EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Cards are available to individuals who are considered leaders in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Qualified individuals should have received international or national recognition for their achievements and evidence of at least three of the criteria listed below. While the standard for the EB-1 Green Card is similar to the O-1 nonimmigrant classification, USCIS’ standard of review is much higher, examining both the quality and quantity of the evidence submitted. You do not need employer sponsorship to apply for the EB-1 but it may be helpful to submit evidence of current job offers or potential engagements in the U.S.
A strong EB-1 case should present strong evidence of at least 4 of the 8 criteria listed by USCIS (although only 3 criteria are required):
The EB-1 Green Card is a two-step process:
Please note, some employment based green card categories are subject to visa backlogs, meaning there is a waiting period between Step 1 and Step 2. When an I-140 is filed, the applicant receives a “priority date” that establishes their place in line to apply for an Immigrant Visa or Green Card. Each month, the U.S. government issues a bulletin which lists the priority date for the cases that are currently being processed. Once an applicant’s priority date is listed on the bulletin, he or she may begin the Immigrant Visa process or submit an I-485: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html.
Once a Green Card is approved, it will be valid for 10 years. As long as you are maintaining your permanent residence and admissibility to the U.S., you may be eligible to renew your Green Card indefinitely. However, we always recommend clients to consider applying for U.S. citizenship through the Naturalization process.