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The Petition Process of EB1 Extraordinary Ability

1. The Process of U.S. Permanent Residency (Green Card) Petition in the Category of EB1 Extraordinary Ability

For an alien applicant to seek U.S. permanent residency in EB1 Extraordinary Ability category, the following is the process:

1) The alien applicant should file Form I-140 application, Petition for Alien Worker, and also submit required evidence to USCIS. (It is possible to file From I-485 application concurrently with Form I-140 application)

2) Upon approval of Form I-140, the alien beneficiary should file Form I-485 application for adjustment of status; an immigrant visa number is always available for EB-1A, and if the alien beneficiary is in U.S. (On the other hand, if the alien beneficiary is outside the United States, the alien could complete the process of status adjustment at a nearest U.S. consulate office.)

3) If the From I-485 application is approved by USCIS, the alien beneficiary is granted U.S. permanent resident status, and will receive a permanent resident card (Green Card) in mail. (If the alien beneficiary went through the immigrant visa process overseas, the alien beneficiary can enter the U.S. and receives an immigrant visa attached to the passport at the U.S. port of entry, to serve as evidence of immigrant status until receiving the Green Card in mail.)

2. Evidence Required for EB1 Extraordinary Ability Petition

The EB-1A petitioner should submit evidence to USCIS to establish that the alien beneficiary is "at the top of the field". The submitted evidence must include documentation of at least 3 of the following 10 criteria:

1) Documentation of the alien's receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor

2) Documentation of the alien's membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields

3) Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien's work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation

4) Evidence of the alien's participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specification for which classification is sought

5) Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field

6) Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media

7) Evidence of the display of the alien's work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases. 

8) Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation. 

9) Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field. 

10) Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

The submitted evidence for EB-1A application should meet the following requirements:

  • 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.
  • Evidence that the alien beneficiary is recognized nationally and internationally as "one of the small percentage of individuals at the very top of their fields".

3. Evidence Required for EB1 Prizes or Awards with National or International Significance

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.

4. How to Submit Evidence to Present a Strong Case that an Alien Applicant Is Considered Extraordinary

According to USCIS, the following evidence may present a strong case that an alien applicant is considered extraordinary:

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.

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.

5. Use the Publication Citations as Strong Evidence for Your EB1 Extraordinary Ability Petition

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 Alien of Extraordinary Ability Petition, 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.

6. How to Organize the Evidence Accompanied with the EB1 Extraordinary Ability Petition

Follow the tips below for how to organize the evidence:

1) Provide all required documentation and evidence with the petition when filed. Form I-140 petitions may be denied without issuing a Request For Evidence (RFE) in the instances where the required evidence described in the instructions and regulations are not initially provided. If providing photocopies of documents, provide clear legible copies.

2) All foreign language documents must be submitted with a corresponding English translation. The English translation must be certified by a translator who is competent to translate and must verify in writing that “the translation is true and accurate to the best of the translator's abilities.“ It is helpful if the English translation is stapled to the foreign language document.

3) If documenting the alien's publications or citations of the alien beneficiary's work, highlight the alien's name in the relevant articles. It is not necessary to send the full copy of a dissertation, thesis, or research paper written by the alien beneficiary, or one in which the alien beneficiary's work has been cited. Include the title page and the portions that cite the alien's work. 

4) Tab and label the evidentiary exhibits at the bottom of the first page of each exhibit, and provide a list of the evidentiary exhibits and the eligibility criteria that each exhibit is submitted to establish for petitions supported by a substantial amount of documentation. An exhibit that is being provided to meet multiple eligibility criteria should be so identified in the exhibit list.

7. How Get Help for Your EB-1A Petition

The burden of EB-1A application approval rests with the petitioner. The petitioner should provide substantial evidence of at least 3 out of 10 EB-1A criteria the alien 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. 

8. The EB-1A Petition for J-1 Visa Holder Subjected to the Two-Year Home Country Residency Requirement

For 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. For detailed information of J1 Waiver application, please visit: http://www.greencardapply.com/j1.htm 

9. The USCIS Premium Processing Is Available for the EB-1A Petition

The USCIS Premium Processing is available for the EB-1A category. With Premium Processing, you may get the I-140 EB-1A application approved in 15 days after the initial filing, and you may get a U.S. green card in a few months.

Given the significant visa number retrogression that many EB-2 category applicants have experienced, it has become increasingly important for people to seek a green card through the EB-1 category. Therefore, even if you have applied for U.S. permanent residency based on a National Interest Waiver, applying under an EB-1A classification would assist you in achieving your U.S. permanent residency goal much faster, especially when the Premium Processing is available for the EB-1A category.

10. File EB1 and EB2 NIW Categories at the Same Time

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).

11. The Processing Time for EB1 Green Card Application

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.

12. The Form I-485 Application and Consular Processing after Your EB-1A Approval

Application Form I-485, application for adjustment of status, is the document you are required to file after your EB-1A 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.

As added value in the Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to U.S. Permanent Resident, we provide comprehensive instructions on U.S. immigration application requirements and processing, we also let you know the required application documents, evidence, procedures, samples of petition cover letter and employment letter, samples of required forms and optional forms, an application check list, and detailed explanation of the form I-485 application related forms and issues. Also, all required application forms and optional forms are included in the package. For detailed information of I-485 application, please visit: http://www.greencardapply.com/i485.htm.

An alien applicant should receive a A# (or A Number) from USCIS 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.

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. 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.



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