution meets the requirement of "contribution of original and of major significance in the field"?
A: To meet this criterion, the submitted evidence should show that the beneficiary’s contributions are considered to be of major significance in the field of endeavor. To assist in determining whether the beneficiary’s contributions are original and of major significance in the field, the petitioner may submit:
- Objective documentary evidence of the significance of the beneficiary’s contribution to the field.
- Documentary evidence that people throughout the field currently consider the beneficiary’s work important.
- Testimony and/or support letters from experts which discuss the beneficiary’s contribution of major significance.
- Evidence that the beneficiary’s major significant contribution has provoked widespread public commentary in the field, or has been widely cited.
- Evidence of the beneficiary’s work being implemented by others. Possible evidence may include but is not limited to:
Also, the reference letters and testimonies, if submitted, must provide a much detail as possible about the beneficiary’s contribution, and must explain, in detail, how the contribution was “original” (not merely replicating the work of others), and how they are of “major” significance. General statements regarding the importance of the endeavors are insufficient.
Q: How to establish eligibility for the high level of expertise required for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability immigrant classification?
A: Establishing eligibility for the high level of expertise required for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability immigrant classification is based on the beneficiary possessing:
Sustained national or international acclaim: In determining whether the beneficiary has enjoyed “sustained” national or international acclaim, such acclaim must be maintained. A beneficiary may have achieved extraordinary ability in the past, but then failed to maintain a comparable level of acclaim thereafter; and
Achievements that have been recognized in the field of expertise, indicating that the beneficiary is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
When ultimately making a final decision regarding EB-1A eligibility, USCIS will first evaluate the evidence submitted by the petitioner to determine which regulatory criteria the beneficiary meets in Part One of the analysis. If the petitioner establishes that the beneficiary has received a one-time achievement (a major internationally recognized award), or meets at least three of the ten criteria, then USCIS will evaluate all of he evidence in the record to make a final merits determination of whether or not the petitioner, by a preponderance of the evidence, has demonstrated that the a preponderance has sustained national or international acclaim, and that the beneficiary ‘s achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise, indicating that the beneficiary is one of that small percentage who risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
Q: I published some papers, does it mean that I could meet the EB-1A criterion of authorship of scholarly articles in the field?
A: To satisfy this EB1 extraordinary ability criterion, the petitioner should submit evidence of the alien applicant’s academic articles in professional or major trade publications. The provided evidence should establish the significance of the published articles, and how it has set the alien applicant apart, as one of the small percent who has risen to the very top of the field.
The persuasive evidence includes the documentation that shows the independent experts in the field consider the published documents to be significant, or that the alien’s research results have been widely cited, or been widely adopted by other researchers or professionals. In the cases for scientists, this EB-1A criterion could be satisfied by conference presentations, if such evidence is indicative of the requisite sustained national or international acclaim.
Q: How difficult it will be to get an EB-1A application approved?
A: The petition should determine which of the 10 criteria the alien beneficiary is attempting to satisfy, and provide the relevant evidence for the individual criterion. The burden of EB1 extraordinary ability application approval rests with the petitioner. The petitioner should provide substantial evidence of at least 3 out of 10 EB-1A criteria the alien applicant to satisfy. If the alien applicant is qualified, then the success depends largely on the way the application is presented to USCIS. If the submitted evidence to USCIS is well presented, and the provided arguments for the case are persuasive, then the EB-1A application should be approved.
To help you obtain U.S. Green Card easily and quickly, we provide the high quality and case-proven Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for EB1 Extraordinary Ability Application, based on our extensive and practical employment immigration experience.
As added value in the Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for EB1 Extraordinary Ability Application, we provide comprehensive instructions on U.S. immigration application requirements and processing, the methods of how to prepare the EB-1A application, how to collect evidence, how to show your achievements, how to prove your extraordinary ability, and how to write the application cover letter and the reference letters. We also provide step-by-step procedures for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application, various application strategies, detailed sample cover letter, detailed sample reference letters in different formats and academic fields, samples of filled forms, complete application check list, application required forms, and more.
Q: I want to know the difference between the EB2 National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW) application and the EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) application. What are the advantages of one over the other?
A: The EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) and all EB1 immigrant categories (EB1 Extraordinary Ability, EB1 Outstanding Researcher and Professor, and EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager) do not not require Labor Certification. For the EB2 Exceptional Ability category (not EB2 NIW), the U.S. employer can submit the Form I-140 petition only after obtaining the Labor Certification from U.S. Department of Labor.
The EB1 Extraordinary Ability and EB2 NIW immigrant categories can be self-petitioned, so the foreign aliens do not even need an job offer of employment and the U.S. employer's sponsorship. But for EB2 Outstanding Researcher and Professor petition, an applicant needs a job offer and U.S. employer's sponsorship.
The scope for EB2 NIW petition does not have to be very narrow. An alien applicant can submit both EB1 NIW and EB-1A petitions at the some time to increase the approval chance, if the alien applicant can meet the qualification requirements. If an alien applicant is from a visa retrogressed countries, such as India or China, then EB1 category is more desirable route than NIW, becuse the waiting time for filing Form I-485 form is much shorter.
Q: Can I file for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability application by myself? Do I need to get a labor certification from the Department of Labor for an EB-1A application?
A: Yes. you can file for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability application by yourself. A United States employer can also fill it for you under the classification of EB-1A. A Labor Certification is not required for EB1 Extraordinary Ability application, and you do not have to have an job offer from a prospective United States employer.
Q: How to submit evidence to present a strong case as a researcher for EB1 Extraordinary Ability petition?
A: According to USCIS, the following evidence may present a strong case as a researcher for EB1 Extraordinary Ability petition:
1) peer-reviewed presentations at academic symposia;
2) peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals;
3) testimony from other scholars on the alien beneficiary's contribution to the field;
4) a number of entries in a citation index citing the alien beneficiary's work as authoritative; or
5) participation by the alien beneficiary as a reviewer for a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.
Q: For Extraordinary Ability petition, is the researcher required to have a PhD degree? and how many publications do I need to have to meet the requirements sufficiently?
A: Normally, people may expect outstanding researchers to have Ph.D. degrees, the USCIS regulations do not require a doctorate degree for the EB-1A applicants. Also, there is no specific minimum publication requirement to meet the EB-1A criteria. Rather, it is determined by USCIS on a case-by-case basis.
Q: As a researcher, if I do not have many published papers, can I still ask my employer to file the EB-1A application for me?
A: Publications can establish the alien applicant's original scientific contributions to the field. To file an EB1-A application, there is no requirement that you need to have many published articles, although publications may help to improve your chances of EB-1A approval.
An applicant can still submit evidence that satisfies other criteria listed in the EB-1A regulation, and you can ask your employer to file the EB-1A application for your as your sponsor.
Q: I do not have any awards or prizes in my field, can I file the EB-1A application?
A: If you do not have any awards or prizes in a field, you still can apply for an EB1-A petition. There is no requirement that you must have awards or prizes to file an EB-1A petition or get it approval, although the awards or or prizes would help to satisfy one criterion in the EB-1A regulation. An applicant can still submit evidence that satisfies other criteria listed in the EB-1A regulation.
Q: I am a J-1 visa holder and subjected to the two-year home country residency requirement. Can I apply for EB-1A petition now, and get my J-1 waiver thereafter?
A: As a J-1 visa holder subjected to the two-year home country residency requirement, you can file the EB-1A petition now, and get your J-1 waiver later. You do not need to have a J-1 waiver before file an Form I-140 petition under the EB1 Extraordinary Ability category. The two-year home country residency requirement does not allow you to adjust the status from J-1 to U.S. permanent residency.
After your Form I-140 approval based on he EB-1A you are still subject to the two-year home country residency requirement, and you need to get the J-1 waiver before you can file Form I-485 to adjust your status to U.S. permanent resident.
