What is the EB1 Visa?
The EB1 is an employment-based, first-preference US visa that only three occupational categories are eligible for. These groups are:
- Certain multinational executives and managers
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- Those who have extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
The EB1 Visa is granted to the most accomplished individuals in their profession. If their visa application is approved, they can come to the US and remain there permanently.
One of the biggest advantages of the EB1 Visa is the lack of requirement of PERM Labor Certification. Obtaining the certification is a lengthy and costly process, and its primary goal is to determine whether US workers are able to fill the available position.
What eligibility criteria do UK citizens need to meet for the EB1 Visa?
Depending on which occupational category you belong to, the EB1 Visa requirements might be slightly different:
- For UK citizens who are outstanding professors or researchers, you have to demonstrate that you have outstanding achievements in your academic field and that you received international acclaim for them. You also have to have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or conducting research in this field.
- For UK citizens with extraordinary abilities, you must be able to demonstrate your exceptional ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through national or international recognition.
- For UK citizens who are multinational managers or executives, you have to have been employed at a company in the UK or another country that is not the US for at least 1 year in the 3 years preceding your EB1 Visa application. Your petitioning employer has to be a US employer and has to intend to employ you in a managerial or executive position.
Regardless of which of these descriptions applies to your situation, you will have to provide extensive evidence confirming your eligibility for the EB1 Visa.
How to demonstrate that I am an outstanding professor or researcher
To receive the EB1 Visa as an outstanding professor or researcher, you have to provide at least two of the following:
- Evidence of having received major awards for your achievements
- Evidence of being a member of associations that only accept members with outstanding achievements
- Evidence of others publishing material about your work and achievements
- Evidence of participating in evaluating the work of others in the field
- Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in your field
- Evidence of having written scholarly books or articles that got published in journals distributed in your country of residence and abroad.
If you cannot provide this proof but you believe you are eligible for the EB1 Visa as an outstanding professor or researcher, you can submit comparable evidence. Before you do so, however, seek advice from our immigration lawyers. They will tell you whether the evidence you intend to include in your application is sufficient.
How to demonstrate my extraordinary ability?
In order to be eligible for the EB1 Visa via the extraordinary ability track, you have to demonstrate that you have sustained national or international acclaim for your achievements and skills in the field. There are two ways to prove it. You can provide evidence showing that you received a major internationally recognized award, for example, an Oscar or an Olympic Medal, or you can submit at least three of the following:
- Evidence of having received smaller national or international awards for excellence
- Evidence of being a member of professional associations bringing together the leading figures in the field
- Evidence of published material about you and your achievements
- Evidence of having been asked to evaluate the work of others
- Evidence of your original contributions to the field
- Evidence of having written scholarly articles that got featured in major media
- Evidence of having had your work displayed at artistic exhibitions
- Evidence of holding leading roles in renowned organizations
- Evidence of receiving salary higher than the salary of others in the field
- Evidence of your commercial successes in the field of arts.
If you are still unsure how to prove your extraordinary abilities in the field, talk to our immigration lawyers. They will assess your eligibility for the EB1 Visa and will help you gather all the evidence needed to prove your exceptional skills and expertise.
How can UK citizens apply for the EB1 Visa?
The application process for the EB1 Visa is different for each of the occupation categories eligible for it.
If you are applying as an outstanding professor or researcher, your US employer has to file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker on your behalf. They will also have to prove their continuing ability to pay your salary after you arrive in the US. This category does not require PERM Labor Certification but you need to hold a US job offer at the time of applying for the EB1 Visa.
If you are applying as a UK citizen with extraordinary ability, you can petition for yourself by filing Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. You do not need to have a job offer from a US employer to apply. You are also not required to obtain PERM Labor Certification.
If you are applying as a multinational manager or executive, your US employer has to petition for you by filing Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. They also have to prove that you will be employed in a managerial or executive capacity after you arrive in the US. Just like with the outstanding professor or researcher category, you have to hold a US job offer to apply for the EB1 Visa.
