Can spouses work on a EB-1 Visa?

The EB1 visa is a US first preference employment-based green card that permits foreign nationals with specific criteria to move to the US as lawful permanent residents. It may also allows dependents, such as spouses, to come and work in the US in their chosen profession.

If you have any questions regarding the EB1 Visa and a spouse gaining employment you can contact an expert immigration attorney in our team to discuss any concerns you may have, or for some help navigating the application process.

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    What is an EB1 visa?

    The EB1 Visa is an immigrant status visa and falls in the US employment-based visa category. It also allows holders to bring their spouses and other dependents to the US.

    It is a first-preference visa that is open to three subgroups of foreign nationals: There is EB1A for people with extraordinary ability, EB1B for outstanding professors, and EB1C for certain multinational executives or managers.

    For this visa, you are required to demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim in a leading or critical role in your field. This visa includes professionals from various fields, including sciences, education, arts, business, and athletics.

    A green card means you can stay in the US indefinitely and work anywhere without restrictions.  After obtaining your EB1 green card, you may also apply for US citizenship after amassing five years of continuous residence as a green card holder.

    The EB1 visa is highly desirable because its application wait time is remarkably shorter than most other immigrant visa categories, which sometimes take years. Additionally, it doesn’t require you to obtain Labor Certification from the Department of Labor, which is a major requirement in most other employment-based visas. It may also allow your spouse to live and work in the US.

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    What are the eligibility criteria?

    Depending on which of the eligibility you meet, there are specific criteria for each. Those with extraordinary ability/skill must demonstrate extraordinary ability with national or international acclaim such as evidence of accepting a major internationally recognized award or you need to submit at least three of the following:

    • Evidence that you have received national and/or international awards for excellence.
    • Evidence that you are a member of associations that bring together members with leading figures.
    • Substantial evidence of published major trade publications.
    • Evidence of you having been asked to evaluate the work of others.
    • Evidence of business-related contributions.
    • Substantial evidence of written scholarly articles or scholarly journals.
    • Your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions.
    • Show evidence of holding a leading role within renowned organizations.
    • Provide evidence of significantly high remuneration.
    • Demonstrate your personal commercial successes in the field of arts (ie: (box office receipts, sales records, major media evidence, etc).

    Those who are outstanding professors or researchers will need to demonstrate their outstanding achievements within your academic field and that you have received international recognition. You must have a minimum of three years of experience in either teaching or conducting research within your chosen field of expertise. Alongside a job offer, you will need to be able to provide evidence of at least two of the following:

    • Evidence that you have received major awards for your achievements within your field of expertise.
    • Be a member of associations that only accept members with outstanding achievements and major significance.
    • Professional publications written about your personal work and personal achievements.
    • Substantial evidence of original scientific and/or scholarly research published material contributions.
    • Substantial evidence that you have been involved in the evaluation of the work of other professionals.

    Those with a specific multinational executive or multinational manager will have to be able to prove that they have been employed at a company that is not in the US for at least one year, and within the three years preceding your EB1 Visa application.

    If you are already employed in the U.S. under a non-immigrant visa, you must also have worked at least 1 year abroad before working in the United States.

    Can spouses work on an EB-1 Visa?

    Through the EB1 visa scheme, it is possible to bring your dependents with you to the US.

    A dependent is defined as the legal spouse, civil partner, or unmarried children that are 21 years or younger of the EB1 visa holder. Your spouse/civil partner is permitted to gain employment in his or her field, so long they complete the Form I-750, apply and get confirmation of an accepted Employment Authorisation.

    All dependent children are not eligible to work, but any of your dependents (including the spouse) may attend school freely, including college and university.

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      What is the processing time of an EB1 Visa?

      The EB1 Visa application processing time will depend upon which category you are applying under. A person with extraordinary ability is often a bit quicker, as you can self-petition.

      In the process for the EB1 Visa as an outstanding professor or researcher, or as a multinational manager or executive, you will need your manager/ employer to file the form on your behalf.

      As a PERM Labor Certification is not required, the EB-1 Visa can be acquired quicker than most other US visas.

      The processing time is between six to eight months but this will vary depending on the workload of the US Embassy at the time and the quality of your application.

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        Work with Total Law to determine which subcategory of theEB1 visa is best for you, your life, your skills, and abilities.

        It can be a long, strenuous process, so to make it stress-free, we suggest you work with our Total Law team of qualified immigration lawyers.

        We are available to support you throughout the entire process and are available to support you with any requests seven days a week, by phone, or by online chat on our website.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  No, you do not need a job offer for an EB1 visa application under extraordinary ability. You will need to demonstrate adequate documentation, but you can self-petition for your application.

                  The Form I-140 processing fee is $700 but if you want to use the premium processing, you will need to pay an additional $2,500.  If you are in the US and want to adjust your status, the I-485 processing fee is $1,225 or if you are undergoing consular processing, the visa application process is $325.