To help you get your J-1 waiver easily and quickly, we provide a high quality and case-proven Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for J-1 Waiver Application, based on our extensive and practical experience.
As added value in the Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for J-1 Waiver Application, we provide comprehensive instructions on J-1 waiver application requirements and processing, and we also let you know the required application documents, evidence, procedures, samples of recommendation letter and J-1 program sponsor letter, samples of required forms, and detailed explanation of the J-1 waiver application related forms and issues for different J-1 waiver options.
Q: My salary is higher than my co-workers, does it mean that I could meet the EB-1A criterion of "high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services"?
A: To satisfy this EB1 extraordinary ability criterion, the petitioner should show that the alien applicant has a significantly high salary or remuneration for his or her services, in relation to others in the same or similar field. For example, if submitted evidence shows that the alien has a significantly higher salary than others at the alien applicant's workplace, it may not be sufficient to establish the alien's outstanding role in the field, if without further and objective additional evidence.
Also, the submission of U.S. Department of Labor's prevailing wage determination or information for the alien's field may not meet this criterion, if without other corroborative evidence. Because the alien applicant must show that his or her salary or other remuneration is "significantly" higher than that of others in the field, not just simply higher that the "prevailing wage."
Q: I am an artist, can I use the EB-1A criterion of "comparable evidence" for my EB-1A application?
A: If the standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility. The EB1 extraordinary ability provision allows petitioners to submit "comparable evidence" to establish an alien applicant's eligibility, if the above 10 EB-1A criteria do not apply to the alien’s situation or occupation.
To use the comparable evidence, the petitioner should explain why the alien applicant cannot satisfy at least 3 of the 10 EB-1A criteria, and why the submitted evidence is comparable to that required in the EB1 extraordinary ability regulations. In some situations, one type of comparable evidence may satisfy more than one EB-1A criteria. But there is no comparable evidence for the one-time achievement of a major, international recognized award.
When USCIS evaluates the submitted comparable evidence for EB1 extraordinary ability application, they will consider if the EB-1A criteria are applicable to the alien’s occupation or situation. If not, USCIS will determine whether the provided evidence is indeed comparable to the 10 criteria listed in the EB-1A regulations.
Q: May a Ph.D. student apply for an EB-1? I will get my Ph.D. soon, and may not get a job offer immediately after the graduation, may I file an immigration application now, or I have to extend my F-1 visa?
A: There are many successful cases of Ph.D. students obtaining Green Cards in the EB-1 category. Even if you are unable to get a job offer within a short period of your graduation, you may still want to file EB1-EA or NIW petition now. If you can get a practical training job, you may use the OPT time to proceed your I-140 petition.
If your I-140 petition gets approved, you can immediately file Form I-485 and receive the employment authorization (EAD). Once your Form I-485 is filed, your status becomes legal even if you do not have a permanent job.
Q: What is the real difference between EB-1 and NIW applications? Is it possible to file two petitions such as an EB-1 and a NIW at the same time?
A: The requirements in EB-1 and NIW are different, and the application preparation is significantly different between these two classifications. For example, it may be likely that one could qualify for EB-1, but not NIW. But once your I-140 is approved, there is no major difference between these two classifications for the I-485 application later.
It is possible to file two petitions such as an EB-1 and a NIW at the same time. Some applicants file two I-140 petitions simultaneously in EB-1 and NIW. There is nothing stated in the law that prohibits multiple filings. Actually, multiple filings increase your chances.
Q: If I do not have published articles in journals within my field, may I still apply for an EB-1? and do I need a sponsorship from my current employer for NIW or EB-1 application?
A: Yes, there is no specific requirement that you need to have published articles in order to apply or obtain approval of an EB-1 petition, although in many instances publications would help improve chances of approval.
The EB1-EA and NIW can be a self-petitioned application and does not need to be sponsored by your current employer. But EB1-OR is an employer-sponsored application, it needs to be sponsored by your current employer. If you are currently employed, the sponsorship from your employer may help your application, including the letters of recommendation, and other evidences.
Q: How could the sample reference letters in your Complete Do-It-Yourself Package help me to prepare my recommendation letters?
A: In our Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for EB1 Extraordinary Ability petition, we offer sample reference letters in different formats and academic fields to help you to prepare your recommendation letters. These sample reference letters will help you revise your draft letters, and help you to write letters not from scratch.
Also, the time you spend to write a letter or revise a letter would be much shorter when writing a letter based on the provided information in the sample reference letters. Our experience has taught us that this is a better way to combine the petitioner's skills and our knowledge. Your reference letters prepared in this way are more appropriate, more accurate, and more convincing.
Q: What is the permanent job offer? I have received a job offer from my employer. Is my employer required to employ me permanently?
A: A permanent job offer is any job without a defined termination date. Most jobs are permanent jobs, and a permanent job is unrelated to salary or title. On the other hand, a lot of jobs involve an employment "at will" relationship. In such a case, you or your employer may terminate the employment relationship at any time for any or no reason at all.
Q: If I do not have a permanent offer of employment, can I still apply for an EB-1 petition? If I do not have any awards in my field, may I still apply for an EB-1?
A: If you do not have a permanent offer of employment, you are still eligible to apply for an Alien of Extraordinary Ability category petition. But you would not be eligible to apply for an EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Outstanding Professor category petition, since this petition requires a permanent research or teaching job offer.
If you do not have any awards in your field, you still can apply for an EB-1. There is no specific requirement that you must have awards in order to apply or obtain approval of an EB-1 petition, although in many instances awards would help improve chances of approval.
Q: What if I change jobs while my Extraordinary Ability Alien petition is pending? I would like to file an Alien of Extraordinary Ability case, but I plan to move in three months to a different state. What will happen to my petition if I move?
A: It will have no effect upon the status of your case, and your petition will remain active. Extraordinary Ability Alien petitions can be self-petitions and do not require a job offer. Therefore, you may change your employment and it will have no effect on your case as long as you stay within your field of expertise.
Q: I am a Ph.D student with F-1 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa. Do I have to wait to apply for the Green Card after my graduation and changing the visa to H-1B?
A: The F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, but it does not mean that a F-1 visa holder is not allowed to apply for the Green Card. A non-immigrant visa holder, such as F-1 and J-1, may change its intent thereafter receiving a nonimmigrant visa.
It is not true that a non-immigrant visa holder must change its visa type to a nonimmigrant visa such as H or L visa, which allows dual intent, before a Green Card petition can be filed. Generally speaking, anyone can file an immigration petition at any time if he or she meets the qualification requirements. But, if your current F-1 visa time is not long enough for you to finish your degree, it is better to wait to file the Green Card application until you have extended your F-1 visa.
Q: I am a J-1 holder subjected to the two-year foreign country residency requirement. May I apply under EB-1 or National Interest Waiver now, and get my J-1 waiver later?
A: Yes, you can apply for the EB-1 or National Interest Waiver now, and get your J-1 waiver later. Even with a I-140 approval, you are still subject to the two-year foreign country residency requirement, and need to get the J-1 waiver before you can adjust your status to permanent resident.
You do not have to have a J-1 waiver before submitting an I-140 petition. The two-year foreign residency requirement does not allow you to adjust the status from J-1 to permanent residency, but it does not prevent you from submitting I-140 petition. Also, you may prepare for I-140 and J-1 waiver concurrently. If you receive an I-140 approval before a J-1 waiver, you need to wait for the J-1 waiver to submit the I-485 application for adjustment of status.
Q: I am currently in J-1 status and subject to the two-year home country residence requirement. If I apply for an EB-1 and get it approved, is my J-1 home country requirement waived?
