The United States offers a number of visa possibilities for foreign nationals seeking to work or live in the country. While most U.S. visas require a family or company sponsorship, there are several options available to those who are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field.
One of these options is the Extraordinary Ability (EB-1) visa, a type of employment-based immigration visa, given to people who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to qualify for an EB-1 visa, applicants must be “internationally recognized for their achievements in the field of science, education, business, or athletics.”
Currently, the EB-1 visa has three sub-categories: individuals with extraordinary abilities,
outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives and managers.
Individuals With Extraordinary Abilities
Those who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics can qualify for an EB-1 visa. Applicants are required to provide extensive documentation of their accomplishments to prove that they are truly outstanding. Pulitzer Prize winners, Olympic medalists, and Nobel Laureates are some of the individuals who qualify for this type of visa.
Outstanding Professors and Researchers
Outstanding professors and researchers are defined as those who have demonstrated “sustained national or international acclaim in the academic field,” usually through extensive documentation of their accomplishments. Some examples include prominent scientists, distinguished professors, and renowned scholars. All of their achievements must be thoroughly documented by reliable sources to prove that they are truly extraordinary.
Multinational Executives and Managers
For multinational executives and managers, the EB-1 visa is offered to those who have demonstrated “extraordinary ability in the field of business.” This includes leaders in international trade, as well as entrepreneurs whose ventures have been successful both domestically and internationally.
The USCIS has a long list of criteria that applicants must meet in order to be eligible for the EB-1 visa. Among these are: impressive achievements in their field, evidence of national or international acclaim, sustained favorable attention from peers and experts in their area of expertise, clear indications of high potential for success, as well as extensive documentation of their work in the field.
There is no specific list of accredited universities, publications, and organizations that automatically qualifies an applicant for an EB-1 visa. It is up to the USCIS to determine whether an applicant’s credentials are deemed to be “extraordinary.”
The good news is, EB-1 visa applicants no longer have to go through labor certification to become permanent residents, which is another complicated process frequently used by employers to obtain permanent residence for their employees. EB-1 visa holders can also petition their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old to come with them as dependents.
What is Labor Certification?
There are other visa options available to those who don’t qualify for an EB-1 visa, but already have an existing offer of employment from a U.S. company. However, in order to qualify for these visas, applicants must go through labor certification.
Labor certification or labor attestation is a process through which employers formally verify the need to hire a foreign worker for a job in the U.S. It involves advertising the position both nationally and locally to ensure that qualified U.S. workers are given priority before hiring from overseas. Once all qualified applicants have been considered, the company can proceed with applying for an immigrant visa.
According to the US Department of Labor (DOL), labor certification ensures that U.S. workers are protected from unfair competition from foreign workers. The employer must show that there are really no qualified U.S. workers available for the position and ensure that the foreign worker’s employment will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
Those under the EB second preference (EB-2) and third preference (EB-3) classifications are required to go through the labor certification process before they can apply for lawful permanent residence in the U.S. EB-2 visas are reserved for foreign nationals who are holding advanced degrees while EB-3 visas are given to skilled and unskilled workers with at least two years of experience in their field.
The majority of applicants who meet the requirements for employment-based visas do not qualify under the EB-1 category, and will therefore have to go through the labor certification process. Regardless of your visa preference, it is best to consult an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the visa application process. EB visas are particularly difficult to obtain, and it is in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who has successfully handled similar cases.
Seek Legal Advice from Isa Law
The U.S. immigration process can be very complicated, even for those who have the right credentials to qualify for an employment-based visa. Working with an experienced immigration law firm like Isa Law will ensure that you are taking the right steps toward your goal of living and working permanently in the U.S.
Isa Law is a top-rated immigration law firm in Florida with decades of experience in all areas of U.S. immigration law. They have helped numerous foreign nationals obtain visas to become permanent residents in the U.S., allowing them to pursue new opportunities, further their careers, and ultimately, live their own version of the American Dream.
Contact Isa Law at (305) 938-067 to speak with an expert immigration attorney in Florida today.