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In this article, we thoroughly describe the EB-1 visa that belongs to the first preference of the employment based immigration. This is one of types of American visas that you can get in 2024.

In addition to the detailed information in the article, remember that you have all the legal support of our experts. The Los Angeles immigration attorneys at the Lluis Law firm have been serving immigrants for 40 years. 

EB-1 visa subcategories

This visa is intended for the following people:

  • Aliens with extraordinary abilities.
  • Outstanding researchers or professors.
  • Multinational executives or managers.

Elements for eligibility

Each category of the EB-1 visa includes some criteria that the applicant must meet.

Alien with extraordinary ability

alien with extraordinary ability

You must be able to demonstrate such aptitude in science, education, the arts, business, or sports. All this together with constant national or international recognition.


  • You must meet at least 3 of the 10 criteria mentioned in the next section or; 
  • Provide evidence of an achievement obtained on a single occasion. Examples of this would be a Pulitzer, Olympic medal, or Oscar. 
  • You will present evidence showing that you still work in this area.
  • No job offer or labor certification is required.

Elements to demonstrate extraordinary ability

As mentioned before, you must demonstrate international or national recognition or meet 3 of the 10 criteria (or comparable evidence). Here are some elements that will serve as evidence:

  1. Having received lesser recognized national or international prizes or awards.
  2. Membership in associations that require members to achieve outstanding achievements.
  3. Material published about the applicant in relevant professional or commercial media.
  4. Having been claimed to evaluate the work of others individually or through a panel of experts.
  5. Contributions of notable importance of a scientific, artistic, academic or sports and business nature.
  6. Author of academic articles published in relevant professional or commercial media.
  7. Work exhibited in exhibitions or artistic shows.
  8. Performance in main or a very relevant role in distinguished organizations.
  9. Important salary or significant remuneration compared to other people in your specialized area.
  10. Commercial successes in the performing arts.

Outstanding researcher or professor

outstading professor with EB-1 visa
  • The applicant must demonstrate having gained international recognition through outstanding achievements in a specific academic field.
  • You must have 3 years of experience in research or teaching in that area.
  • You must enter the US to seek a tenure, research position or full professor at a private educational institution, university or private employer.


  • You must meet at least 2 of the 6 criteria mentioned in the next section. Also provide a job offer from your future US employer.
  • The private employer must demonstrate well-documented achievements and that it employs at least 3 full-time researchers.
  • No labor certification is required.

Elements that demonstrate the quality of outstanding researcher or professor

To demonstrate this you must meet 2 of the following 6 criteria or comparable evidence for those elements that are more complex to evaluate. These are the 6 evidence tests:

  1. Having received major awards for outstanding achievements.
  2. Proven membership in associations that demand outstanding achievement.
  3. Material published in professional media written by others about the work done by the alien in the academic field.
  4. Participation either individually or in an experts panel evaluating the work of other academics in the field or a related one.
  5. Academic or scientific contributions to research in your field.
  6. Authorship of academic articles or books in their field made in international academic publications.

Manager or executive of a multinational

executive or manager of a multinational

Applicant must have been employed outside of the US for at least 1 year out of the 3 before the request. Failing that, the most recent legal nonimmigrant admission if you already work for the sponsor, that is, the US employer.

The petitioner (employer) must have conducted business for at least 1 year. Also have a qualified relationship with the entity for which the applicant worked outside of the U.S. Finally, intend to employ the applicant at the executive or manager level.

In this case, a labor certification is not required either.

On our blog you can read in detail all the information regarding the PERM labor certification.

How to apply for the EB-1 visa

EB-1 visa applicants, unlike most EB-2 and EB-3 applicants, do not have to go through the labor certification process. This is the general application process:

  • Extraordinary ability: You will do it through Form I-140 petition for a foreign worker.
  • Outstanding Researchers and Professors: The US employer must file Form I-140. Furthermore, as part of the process, he must be able to demonstrate the continuous ability to pay the salary offered from the priority date. To do this you can use the federal tax return, an annual report or an audited financial statement.
  • Executive or manager of a multinational: The employer must submit Form I-140. Also demonstrate ability to be able to pay the salary continuously from the priority date. For this you can file an annual report, audited financial statement or a federal tax return.

On this USCIS page you have updated information on the rates and online filing of the different forms.

Family of EB-1 visa holders

When USCIS approves the I-140 petition, the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 will be eligible to enter the U.S. They will do so under immigrant status E-14 or E-15 respectively.

Benefits and limitations of the EB-1 visa

  • Obtain permanent residence in the USA.
  • It allows you to leave and enter the USA without restrictions.
  • It enables you to work in the USA.
  • You may bring your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21.
  • An offer of employment is not necessary.

Regarding the limitations:

  • The EB-1 visa applicant must verify that they meet the requirements in one of the three subcategories.
  • You must come to the US to continue the work for which you qualify for your “extraordinary or outstanding” status.

Is the O visa a better option for me?

If you are a foreigner of extraordinary ability and looking to convert an O1 visa into an EB-1 green card, do not hesitate to contact. 

These people with job offers in the US they often qualify for the O1 visa. Others already from the country and holders of the O1 visa seek to avoid the limitations of that visa and get permanent residence.

In any case, the O1 visa is a great step towards the Green Card EB-1 since the requirements are very similar.

Even the lawyers do not agree on what involves a more complex process.

The EB-1 visa option really should only be considered if you want to become a permanent resident in the United States and settle there.

Advantages of the EB-1 visa over the O1

  • With the EB-1 immigrant visa you get permanent residence while the O1 non-immigrant visa is for temporary stay. In other words, it is assumed that the holder of the O1 will return to his country at the end.
  • The EB-1 holder’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 also obtain residency. In contrast, the O1 visa does not create job opportunities for them and they must qualify in their own terms.
  • An O1 visa holder needs an agent or sponsor to offer a job in the U.S. The holder of the EB-1 visa does not and therefore has more freedom.
  • The EB-1 Green Card will be valid for 10 years while the O1 must be renewed at least once every three years. In addition, the relatives of the holder of the EB-1 will apply for citizenship as soon as 5 years after receiving the Green Card.

As you can see, the benefits of this visa compared to O1 are much higher. However, the O1 does its job. It is ideal for a person who has received national or international acclaim for his extraordinary ability in science, arts, business, education or the film industry. 

It can be argued that if the applicant has extraordinary ability in film or television, the O-1 visa is appropriate in most cases. The EB-1 visa is more focused on athletes and other artists.

Please read our article dedicated to the O visa for detailed information on that visa.

EB-1 visa expert lawyers 

To solve your questions about the documentation, requirements or the previous dilemma posed with the visa O do not hesitate to contact us. At Lluis Law we have been successfully serving visa requests for more than 40 years. We know that the personalized study of your case will show us the best way and you will get the best results.

Our consultation won’t commit you to anything, call us today.