A: No, a J-1 waiver and an EB-1 are two different things. A J-1 waiver is an application to waive the two-year home country residency requirement. An EB-1 is an immigration petition. Even if your EB-1 is approved, you are still subject to the two-year requirement. You need to either obtain a J-1 waiver or satisfy it before you may adjust your status to a permanent resident.
Q: If I am not a member of any professional association, organization, or society in my field, may I still apply for an EB-1? If my petition for EB1-EA is unsuccessful, can I apply again in the future?
A: There is no specific requirement that you must be a member of any professional association, organization, or society in order to apply or obtain approval of an EB-1 petition, although in many instances such memberships would help improve chances of your approval.
If your petition for EB1-EA is unsuccessful, you can apply again in the future. A previously rejected petition does not bar you from submitting another petition subsequently, regardless which classification is concerned. However, Unless your circumstance has improved, it is not advisable to simply submit a similar petition again. You will not be able to claim the priority date of the previous petition. But unless the 6 year maximum of your H-1B visa is approaching, losing a priority date is not always an issue, because there is no waiting line for a visa number in EB-1 classifications for most time.
Q: Does an artist or musician qualify for an EB-1? I am not a member of any art professional organizations in my field, but may join by paying a membership fee. Should I join some art professional associations now in order to increase my chances of approval for an EB-1?
A: Yes. Artists and musicians may apply for an EB-1.
You may join some art professional associations now in order to increase your chances of approval for an EB-1. But the evidence that would support an EB-1 petition is membership in an association, organization, or society requiring "outstanding achievement" of its members. If the professional association is relatively easy to join, it may not be a factor in your EB-1 case.
Q: I am considering applying under an EB-1 classification. May I also apply for an NIW? and is there any negative effect between the two petitions? Can letters of recommendation included in an NIW petition be used for an EB-1 petition?
A: Yes, you may also apply for an NIW at the same time. You are not bound by only one immigrant petition category. You may petition under more than one category simultaneously. This increases your odds of getting an approval, since it is impossible to predict whether the USCIS will approve any given case. The law does not prevent one from submitting multiple petitions in different classifications. Each petition is adjudicated separately even if submitted concurrently.
There is no any negative effect between the two petitions. They are unrelated. One will not affect the other. The letters of recommendation included in a NIW petition should not be used for an EB-1 petition. The NIW letters of recommendation will not be effective for an EB-1 petition since an EB-1 and NIW have different criteria.
Q: I have been denied an I-140 petition based on Labor Certification for the reason of incorrect job/title requirements, may I still petition for an EB-1? Between an NIW and an EB-1, which petition is recommended?
A: Yes, you still can petition for an EB-1, assuming you would otherwise qualify for an EB-1. The standards for an EB-1 petition and a Labor Certification are very different. A Labor Certification is based on a lack of available U.S. workers with minimum qualifications for the particular job. By contrast, an EB-1 is based on proving that either the alien possesses an "Extraordinary Ability" or his accomplishments have been "Outstanding", which places the alien in the priority worker classification bypassing the need for a Labor Certification.
You should always keep in mind that filing both a NIW and an EB1-EA petition concurrently is an option. However, each case is different. If your case is strong, your chances for success are higher by applying for EB1-EA. However, if your case is not as distinguished as successful EB1-EA cases, a NIW petition would be a sensible approach.
Q: My employer-sponsored I-140 got approved, and my I-485 is still pending, may I leave my current job?
A: According to the 180 day rule of AC21, you are allowed to change job without affecting the approved I-140, if you has a pending I-485 for 180 days or more, as long as the new job is in the similar occupational classification as the job in the original petition.
Q: What is a "Request For Evidence"?
A: Sometimes the USCIS is not convinced that the alien petitioning under an EB-1 category has met the burden to prove that an applicant qualifies for the EB-1 category. In such cases, they will typically submit a "Request for Additional Evidence" or "Request for Evidence (RFE)" seeking certain forms of evidence that the USCIS finds lacking. An applicant should take great care to present a strong case, so that it may be approved without a request for additional evidence. Nevertheless, there is no way to predict how a USCIS officer reviewing a particular case will respond, and sometimes even the strongest of cases receive a "Request for Additional Evidence".
To process the Form I-140 petition and determine the eligibility for EB1 Extraordinary Ability petition, additional information may be required by USCIS. The Request For Evidence notice provides suggested evidence that could be submitted in consideration of each requested item. The petitioner should provide additional evidence that is believed to satisfy the request. The petitioner is responsible for providing that best shows that the EB-1A beneficiary meets all requirements. Evidence must show that the beneficiary was eligible for the requested benefit when the Form I-140 petition was filed.
Q: How could you help me for my Request For Evidence notice from USCIS Service Center?
A: It is critical to appropriately and proficiently reply the USCIS issued Request for Evidence, incorrect response of the RFE will directly result in your EB1-Extraordinary Ability petition rejection. To help you replying the RFE, we provide the high quality and case-proven "Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of Request For Evidence for EB1 Extraordinary Ability Petition".
In the RFE package, we present methods of analyzing RFE questions, RFE replying strategies, means of strengthening your case, detailed RFE cases analysis, sample cover letters, sample reference letters, and more. With the RFE package, you get all the information you need and step-by-step knowledge and strategies of how to prepare an efficient, professional, and complete response to your RFE notice of EB-1A petition, and eventually get your Green Card. Please also visit: http://www.greencardapply.com/rfe.htm and http://www.greencardapply.com/rfe/request-for-evidence-eb1a.htm
Q: I recently get a letter of "Notice of Intent to Deny" from USCIS for my Form I-140 application. What is the difference between the Request for Evidence and Notice of Intent to Deny?
A: A Request for Evidence (RFE) from a USCIS Service Center is that the USCIS adjudicator is requesting additional evidence to address and support specific parts of the pending I-140 petition. The petitioner may have certain days indicated in the RFE notice to respond the requests in the RFE notice. If the petitioner does not respond within the indicated time, the petition may be denied by USCIS. After USCIS receives your response to an RFE notice, further action will generally occur within 60 days, but may take longer for some cases.
A Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is that the USCIS adjudicator is giving notice that USCIS will deny the pending case, unless you provide certain extra documentation. The petitioner may have certain days indicated in the NOID notice to respond. If the petitioner does not respond within the prescribed period, the petition may be denied. Once the USCIS receives your response to an NOID, further action will generally occur within 60 days, but may take longer.
Q: Can I file EB-1A and NIW concurrently?
A: Yes you can. But your should file a separate Form I-140 petition for EB-1A and NIW, with the required application fee and supporting documents for each immigrant visa category. Also, you should be careful not to check multiple categories on one I-140 Form.
Q: Is the immigration visa's priority date matter in a EB-1A petition case? Also, if I file an EB1 Extraordinary Ability application, can I use the concurrent filing to file an I-485 application also?
A: No, the immigration visa's priority date does not matter in a EB-1A petition, because all immigrant visas are always current for EB-1A petitions.
You can file Form I-140 application and Form I-485 application concurrently, if your priority date is "current." Your priority date is established by the date when your Form I-140 application is filed. Normally, the priority date for EB-1A application is always current.
Q: If my EB-1A petition is rejected by USCIS, how long should I wait to file an EB-1A petition again, or file in other categories again?
A: The immigration law does not restrict the time you can file an EB-1A petition again after the rejection of your previous EB-1A application. A previous rejected EB-1A petition does not bar you from submitting another EB-1A petition again subsequently, and regardless which immigrant classification is concerned.
However, unless your situation has improved, it is not advisable for you to simply submit a similar petition again, because it is unlikely your case will be approved by USCIS.
Q. How to apply for adjustment of status after Form I-140 approval?
A: Application Form I-485, application for adjustment of status, is the document you are required to file after your application for immigration based on employment is approved. This form, when filed, must be accompanied by items such as photos, letter of employment, affidavit of support, physical examination record, etc. To help your Form I-485 application, we provide a "Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for Form I-485 Application".
