- What is an EB1 visa?
- Eligibility criteria for Canadian Citizens
- How to demonstrate that you are an outstanding professor or researcher
- How to demonstrate extraordinary ability
- How to apply for an EB1 Visa as an outstanding professor or researcher
- Applying as a person with extraordinary ability
- Applying as a multinational manager or executive
- Processing time of an EB1 Visa for Canadian Citizens
- Costs involved with an EB1 Visa for Canadian Citizens
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is an EB1 visa?
The EB1 Visa is the first-preference visa for immigration and is entirely employment-based. Due to it’s highly sought after status, the EB1 Visa is only applicable to three occupational categories, which are the following:
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- Certain multinational executives and managers
- Professionals who have extraordinary abilities in the arts, athletics, business, education and the sciences
The EB1 Visa is only granted to the most accomplished individuals within their chosen profession. Once the visa application has been processed successfully, you will be able to move to the US, and remain there permanently, with no further visa applications or extensions.
A massive advantage to obtaining an EB1 Visa is that it does not require PERM Labor Certification. PERM allows a US employer to advocate for an immigrant to travel and live in the US permanently, and the primary goal of this objective is to prove that there is no one in the US who is willing, or capable of providing the intellect or skills that you can bring from Canada. Obtaining this certification can be a lengthy and costly process, and the EB1 Visa will help you bypass this stepping stone.
Eligibility Criteria for Canadian Citizens
The criteria that you will need to meet to gain an EB1 Visa will depend on which one of the three applicable occupational categories you fall under.
If you are a Canadian citizen who is an outstanding professor or researcher, you will need to be able to demonstrate that you do indeed have outstanding achievements within your academic field and that you have received international acclaim for said achievements. You will also need to have at least three years of experience in either teaching or conducting research within your chosen field of expertise.
If you are a Canadian citizen who is a multinational manager or director of a company, you will have to be able to prove that you have been employed at a company in Canada (or another country) that is not in the US for at least one year, and within the three years preceding your EB1 Visa application. The employer petitioning for you to come to the US under the EB1 Visa must be a US employer, and be able to prove that they have intent to employ you in a managerial or executive position.
If you are a Canadian citizen with extraordinary abilities within the realms of art, athletics, business, education and/or sciences, you must be able to demonstrate your ability within your area of expertise either through national or international recognition.
How to demonstrate that you are an outstanding professor or researcher
If you intend on obtaining the EB1 Visa as an outstanding professor or researcher, you will need to be able to provide evidence of at least two of the following:
- Substantial evidence that you have received major awards for your achievements within your field of expertise
- Substantial evidence that you are a member of associations that only accept members with outstanding achievements within your field of expertise
- Substantial evidence of others having published material about your personal work and personal achievements
- Substantial evidence of original scientific and/or scholarly research contributions within your field of expertise
- Substantial evidence that you have been involved in the evaluation of the work of other professionals within your field of expertise
- Substantial evidence that you have published scholarly articles or books in journals distributed in Canada that are within your field of expertise
If you are unable to provide evidence of any of these requirements, but still believe you are eligible for an EB1 Visa (for example, if you are newly accredited and established within your field of expertise), you will need to submit comparable evidence. Seek the advice of your immigration lawyers if this is the case, as they will be able to advise you on whether or not your documentation is significant enough to be sufficient for the criteria.
How to demonstrate extraordinary ability
To obtain the EB1 Visa via the extraordinary ability track, you must be able to demonstrate that you have sustained either international and/or national acclaim for your achievements and skills within the field of your expertise. You must be able to provide evidence showing that you have received a major internationally recognized award (for example; an Oscar or Olympic medal), or you will be able to submit at least three of the following:
- Substantial evidence that you have received national and/or international awards for excellence within your field of expertise
- Substantial evidence that you are a member of associations that bring together members with leading figures within your field of expertise
- Substantial evidence of published material/s about you and/or your achievements within your field of expertise
- Substantial evidence of you having been asked to evaluate the work of others within your chosen field of expertise
- Substantial evidence of your personal contributions toward your chosen field of expertise
- Substantial evidence of written scholarly articles by yourself that have been featured in major media
- Substantial evidence of your personal work having been displayed at artistic exhibitions
- Substantial evidence of holding a leading role within renowned organizations related to your area of expertise
- Substantial evidence of receiving a high salary, particularly more extensive than those salaries of others within the same field of your expertise
- Substantial evidence of your personal commercial successes in the field of arts
How to apply for an EB1 Visa as an outstanding professor or researcher
The application process for an EB1 Visa will vary slightly depending on which one of the three occupational categories you are applying under.
If you are applying for an EB1 Visa as an outstanding professor or researcher, your potential US employer will have to file Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) on your behalf to start the process. They will need to prove their continuing ability to be able to pay your salary once you arrive in the US and start working for them exclusively. This category does not require PERM labor certification, but you will need to hold a job offer in the US at the time of applying for the EB1 Visa.
Applying as a person with extraordinary ability
If you are applying for an EB1 Visa as a Canadian citizen with extraordinary ability, you do not require an employer to petition on your behalf. You are able to petition for yourself by filling out and completing Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker). You will not need to have a current job offer from a US employer to qualify for the application, nor will you need to obtain a PERM Labor Certification, you simply need to be extraordinary!
Applying as a multinational manager or executive
If you are applying for an EB1 Visa as a multinational manager or executive, your potential US employer will have to file Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) on your behalf to start the process. They will need to be able to provide substantial proof that you will be employed within their company in a managerial or executive capacity upon your arrival in the US. This job offer is the key factor for your EB1 Visa application.
Processing time of an EB1 Visa for Canadian Citizens
From the time that you submit your original application for your EB1 Visa, to receiving your notice of approval, the processing time is usually about six to eight months. This is all dependent on the workload of the Embassy at the time, the quality of your application, and any individual circumstances that may raise any red flags. Certain circumstances may require further credibility, depending on which stem of the EB1 Visa you are applying for.
The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) may require more sufficient evidence within your petition, which may prolong your application. It is for this exact reason, that it is highly recommended that you utilize an experienced immigration lawyer who will be able to advise you when your application is genuinely ready for submission.
Costs involved with an EB1 Visa for Canadian Citizens
Contrary to popular belief, the best things in life aren’t free, and your dream of immigrating to the United States has the potential to be costly, albeit worth every cent! The following is a breakdown of costs, but keep in mind the international fees, currency exchange, and inflation:
- Filing Form I-140: $700 (to be paid by the potential employer where applicable)
- Filing Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status Application): $1,225
- Biometrics fee: $85
- Filing form DS-260: $230 (only applicable when using consular processing)
- Affidavit of Support required with Form DS-260: $88 (only applicable when using consular processing)
The Premium Processing fee to fast-track your application for the EB1 Visa will cost you $2,500. Although this will get your response within 15 days, it does not guarantee the approval of your EB1 Visa application.
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The EB-1 visa can be tricky to get approved of for the simple fact that the applicant must prove their extraordinary ability which can be difficult to adequately prove.
For a better idea of what your chances are for being eligible for an EB-1 visa, contact an experienced immigration attorney who can fully assess your eligibility.
The EB-1 visa allows the visa holder to re-settle in the United States as a lawful permanent resident. As a green card holder, you can live in the U.S. indefinitely and even sponsor family members to re-settle in the United States as well.