What is the processing time of the EB1 Visa?
How long UK citizens have to wait for the EB1 Visa depends on the workload of the service center that is processing your application. Moreover, in some cases, USCIS might take longer to assess applicants’ eligibility criteria and check all the supporting evidence. That said, the waiting time for the EB1 Visa also depends on how complex your case is.
On average, however, the processing time of most EB1 Visa applications is between 6 to 8 months.
If the evidence proving your abilities and achievements is not sufficient, USCIS might issue a Request for Evidence. If you receive it, you will have to gather and submit more information and documentation. That can delay your application and extend the waiting time for the EB1 Visa. That is why getting assistance from an immigration lawyer when preparing a portfolio of evidence is highly recommended.
If your visa application is urgent, you can pay a fee of $2,500 for Premium Processing. Then the processing time will be shortened to 15 calendar days. Keep in mind that opting for this service does not increase the chances of your EB1 Visa being approved.
How much do UK citizens have to pay for the EB1 Visa?
If you want to apply for the EB1 Visa, you have to be ready to pay the following fees:
- $700 for the filing of Form I-140. If a US employer is filing the petition on your behalf, it will be their responsibility to pay it
- $1225 for filing Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Application
- $85 biometrics fee
- $230 for filing Form DS-260 (only applicable if you are using consular processing)
- $88 fee for Affidavit of Support required with Form DS-260 (also only applicable if you are using consular processing).
If you want to use the Premium Processing service, you will have to pay an additional fee of $2,500.
What happens if my EB1 Visa application is rejected?
Unfortunately, the EB1 Visa is not an easy one to get. The standard is high and only individuals with exceptional expertise and significant achievements in their field can receive it. One of the most common reasons for the EB1 Visa applications being rejected is not being able to prove one’s extraordinary abilities.
Luckily, there are other employment-based US visas that you can apply for if your EB1 Visa application is rejected. These are:
- EB2 Visa intended for foreign workers with exceptional ability or advanced university degree
- EB3 Visa intended for international skilled workers
- EB4 Visa intended for special immigrants
- EB5 Visa intended for foreign investors.
All these visas can lead to you receiving the status of a permanent resident in the US. If you want to find out more about them, get in touch with our immigration lawyers.
How can Total Law help?
Here at Total Law, our lawyers have expert knowledge of US immigration law. They have helped many clients successfully apply for the EB1 Visa and other employment-based US visas.
Our lawyers will assess your eligibility for the EB1 Visa and, if you meet the requirements, they will help you apply for it. If they decide that you do not satisfy the criteria, they will explain to you what other US visas you can apply for instead.
The application process for the EB1 Visa is complex and mistakes in your application might lead to delays or rejection. Our lawyers will make sure that you properly completed all the forms and included all the necessary documentation. Thanks to their help, you can increase the chances of your EB1 Visa application being approved.
To find out more about how we can help, call us today on 0333 305 9375.
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If you are applying for the EB1 Visa as an individual with extraordinary abilities in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, you can file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker yourself. That means that you do not have to have a job offer from a US company when you are applying. Nevertheless, if you are applying for the EB1 Visa as any other occupation category, your US employer has to petition for you.
In most cases, the processing time of the EB1 Visa is much faster than the processing of the EB2 Visa. If you are applying for the EB1 Visa, you do not have to obtain PERM Certification, which significantly reduces the waiting time.
EB1 Visa applicants can opt for premium processing that reduces the waiting time for USCIS’ decision to just 15 working days. If you want to use the service, you have to submit Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, and pay the $2,500 fee.
Normally, the processing of the EB1 Visa takes between 6 to 8 months.
If your application for the EB1 Visa is approved, your dependents will be able to apply for admission to the US. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 might qualify for E14 or E5 status respectively. If they meet the eligibility criteria, they can come to the US with you and remain there permanently.