With the change of immigration regulation, rules on adjustment of status become much more restricted. You must provide visa records to establish your and family members' continuous lawful status since you entered the U.S. This can be a serious problem for those people whose status expired prior to their application for immigration was approved.
Q: My self-petitioned I-140 got approved, and my I-485 is still pending, may I leave my current job?
A: For self-petitioned NIW or EB1-EA application, the job change will not affect the pending I-485. The applicants enjoys a much broader flexibility due to the different nature of their petitions. The I-485 petition will not depend on which employer you work for during the process.
But it does not mean that you can work on any job you like after the I-485 submitted. You need to prove and maintain the required qualifications for EB1-EA application. If you later get a Request For Evidence (RFE) or an interview for the I-485 petition, and you no longer maintain the qualifications set in the original I-140 petition, your I-485 may be rejected.
Q: My I-485 is pending, and my current H-1B is still valid. May I apply for a EAD and use it for a second job?
A: You may want to always keep a valid H-1B visa for your primary job. Your H-1B status does not prevent you from applying for an EAD, but you do not have to use it. The benefit is that if you lose your job and its related H-1B status, you can use the EAD immediately to find a new job.
Using EAD for a secondary job generally will not affect your H-1B status for the primary job. If you believe your I-485 application may have some potential problems for approval, you should keep your valid H-1B status.
Q: I filed a concurrent Form I-140 and Form I-485 petitions several months ago. Now, I get a RFE (Request For Evidence) letter from USCIS for my Form I-140 petition, asking for more supporting materials and evidences. Please let me now what may happen for my Form I-485 application if my Form I-140 is rejected after the RFE response?
A: The concurrent Form I-140 and Form I-485 petitions are supposed to permit the alien applicant a number of benefits, including availability of work permit card (EAD), advance parole for international travel, and similar benefits to the accompanying family members.
Under the U.S. immigration law, the Form I-485 application remains intact unless it is denied as separate from the denial of Form I-140 petition. To prevent the abuse of concurrent Form I-140 and Form I-485 filing, the USCIS instructed its Service Centers to deny all the accompanying applications including Form I-485, Form I-485A, From I-765, and Form I-131 simultaneously, when the USCIS Service Centers deny the underlying Form I-140 petition.
Q: What is the A# or A Number? We just send out the Form I-140 package to USCIS Service Center for my Green Card application. When we can get our A#, and what it is used for? Is it same as SSN? and do I need it for my employment authorization?
A: An alien applicant should have a A# after your Form I-140 immigrant visa application approval. The A Number is the Alien Registration Number. The “A” number is used by the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS for the purpose of identifying aliens.
It alone does not serve as employment authorization nor is it evidence of legal status or permanent residency. After your I-140 approval, you will be given an A number by USCIS.
Aliens are also often confused Social Security Numbers (SSN) with alien registration numbers (or “A” number) issued by the Department of Homeland Security. An alien is issued an “A” number when he or she is applying for immigration, is put under removal proceedings, or under other special alien registration programs.
The formal “A” number contains eight digits and will occasionally begin with a “0” and have a total of 10 digits. In general, one may only have one formal “A” number. In multiple applications cases, however, an alien may receive multiple “A” numbers.
Q: My Form I-140 immigrant visa application was denied after the Request For Evidence (RFE) response to USCIS. What should I do next? Can I file a appeal of a Motion to Reopen? or file a Motion to Reconsider?
A: A Motion to Reopen is a request to the original decision officer of USCIS to review a decision of the immigrant petition. The motion must be based on factual grounds, such as the discovery of new evidence or changed circumstances.
If your Form I-140 immigrant petition was denied by USCIS due to a Request For Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny, you can file a motion to reopen if you can show that:
* The requested evidence was not material;
* The required initial evidence was submitted with the petition;
* The request for appearance or additional evidence was complied with during the allotted period, or
* The request for evidence or appearance was not sent to the address of record.
As another choice, you can also file a "Motion to Reconsider." A motion to reconsider is a request to the original decision officer of USCIS to review a decision based on new or additional legal arguments. The motion must establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence of record at the time of that decision, and it must state the reasons for reconsideration.
A motion to reconsider must be supported by “any pertinent precedent decisions to establish that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or USCIS policy.” Unlike a motion to reopen, new evidence or changed circumstances cannot support the filing of a motion to reconsider.
Q: I am now working at a university as a research associate. How could I get reference letter from "independent" and "well-recognized expert" for my original contribution in the field?
A: According to USCIS, the reference letter should come from independent and well-recognized expert, based upon his/her review of the documents that are submitted with the EB1 Extraordinary Ability application.
By "independent", the USCIS means an expert with whom the alien application has not worked before - not an employer, colleague, advisor, or client. By "well-recognized", the USCIS means a well-credentialed expert with lengthy experience in the field of endeavor. The experience should include an advanced degree, more than ten years of experience in the field, a lengthy publication and presentation record.
Not every EB-1A application case needs the reference letter from "independent" and "well-recognized expert", especially when the alien applicant has Ph.D. degree and a lengthy publication record and several wards, which could distinguish the alien applicant from other individuals in the field.
Q: After I get my Green Card in self-petition EB1-Extraordinary Ability, do I still have to stay in the same or similar field? Also, as a derivative beneficiary, if my wife wants to change her job, does she has to stay in the same or similar field?
A: For self-petition or employer-petition EB1-Extraordinary Ability petition, if you were granted a Permanent Resident status because of your extraordinary ability in a field, you may want to work in the field at least for a while after your Green Card petition approval. It is not recommended that you change job quickly.
For your wife, since she is not the direct beneficiary of the EB1-EA I-140 petition, she is not subject to the requirement of any specific employment. Before obtaining her Green Card and with a valid EAD, she can work any job and anywhere. After the Green Card, she can also change job at any time.
Q: I applied the EB1-Extraordinary Ability petition. I recently got RFE (Request For Evidence) for my petition which said that "the evidence does not demonstrate how your field has changed as a results of your work beyond the incremental improvements in knowledge and understanding expected from valid original research. Additionally, the evidence does not demonstrate that your work has been adopted by many or that your work has led to company investments in new products or processes." It looks like that USCIS used the much strict "Two-Step Approach" for my case. I claimed 3 EB1A criteria: authorship, contribution and review. I meet the requirements of authorship and review, but not the contribution. What should I do?
A: USCIS has issued a Policy Memorandum for "Two-Step Approach" Form I-140 Petitions Evaluation. This Policy Memorandum provides guidance regarding the analysis that Immigration Service Officers must use in adjudicating Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, filed for: EB1 - Extraordinary Ability petitions, EB1 - Outstanding Professor or Researcher petitions, and Aliens of Exceptional Ability, including EB2 NIW petitions.
Once USCIS determines that the petitioner has provided satisfactory evidence for the requisite number of prongs, the second phase of review requires the adjudicator to weigh the evidence against the required high level of expertise for the visa category. It is in the second phase of the review where the evidence can be evaluated to see if, cumulatively, it proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant or beneficiary is at the very top of his or her field of endeavor.
For your case, you need to work on the criterion of academic contribution in your field. A good way is to run a new report of your paper's citation number. You also need to prove that you are one of that small percentage who has risen to the top of the field of endeavor and, and you have sustained national or international acclaim.
Q: As a post-doctor researcher at a U.S. University for more than 3 years, I plan to apply for Green Card in both EB1-Extraordinary Ability (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) and EB2 National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW) immigrant visa categories with the help of your Green Card DIY application packages. I have over 30 citations for my publications. How could I use my citations as strong evidence for my Green Card application?
A: When evaluating alien's publication citations and an alien’s research work, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will determine the significance of the alien’s original contribution to the field that resulted in the citations.
