Complete Guide to the EB1-B Green Card

Posted by Frank Gogol

Are you a professor or researcher with exceptional achievements in your field of work? Do you have international awards or recognition? And are you looking for a visa that allows you to live and work in the U.S.?

You might be eligible for an EB1-B visa. Below we take a look at exactly what this type of visa is and what advantages it may hold. Go through the eligibility criteria with care and see if you comply. There might be a few different visa options available to you but this could be your best option to acquire a U.S. non-immigrant visa. There might even be a Green Card at the end of this route.

This is what you need to know about getting your very own EB1-B visa

What is an EB1-B Visa?

An EB1-B visa is part of the bigger EB1 visa group. It specifically caters to people with extraordinary skills and abilities. The EB1-B visa is specifically for professors or researchers with exceptional abilities. So aliens (people who aren’t U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents) with exceptional abilities and skills with regards to their work as professors and researchers can get an EB-1 visa.

The visa’s long name is Employment-Based Immigration; First Preference, hence the shortened version EB1. It’s a non-immigrant visa that allows the beneficiary to live and work in the U.S. without the need for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Beneficiaries do however need an employer in the U.S. before they can be eligible for this visa (a written job offer is required).

EB1-B vs EB1-A

So what is the difference then between an EB1-B and an EB1-A visa? They are, in the end, both first preference employment based visas.

The EB1-A visa is specifically for an alien with exceptional ability in the fields of science, arts, education, business, or athletics. Unlike the EB1-B category, the beneficiaries of an EB1-A visa don’t need an employer in the U.S. to be eligible for the visa but they must enter the U.S. with the premonition to continue work in their respective fields of expertise. They are allowed to petition for themselves and they don’t need labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL). Even though they don’t have to get a petitioner to file on their behalf, it could serve in their interest during their visa interviews if someone from the U.S. petitioned on their behalf.

These two visas seem similar and they are both part of the Employment-Based category of visas. But they have specific factors that differentiate them. Now, let’s take a look at exactly an alien of extraordinary ability is.

Alien of Extraordinary Ability

Before you apply for these types of visas you must understand what an alien of extraordinary ability is. As mentioned previously, an alien is someone who is not from the U.S. and was most probably born in a different country.

Here are a few examples of extraordinary abilities to help you understand what it is and what it is not.

EB1 Extraordinary Ability Examples

  • National or international awards and recognitions for excellence in their field of expertise.
  • Membership in an association that requires outstanding achievements as a condition for membership. The achievements must be similar to the field in which the visa applicant seeks an EB type visa.
  • Published material about the visa applicant and their work (translated into English) in professional, trade journals, or major media applications.
  • The applicants’ participation individually or on a panel as a judge of the work of others in the same field.
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with an international circulation in the academic field.

Keep these examples in mind as you read on since these also form part of the evidence you need to present to prove eligibility.

EB1-B Advantages

The Eb1-B visa is an employment-based visa but, unlike many other employment based visas, you don’t have to get labor certification from the DOL to be eligible for it. All of these types of visas are also current. It is therefore much faster to get a Green Card in this category.

Both these advantages reduce the time it takes to complete your immigration attempts.

EB1-B Requirements

The EB1-B visa applicant must prove their eligibility with documentation detailing at least two of the examples mentioned earlier. Any publications or books need to be translated into English and have to have the date of publication, author, and title included.

An EB1-B applicant may not petition on their own behalf. Someone else (preferably their employer) must petition on their behalf. They must have a written job offer and the intent to take the job once they get an EB1-B visa. The job offer must be in the same field of expertise of extraordinary ability. The job offer must also be a permanent job (like a permanent research position) and the employer must be a recognized U.S. university or institution of higher learning.

EB1-B Documents

Any visa application requires documentation. Below are the documents you need to accompany your EB1-B visa application. Make sure you have all the documents you need before you submit your application. An incomplete application could lead to automatic denial of your visa. This can set you back quite a while in your immigration attempts.

EB1-B required documents: 

  • Documents that prove your awards and achievements.
  • Evidence of membership in relevant associations.
  • Letter of recommendation from your previous employer.
  • Job offer from your prospective employer in the U.S.
  • Letters of endorsements from experts in your field.
  • Copy of your passport.
  • Your resume.
  • Form I-140, the actual application form used to petition for an EB1-B visa.

How to Apply for an EB1-B Green Card

Let’s assume you have your EB1-B visa and you’ve been living and working in the U.S. for a while now. You’ve completed the previous requirements like a Form DS-260. You are eligible for a Green Card, but how do you get it?

At this point, we would recommend an immigration attorney. You probably can manage on your own (who are we to judge) but your safest bet to increase your chances of success is to get a professional like an immigration lawyer to help you. Immigration lawyers will advise you on all the possible snags you could encounter along the way and also help you avoid unnecessary mistakes. All this ensures a smooth process in obtaining your Eb1-B visa. Keep in mind, lawyers and attorneys charge fees for their services. The exact cost will, however, depend on who you use.

In order to apply for an EB1-B green card, you must file a Form I-485 to petition for an EB1-B Green Card. Please ask an immigration attorney if you may petition for yourself. If not, you need someone to file on your behalf.

Follow the instructions supplied by the USCIS on how to complete your Green Card application if you choose to do it yourself. Just make sure you work meticulously and provide everything they need.

EB1B Petition Letter Sample

Your peers or mentors writing your letters of recommendation probably don’t know exactly how to write a petition letter. How must the letter look? What type of language do they need to use? And who do they need to address it to?

There are some wonderful EB1-B letters of recommendation samples available online. Find the one that suits your situation the best and ask your references to write their own version to accompany your EB1-B visa application. It would also be a good idea to check the content before submitting it with your application.

Cost of an EB1-B?

It’s impossible to give you an exact amount for the cost of your visa. Your lawyers may charge a fee, perhaps you had to cover some traveling and admin costs in the process of applying. One is clear though, the Form I-140 has a filing fee of $700.

EB1-B Green Card Processing Time

These processes are dependent on many factors. In the best-case scenarios, you can wait about 8 months for your EB1-B visa and another 6 months for the government to issue your Green Card (Lawful Permanent Residence – LPR). Not everyone who applies gets a visa, however. You also need to consider the EB1-B visa approval rate.

EB1-B Approval Rate

The criteria for this visa category is quite strict. Everyone’s applications are placed under much scrutiny. That being said, the approval rate is rather high at 90%. Submit your best application and do your best to be part of the 90% who get their visas.

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Employment-based visas have many requirements. One specific category helps extraordinary professors and researchers to get an employment-based visa. With this visa, they can live and work in the U.S. and also go on to get LPR status.

The EB1-B visa can help build your dream career in the U.S. You could even apply for an Eb1-B Green Card. Submit your application today and start the process of becoming a U.S. citizen as soon as you can.

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