To use the citations as strong evidence for EB1 or EB2 NIW Green Card application, the alien applicant should establish the publication's circulation and intended audience. Some citations, especially passing citations, do not suffice. Also, articles that cite the alien‘s work as one of multiple footnotes or endnotes are generally not “about” the alien‘s work. USCIS may not be persuaded that citations of an article authored by the alien beneficiary constitute published material about the alien‘s work.
The alien applicant should include citation report from an online source (GoogleScholar, SciFinder, or the Web of Science). Citation record can help USCIS understand that the field has acknowledged the alien applicant's research, and original research contribution in the field.
In some cases, inclusion of a lengthy list of referenced articles that often accompany published articles might be probative of the alien’s ability, because the alien’s contributions served as a significant, original contribution that spurred the subsequent references and citations.
Q: My EB-1A based Form I-140 application is still pending, and I may need to go back to my home country to work for a short time. What is the procedure for me to get my Green Card after the Form I-140 is approved if I am outside of the U.S.?
A: The Consular Processing is a method that you can apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate overseas after your Form I-140 petition is approved and you are not in U.S. If the Form I-140 petition is approved and you are not in the United States, the USCIS will send the approved Form I-140 petition to the National Visa Center of Department of State. The National Visa Center will send you a notice of receipt. Since an immigration visa number is available for EB-1A classification, the National Visa Center will send you another notice indicating when you should submit the immigrant visa processing fees and supporting documentation. The supporting documentation may include:
- a copy of Notice of Approval;
- a copy of your filed I-140 petition;
- a copy of Notice of Receipt of the I-140 petition;
- a copy of your valid passport;
- any criminal history records;
- a copy of your birth certificate;
- a copy of your marriage certificate;
- copies of birth certificates of your children and spouse.
After your fees and supporting documentation are received by the National Visa Center, they will send you a packet of forms and instructions to your foreign address. Thereafter, after submission of those forms, the U.S. consulate near your foreign address will send you an appointment letter including instructions for the medical exam, and it will indicate when you must appear at a U.S. consulate for an interview. After the interview, the U.S. consular will review your application, and decide either granting your visa or requesting the USCIS to reconsider your petition.
Q: Having an O-1 Visa, How Could I Qualify for EB1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card?
A: Many people who qualify for temporary O-1 visas as persons of extraordinary ability may not automatically qualify for the U.S. Permanent Resident in the EB1-Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) Green Card category, even though the standards are close. It is therefore important to prepare an I-140 petition for a person of extraordinary ability according to the statutory and regulatory guidelines in order to avoid a Request for Evidence:
1) Ensure that all forms are completely filled out;
2) Clearly document in a letter from the petitioner, or from the alien if it is a self petition, how the alien applicant is qualified for this eminent category - EB1-Extraordinary Ability;
3) Ensure that the alien applicant meets at least three of the required criteria. Although meeting three of the ten criteria of EB-1A would not guarantee that the alien will qualify as an individual of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics, if the alien applicant can not satisfy at least three of the EB-1A criteria, it may be wise to consider another green card application category.
Q: I am in U.S. with J1 visa, and need to meet the 2 year home country service requirement. I want to to apply for my Green Card in the EB2 National Interest Waiver category. Can I file my EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) application now? and try to get my J1 waiver later?
A: As a J1 visa holder, you can I file the EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) petition now, and then get the J1 waiver later. Since you are subject to the 2 year home country service requirement, you need to receive the J1 waiver before you file Form I-485 to get your Green Card to become U.S. permanent resident.
Before filing the Form I-140 based on the EB1 Extraordinary Ability, you do not have to get the J1 waiver approval. Your J1 visa 2 year home country service requirement will prevent you from adjustment status with the USCIS Form I-485 in the United States, but it will not prevent you from filing the EB-1A petition.
After you receive an I-140 approval from USCIS before you get the a J-1 waiver, you should wait for the J-1 waiver approval to submit the I-485 application for adjustment of status.
Q: As a researcher in a pharmaceutical company with a PhD degree in Biology and in H-1B status for 2 years, I want to apply for U.S. Green Card in EB1 (EB1 Extraordinary Ability, EB1 Outstanding Researcher) or EB2 National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW) immigration categories, or apply for 2 categories at the same time. It is very difficult for me to get reference letters form U.S. government agencies or some professional societies. Do I have to get reference letters for those applications? and are there any thing more I should know about the reference letters?
A: There are many issues to be addressed about reference letters or recommendation letters. First, the reference letters are not required by USCIS. But they can be very useful, and most USCIS examiners for EB1 Extraordinary Ability, EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor, or EB2 National Interest Waiver application expect them.
Some alien applicants may try to avoid the reference letters or recommendation letters for confidentiality purposes, but for others, they are easy to obtain the reference letters. Some professional societies usually do not provide reference letters of their members. In addition, U.S. government agencies will normally not simply prepare a reference letter if asked. So the request of reference letters or “independent letters” heavily favors applicants with connections at government agencies or in professional societies, which may see as unfair for some applicants.
If it is difficult for an applicant to get reference letters or recommendation letters, a more thorough compilation of background materials can offset an absence of reference letters. These materials may include statistics about the area of research, information about professional organizations, awards, journals, etc.Q: I applied the EB1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card application three months ago in the USCIS Texas Service Center. Now, I got a Request for Evidence (RFE) letter, asking for the evidence question of my reviewing articles for a journal. Do you think this is because that the journal is not the highest ranked journal in my field?
A: USCIS Service Center often issues the Request for Evidence in EB1 Extraordinary Ability petitions with respect to the criteria of "judging the work of others." USCIS examiners question the alien applicant's work in acting as a reviewer for scientific journals, if the journals at issue were not the highest ranked journals in the field.
Under the law, serving as a referee for scholarly, peer reviewed journals meets the "judging the work of others" criteria, even if the journal is not the highest ranked journal.
Normally, USCIS examiners may ask for "documentary evidence for selection of judges in panels/referees in journals." The petitioners should get documents from the editors of the journals. If the alien petitioner was asked to review any articles for the journal, he or she can ask a letter as evidence from the editors or associate editors.
Additionally, the editors typically send out review decision letters to reviewers that they influenced the decision or outcome of the review. They may say that the decision to publish or not publish was made based on reviewer's recommendation. Such letters would play an important role for the RFE response also.
Q: I submitted by EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EA-1A) petition 2 months ago, and then received a Request For Evidence (RFE), which challenges the evidence's "ineligibility" that I provided with very high standard of requirements. What I should do? Please help!
A: The alien applicants should be aware that approvals in the EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EA-1A) petitions are difficult to obtain. The legal standard requires showing that the alien applicant has reached the very top of his or her field. The legal standard in the EB1 Extraordinary Ability category is high. While this category was intended to apply to a small group of extraordinary individuals, it was not meant to be unattainable.
There are alien applicants who are able to demonstrate their extraordinary abilities in the fields of science, art, education, business, and athletics. It is necessary to establish that this extraordinary ability has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, and that the achievements have been recognized in the field with extensive documentation.
In some EB1 Extraordinary Ability petition cases, additional challenges are applied in this category by USCIS adjudicators, which are going beyond the high standard that is appropriate for the EA-1A category, and creating novel requirements.
USCIS adjudicators have wide discretion in adjudicating the EA-1A petition cases, and the complexity of the evidence presented. USCIS adjudicators sometimes apply heightened legal standards for EB1 Extraordinary Ability petitions to support a negative decision, or a Request For Evidence (RFE)
In such cases, it can be difficult to challenge the ineligibility finding made by the adjudicators, or provide evidence to reply the Request For Evidence. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully analyze the actual legal criteria, and the application of the criteria by the adjudicator to the often highly complex individual facts.
Q: Can I File a U.S. Green Card Application for Myself?
A: We know most of the employment-based immigration categories require a U.S. employer to sponsor the foreign workers for their immigration application (U.S. Green Card Application), there are actually a few immigration categories that allow for self-petition if certain requirements can be met by the alien applicants.
The employment-based first preference (EB1) immigration category has three subcategories, i.e, EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A, or EB1-EA), EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher (EB-1B, or EB1-OR), and EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager (EB-1C, or EB1c). Only one of these 3 subcategories, EB1 Extraordinary Ability, allows for self-petition. This immigration category is available for alien applicants with extraordinary ability in business, science, art, education, or athletics. The alien applicants who may qualify for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability application are generally those who are recognized as being at the top of their respective fields, and who intend to continue to work in that field in U.S.
Another immigration category allowing for self-petition is the EB2 National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW, or NIW). This immigration category falls within the employment-based, second preference (EB2) immigration category, which is reserved for professionals with advanced degrees and individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
The EB2 immigration category generally requires a job offer from an U.S. employer, and it also requires a PERM labor certification approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The labor certification process is designed to protect U.S. workers. However, U.S. immigration law allows for a waiver of the PERM labor certification requirement in some cases, in which the alien applicant's contributions for United States are at such a level that the U.S. nation's interests can be better served by not having the alien applicants undergo the PERM labor certification process.
Q: As a researcher at a U.S. national research lab, I am preparing my Green Card application in the EB1 category. I am considering to claim the "prizes or awards" criterion, but not sure the if my awards, mostly graduate/post-doc level awards, can be considered by USCIS officers for national or international significance. Do you know what are the criteria used by USCIS for this issue?
A: To determine whether the alien applicant has received lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor, some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that the award is a major, internationally recognized award includes:
* The criteria used to grant the award;
* The national or international significance of the awards or prizes in the field;
* The reputation of the organization or the panel granting the award;
* Previous winners of the award who enjoyed international acclaim at the time of receiving the award;
* The award attracts competition from internationally recognized individuals in the field;
* The number of awardees or prize recipients as well as any limitations on competitors. An award limited to competitors from a single institution, for example, may have little national or international significance
If you have received venture capital funding or have been awarded a grant, you may submit evidence of the funding or grant awarded, including the amount of the funding or grant and the criteria used in awarding the funding or grant. Evidence of other investments, such as those from an accredited angel investor, may also be submitted.
Q: From a friend, I know that you provide the “Premium Petition Service Program” for EB1 and EB2 NIW petitions. Could you provide a case to help me understand how the Premium Petition Service Program will help us to file the Green Card application.
A: We provide the “Premium Petition Service Program” for EB1 and EB2 NIW petitions (http://www.greencardapply.com/general/premium.htm). Here, we provide an NIW petition example, in which the alient alpplicant used our Premium Petition Service Program to get National Interest Waive petition approval.
The EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) pettition enable outstanding aliens to live and work permanently in the United States, sharing their talents and expertise for the benefit of the United States. One of the features of NIW is that it allows for self-petitioning. While the EB2 National Interest Waiver can be filed by an employer, there can be advantages to self-petitioning.
In this case, the alien applicant received an NIW petition approval, and he conducts important work in the field of Alzheimer's Disease Research. He has produced groundbreaking research in the areas of progressive neurological disease, brain's inability to function, frontotemporal dementia, and Huntington's disease. As Alzheimer's disease is one of the top killers in the United States, his research is undoubtedly of substantial and intrinsic merit to U.S.
As a client of our “Premium Petition Service Program”, we helped him to prepare and provide evidence that this research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is further proof that his work is of national importance. We also helped the alien applicant to submitte reference letters from hospitals and universities located throughout the United States and the world. The reference letters, including those from several independent experts, state that the alien applicant's past work is indispensable, and his future work would be detrimental to the field and to U.S.
The alien applicant is also a member of several field-related organizations, including the American Alzheimer Association, and American Brain Tumor Association. The petitioner has authored 17 publications, including journal articles and conference proceedings. He is first author on 9 articles, and his research has been presented at several international conferences. His research has been cited more than 70 times by other researchers in the field.
Q: I am currently working for an NIH Agency under J1 visa, and would like to apply for Green Card under the EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) and NIW (National Interest Waiver) categories at the same time. I want to ask my advisor at the agency to write a reference letter for me. Is it true that a NIH employee cannot write reference letter for Green Card application purpose?
A: An officer of a U.S. government agency may not write letters of reference or recommendation letter for submission to another U.S. federal agency in support of immigration visa or Green Card applications, on behalf of the U.S. government agency or on the agency's letterhead. But an employee of a U.S. government agency should be able to write his/her own personal letter on plain stationery for an alien applicant's performance and achievement.
Also, An employee of a U.S. government agency may send the requestor copies of any performance evaluations ("form of evaluation") which was previously prepared describing the person's relative skills, performance, development, etc., or copies of any letters of reference that previously wrote to evaluate his/her suitability for a job at another institution. Furthermore, an official letter may be written by a high level official of the agency (Director or above) as part of the official agency sponsorship for a candidate's employment.
Q: I am a pharmaceutical researcher, and I have several publications with hight number of citations. Can I file EB1 (EB1 Extraordinary Ability or EB1 Outstanding Professor and Researchers) and EB2 NIW at the same time, to increase my approval chance?
A: EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) and National Interest Waiver (NIW) are in the "special categories" of green card petitions. We have successfully helped a great many people in the EB1 Extraordinary Ability, EB1 Outstanding Professor and Researchers (EB-1B), EB1 Multinational Executive or Manager (EB-1C), and National Interest Waiver categories.
An alien applicant can actually file in two categories at one time, and may receive approvals in both. This strategy is sometimes used where the alien applicant potentially qualifies in multiple categories, to enhance the likelihood of successful approval. For example, an applicant can receive Form I-140 petition approvals in both the EB1 Extraordinary Ability and EB2 National Interest Waiver categories.
It is necessary to demonstrate and argue an applicant's qualifications in those areas that are relevant to the particular special category. These employment-based categories can potentially provide faster routes to complete the green card process for those who are eligible.
For example, an researcher had a record of conducting groundbreaking research in the field of Biomedical Sciences, specifically in the area of DNA research. He filed in both the EB1 Extraordinary Ability and EB2 National Interest Waiver categories at the same time, and got both approvals. The evidence was presented that he had resulted in advancements of significant benefit to research on cancer; viral infections, such as AIDS/HIV; diabetes; bacterial diseases, such as leprosy, tuberculosis, and pneumonia; and antibiotic resistance.
The supporting letters testified to the fact that this DNA research was considered vital for the development of targets for drugs and vaccines, as well as novel strategies to rectify glitches in DNA and cure diseases. In addition to improving the health of U.S. citizens, it is argued that his research work also benefits the U.S. environment, economy, and national security, as evidenced by its funding and support through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
Q: Can I Self-Petition for U.S. Green Card while Outside the United States?
A: In two immigrant classifications, the foreign applicants are not required to have a U.S. job offer, and may self-petition for U.S. Green Card - the foreign applicants do not need an U.S. employer to sponsor them. These two categories are:
1) Individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, (E11 or EB-1A)
2) Individuals who were granted a National Interest Waiver (E21, or EB2 NIW)
Individuals of extraordinary ability are considered to be the best in their field, and the EB1 Extraordinary Ability is an eligibility category that applies to very few individuals. Examples of who may be considered an E11 or EB-1A immigrant include those who have achieved great successes in their field.
If you are living outside the United States, you can become a U.S. permanent resident by first submit Form I-140 application, then go through consular processing. The consular processing is when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) works with the U.S. Department of State to issue an immigrant visa on an approved Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker).
Q: I will file both EB-1A and EB-1B Green Card application at the some time soon to increase my approval change. What is the EB-1 processing time.
A: The EB-1 is the most prestigious employment-based U.S. green card application category. Its main advantage lies in the fact that the waiting time is usually much shorter than that of other green card application categories. The first preference category is broken down into three subcategories: EB-1A for foreign nationals who can demonstrate that they have extraordinary ability; EB-1B for outstanding researchers and professors; and EB-1C for multinational executives and managers.
The processing time for all three of these subcategories is not the same. Based on the alien's eligibility, the approval process time may take more or less time. The processing time to obtain an EB-1 Green Card typically depends on the applicant’s ability to complete the required documentation accurately. The error in an application may extend EB-1 processing time. The processing time also depends on how quickly the USCIS is able to process the applicantion. The following is an outline of EB-1 processing times:
* Filing times vary based on whether the applicant shall be filing regular application, or whether the applicant will be requesting premium processing.
* On average, the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) and the Texas Service Center (TSC) have similar processing times; however, the NSC is known for delayed processing times. Unfortunately, applicants cannot choose service centers as USCIS has predetermined processing locations dependent on the applicant’s intended state of employment and the jurisdiction of the service centers.
* The USCIS reports the most current EB-1 processing times. Generally, the USCIS processing time for the EB-1 immigrant visa is about 4-6 months. Once the EB-1 has been approved, the USCIS may take about 3-5 months to issue permanent residence (Green Card).
* The processing time is only available if the EB-1 category is current. Applicants can check category status at the DOS Visa Bulletin. If the EB-1 category is not current, there will be an extended amount of time to receive approval.
* If the applicant incurs any delays with applications or misfiling, the process time will be prolonged. USCIS Case status checks are available online, which provides applicants a better determinant for case-specific processing.
Q: What is the final merits determination for USCIS to evaluate an EB-1A petition?
A: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision for Mr. Kazarian's EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) petition, concluding that USCIS should reserve any evaluation of the record evidence that otherwise meets the plain language requirements of the regulatory criteria for a separate and subsequent "final merits determination."
The two-step review articulated in Kazarian case provides a reasonable interpretation and application of the existing regulatory standard. To promote consistency, USCIS has adopted the two-step review process for cases arising both within and outside the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit.
Thus, the proper procedure for evaluating an EB1 Extraordinary Ability visa petition is twofold. First, USCIS will analyze the record and count the number of evidentiary criteria met, without imposing novel substantive or evidentiary requirements beyond those set forth by regulation. Second, if the petitioner submits evidence that meets at least three of the criteria, USCIS will then review the record in its totality in a final merits determination to determine if the alien is one of that small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field, has sustained national or international acclaim, and that his or her achievements have been recognized by others in the field of expertise.
At the second step, USCIS will consider not only the quantum of evidence, but also its quality, including relevance, probative value, and credibility. If the record establishes that it is more likely than not that the individual has sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in the field of expertise, and is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of their field of endeavor, then the petitioner has met his or her burden of proof.
Q: I am preparing the petition in the category of EB1-Extraordinary Ability. What kind of comments and description that I should put into the Part Two for my accomplishments "in total"? and what are the major consideration for reference letters?
A: You should set up your EB1-Extraordinary Ability petition in two parts. Part One should be reserved for a discussion of the submitted evidence under the EB1-Extraordinary Ability regulatory criteria; Part Two should be reserved for a review of your evidence “in its entirety”.
Part Two is where it might be helpful to put in anything that would not be considered sufficient to prove a specific EB-1A criterion, but “in total” show up your achievements to the best advantage. For example, even through travel awards are generally not considered major prizes, the fact that you won several of those awards to attend major conferences gives a full and more accurate picture of your accomplishments.
For reference letters, youn should focus on independent and objective experts in the field who know of your work primarily through reputation, and make sure that the reference letters address how each of your accomplishments meet each individual EB-1A criterion, as well as how the evidence in its entirety demonstrates that you have achieved national or international acclaim, and are one of the very few who have risen to the top of the field.
Q: In the U.S. Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin, how to understand the "Date For Filing" and "Final Action Date"?
A: To provide those who are stuck in immigrant visa quota backlog with the benefits of a pending adjustment, and to reduce waiting time where possible, U.S. Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin provides "Date For Filing" and "Final Action Date"
Previously, the monthly visa bulletin has served to update one date for each category of permanent residence applicant - the priority date cutoff. This one date determined whether you were eligible to submit your permanent residence application, and whether it was expected that there would be a visa number available, allowing your application to be approved.
Now, the “Date for Filing” determines whether or not you can submit the final immigrant visa application, and the “Final Action Date” indicates whether or not it is expected that an immigrant visa number will be available.
In many cases, the Date for Filing will be well before the Final Action Date, meaning that the alien applicants will be eligible to submit an application for permanent residence well before it is even possible for the government to approve that application.
Therefore, those stuck in a backlog can get benefits of a pending adjustment - apply for a combined EAD/AP card, which provides employment and travel authorization. Immigrants holding an EAD can work for any U.S. employer, which provides significantly more security and flexibility than the employer-specific H-1B petitions that serve as the basis for many immigrant’s employment authorization. For family-based applicants, the EAD may be their first-ever work authorization in the U.S., so getting that earlier is a great benefit.
Also, earlier filing of the final application means that employment-based permanent residence applicants will be eligible for AC21 portability earlier, meaning they can change employers, under certain circumstances, without being forced to re-start their permanent residence application from the beginning.
Q: How to meet the EB-1A requirement of major internationally recognized prize or award?
A: USCIS has indicated that a major, international prize is an award such as Nobel Prize. USCIS also indicated that f one-time awards which enjoy truly international recognition may include the Pulitzer Prize, the Academy Award, and the Olympic Gold Medal. USCIS concluded that these prizes were household names recognized immediately even among the general public as being the highest possible honors in the respective fields.
Although evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards is a lower standard than evidence of a major internationally recognized prize, the EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) petitioner still has the burden to submit substantial evidence proving the prizes or awards are nationally or internationally recognized ones.
With regard to the receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards, evidence should be submitted regarding the number of person nominated, a description of the prize or award and whether it is for team work or an individual performance. USCIS has made the following rulings concerning this evidence requirement:
* Academic scholarships or grants do not suffice;
* Evidence should be submitted regarding how many individuals were nominated for an award or prize and the criteria for eligibility;
* A team award is less valuable than individual award; and
* Local awards do not suffice.
Q: What Are the Major Advantages of EB-1A Immigrant Classification? and how could you help my EB-1A petition?
A: A job offer is not required under the EB1 Extraordinary Ability category, and the foreign national does not need an employer sponsor to file the EB-1A petition.
The burden of proof in EB-1A petition rests solely with the petitioner. The petitioner has to provide substantial evidence of the three out of ten regulatory criteria that the alien is attempting to satisfy, or evidence of a one-time major prize. If a beneficiary is qualified, the probability of success depends largely on the way the case is presented. The major advantages of EB-1A classification are:
* no labor certification is required.
* no job offer or permanent job position is required.
* the self-petition is allowed.
* the EB-1A immigrant visa are current for most countries.
We provide Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for EB-1A green card application, which includes all knowledge you need and step-by-step procedures of EB-1A application, and it has helped many people get their green cards, and it will definitely help your EB-1A application also. Please visit http://www.greencardapply.com/ea.htm and http://www.greencardapply.com/ea/eb1a-package.htm for more information about EB-1A application.Q: I Have a PhD Degree, Will It Help My Green Card Application?
A: If you are a PhD, PhD student, or a Postdoc, you can apply for a U.S. Green Card on your own, even without an U.S. employer sponsorship. If you are a PhD, PhD student, Post doc, researchers or professors with a PhD degree, our website and Complete-Do-It-Yourself packages can help you get a U.S. Green Card, even without an employer sponsorship or a lawyer's help.
Our website and Complete-Do-It-Yourself packages have helped many PhD, PhD student, and Post doc for their Green Card petition, and successfully obtained their Green Cards in the U.S. immigration categories of EB-1A Extraordinary Ability, EB-1B Outstanding Researcher and Professor, and EB2-NIW National Interest Wavier.
Many requirements for the EB-1A Extraordinary Ability, EB-1B Outstanding Researcher and Professor, and EB2 NIW National Interest Wavier can be met with the PhD study and PhD research projects and publications. Also, many PhD, PhD student, Post doc, or a researchers/professors with a PhD degree have exclusive memberships, scholarly published articles, and acting as a judge for other's work which will help their U.S. Green Card application.
Q: How to Response the RFE Request for Judging the Work of Others?
A: The USCIS may send an Request For Evidence (RFE) notice to the EB-1A petitioner if the evidence only shows an invitation to judge the work of others, because USCIS needs the evidence that the EB-1A beneficiary actually judged the work of others.
It is important that the EB-1A beneficiary provides evidence supporting the field of endeavor and demonstrating that the contributions to the field are of major importance. An Request For Evidence may be issued by USCIS if an EB-1A beneficiary has judged the work of others that appear to be in a field unrelated to the beneficiary’s field of expertise.
After the EB1 extraordinary ability petitioner receives the RFE notice for judging of the work of others , the petitioner should submit evidence, such as information about the editorial board that they serve on, or emails or letters that signify that the beneficiary has reviewed manuscripts for prestigious journals.
Q: I am work on my immigration petition. I can get some reference letters, but it is difficult for me to get independent reference letters. What can I do.
A: For EB1-Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A), EB1-Outstanding Researcher & Professor (EB-1B), and National Interest Waiver (EB2 NIW) immigrant petitions, the independent reference letters (or recommendation letters) are preferred by the USCIS Immigration Officers.
But this kind of "inner circle" bias can be overcome by other documentation in a petition. For example, petitioners can submit articles they have published in noteworthy trade publications. Also, petitioners can show that their work has been cited nationally or internationally. Additionally, the fact that all the referees in a given petition are personally acquainted with the petitioner can be overcome by the notability of the referees. For example, some referees were researchers at world's leading medical research institutions.
For some pettitioners who are not able to solicit independent recommendation letters for their petitions, the alien applicants can obtain favorable manuscripts from the peer review process. Most scholarly journals put all articles through a peer review process before publication. Many of these journals maintain manuscripts from the peer review process. Peer review manuscripts represent the opinions of unbiased, anonymous observers of the author's research. If they comment favorably on the author's work, they are convincing evidence of the petitioner's accomplishments. In many cases, the USCIS immigration officers can be persuaded by peer review manuscripts.
Q: I received Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS for my green card application. How to handle the obstacle in the green card process?
A: Noone looks forward to getting a Request for Evidence (RFE) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). RFEs come without warning and usually give the recipient an unpleasant feeling. An RFE is a written request for more information and documentation that USCIS mails out, if they believe that they do not yet have enough evidence to approve or deny a given application.
USCIS officers have clear guidance on how to review an application for a green card and other immigration applications. The USCIS Policy Manual, in addition to outlining general eligibility requirements, has charts and checklists that officers can use while reviewing applications. These guidance materials define the situations where issuing an RFE is appropriate.
You should know that an RFE generally is not written from scratch. There are RFE templates that give USCIS officers a starting point, then they can customize these templates to request more information and documents for individual applications. Typically, an RFE will have an introductory paragraph or two about the original application. The introduction will state the type of application, the date that USCIS received it, and which office is currently processing it.
USCIS does not follow the mailbox rule, which means that the date you received your response in the mailbox does not matter. You must make sure that USCIS receives your response by the deadline stated in the RFE. Overall, while RFEs can be scary, they are also your last best chance to provide the evidence that USCIS needs to hopefully approve your application.
Please visit http://www.greencardapply.com/rfe.htm and http://www.greencardapply.com/rfe/rfe_package.htm to learn more about the RFE, and how to response it.
Q: My Form I-140 petition based on the PERM Labor Certification has been approved, but I need to wait long time to file Form I-485 petition to get my Green Card, due to the immigration visa availability. Can I file Form I-140 in another category, such as in EB2 NIW - National Interest Waiver, or in EB1-Extraordinary Ability, but also keeo my I-140 Priority Date?
A: If a beneficiary's Form I-140 petition was approved, then beneficiary's second or third Form I-140 petition in difference preference category, such as EB1-Extraordinary Ability, EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor, EB1 Multinational executive or manager, or EB2 NIW (National Interest Waiver), may retain the priority date of the approved first petition for any subsequently filed second or third category employment-based petition.
The priority date of Form I-140 petition that requires a PERM Labor Certification is the date the underlying labor certification was officially acknowledged as received by the Department of Labor. The priority date of Form I-140 petition that does not need a Labor Certification, such as EB1 and EB2 NIW petition, is the date the Form I-140 was filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
In order to apply for permanent resident status, the priority date of the beneficiary's approved Form I-140 petition must be current under the visa bulletin published by the U.S. Department of State. Depending on the petition's preference category and the beneficiary's country of chargeability, the beneficiary may sometimes have to wait years for the Form I-140 priority date to become current and therefore, a retained priority date for a subsequently filed Form I-140 petition may significantly reduce the waiting time in applying for an employment-based green card.
Priority date retention is particularly advantageous to a beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition who intends to move to a new sponsoring employer as it may speed up the immigration process. The rule also benefits Form I-140 beneficiary in a retrogressed category who, through the passage of time, no longer has an open job offer from the original I-140 petitioner by the time the priority date becomes current, but subsequently obtains a new I-140 sponsor.
Q: I am in the process of preparing the EB1 Extraordinary Ability application with the help of your excellent EB-1A DIY package. I am a manager of the company, can I claim the EB1 criterion of "Leading or Critical Role in Distinguished Organizations"?
A: For the EB1 Extraordinary Ability criterion of "leading or critical role in distinguished organizations", it is best to separate this criterion into its two separate components:
1) Identify any organizations with which you are associated - Are they famous organizations? Can you provide evidence of the work they do and their mission? Does there website describe their annual revenue, past achievements or highly reputable members/employees? Collect evidence that could help prove that the organization has a "distinguished" reputation.
2) Identify your role with these organizations - Do you have a leadership role in the organizations? What is your title for the organizations? Even if you do not have a leading role, are you critical to the organization's success? Do you provide expert advice? Do you raise funds?
Therefore, there are numerous ways to meet the requirements for this category of "leading or critical role in distinguished organizations".
Q: I have filed my EB1 based Form I-140 petition. What is the procedure for me to get my Green Card after the petition is approved if I am outside of the U.S.?
A: Consular processing is a means through which you may apply for an immigrant visa after your EB1 based Form I-140 petition is approved at a U.S. consulate overseas.
If your petition is approved and you are not already in the U.S., the USCIS will send your approved petition to the Department of State National Visa Center. The National Visa Center will send you a notice of receipt. When visa numbers are available or about to become available for your classification, the National Visa Center will send you another notice indicating when you should submit immigrant visa processing fees and supporting documentation.
Supporting documentation may include the original Notice of Approval; a copy of your filed Form I-140 petition; Notice of Receipt; a valid passport; criminal history, police, military, or prison records; birth certificate; marriage certificate; and birth certificates of children.
When fees and supporting documentation have been received, the National Visa Center will send you a packet of forms and instructions. Upon submission of those forms, the National Visa Center will send you an appointment letter including instructions for the medical exam and indicating when you must appear at a designated U.S. consulate for an interview. After the interview, the consular office will review your application and either grant your visa or request the USCIS to reconsider or revoke your petition.
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