Green Card for Accomplished Professionals


Immigration Desk clients use EB-1A to sponsor themselves for green cards. Our EB-1A clients are researchers, entrepreneurs, key employees and exceptional people working in varied industries.

Extraordinary Ability Individuals

Eligibility for EB1A

To obtain an EB-1A green card, you must have extraordinary ability in the sciences, the arts, education, business or athletics. You must prove that:

  • You are extraordinary at your job
  • You are very well known in your industry because of your work, and
  • You will continue to work in your area of expertise in the US

To prove that you are extraordinary, you must have either won a top international award (like the Nobel prize) or have 3 out of this list of 10 criteria:

  • Lesser-known national or international prizes
  • Membership in associations that only allow outstanding professionals as members
  • Professional accomplishments showcased in the news or print media
  • Been a reviewer or a judge of similar works in your industry
  • Original scientific, scholarly or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles
  • Worked at distinguished organizations and your work has been necessary to the organization
  • A very high salary

To process EB1A green card petitions, the USCIS often consults with experts in your industry, to decide whether your work is truly extraordinary. Once the individual criteria are met, the USCIS also looks at the petition as a whole to decide if you can be considered extraordinary at your job.

The USCIS maintains a page on EB1A permanent residency where they provide many additional details. You can access the USCIS EB1A webpage here.

While the list looks daunting, our team has helped many clients document their accomplishments to successfully receive green cards through EB-1A.

The Filing Process & Duration of the Green Card

EB-1A petitions can only be filed with the USCIS in the United States.

  • We first file the I-140 petition and then file the I-485 application when the priority date is current. Read about filing steps, adjustment of status/consular processing and the concept of “priority date here”.
  • Green cards issued in EB-1A category are usually valid for 10 years and can be extended.
  • Green card holders also can file for US citizenship 5 years after becoming green cards holders.
  • Generally, people who qualify for O-1 and J-1 visas (used for temporary stay) also qualify for EB-1A (permanent residence).
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Benefits of the EB-1A Green Card

EB-1A is a highly preferred category. While other employment sponsored green cards may end up taking over 10 years, the EB1A is very advantageous because the processing is much faster than other categories, and also because you do not need to depend on an employer to file for you:

  • Self-sponsorship. This is one of the very few categories where you can file for yourself. You do not need an employer or family member to sponsor you.
  • Extremely fast processing. Filing an EB-1A is, possibly, the fastest method to obtain a work-based green card. This is because not many people file using the EB-1A category, hence there is usually very little backlog in this category. Also, filing for employment-based green cards is a 3-part process but for EB-1 green cards, only 2 steps are needed. The time-consuming PERM process is not needed when filing for an EB-1A.
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Proving an EB-1A Case

Proving that our client is at the level of a Nobel prize winner is a tough ask. Only 7 Nobel prizes are given out each year. All other applicants need to prove that they are extraordinary by meeting 3 of the 10 criteria listed above. Below are some of the common issues that EB1A clients face:

  • EB1A for New Researchers and Applicants without PhDs
  • EB1As for Emerging Fields
  • For business-people and entrepreneurs
  • EB-1A for work in a different field

EB1A for New Researchers and Applicants without PhDs: While many of our clients are scientists already established in their fields, we also help many many researchers who are just starting their professional journey. When starting a petition for a newly minted researcher the question that we ask ourselves is – How do we prove our client is doing extraordinary work, if they have only been at their job for a few years? Young scientists usually do not have hundreds of research publications. Neither do they have lots of colleagues who have cited our client's research in their own research papers. Besides, when the research has not reached its conclusion, there is no way of predicting what the benefits of the research are going to be.

Most times, our clients work as part of teams that are creating technologies or doing research. Not every client is the project lead or the principal scientist. Many of our clients started work right after their Masters and do not have a PhDs in their fields.

EB1As for Emerging Fields. We also help file EB-1As for non-research positions and emerging fields. In the past 50 years there has been an explosion of new fields. Information Technology, Biotechnology, Medical devices, Fintech are all industries that have existed less than 50 years. There is no one international association or award for these fields. Sometimes, the work being performed may be a mixture of 2 different fields of study. To get the green card approved in such situations, a thorough understanding of the legal criteria and the researcher’s work is needed.

For business-people and entrepreneurs. We also file EB1As for businesspeople and entrepreneurs. In these cases, we need to prove that their companies are doing very well and that their own contribution is absolutely necessary to their companies’ success. Every company may not be on the trajectory to be the next Google or Amazon but many clients at smaller or newer companies have qualified for obtaining their green cards through the EB-1A category.

EB-1A for work in a different field: Even when the field is established, and the applicant has achieved world-wide fame, they may be entering the US to perform a different job. This is particularly true of high-ranking athletes who retire and decide to coach instead of competing, or professors who want to teach instead of researching.

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered to file a successful EB-1A petition. At Immigration Desk, we believe every client has the right to live and work in the US. We take pride in working collaboratively with our clients to get their EB1As approved.

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The Immigration Desk Solution

Creating an approvable EB-1A petition is always exciting.

Located in the Northeastern United States, we are in the vicinity of world-class universities and IT, financial, fintech, biotech industries and many entrepreneurial ventures. Many clients from the universities and businesses around us, and from other parts of the country, reach out to us for EB1A evaluation and subsequently, filing the EB1A petition. Since immigration is federal in nature, we also help clients nationwide and from overseas.

Our services include helping scientists, but also recent graduates and businesspeople qualify for EB-1A green cards.

While some clients walk in with extremely strong cases, most cases require us to put on our thinking caps. We take a tiered approach to most EB-1A cases. When you reach out to us for a EB1A evaluation, our attorneys screen your work track and what you wish to accomplish to determine if an EB-1A is the best choice for you. This includes a deep dive into your industry, its current standards, your research project and your contributions to it. For businesspeople, we explore your industry, your products, and your role in your company thoroughly.

Our in-depth review helps us write a winning case for you. In cases where you do not meet the requirements, we help you identify actions that you can take to further build your profile so you will qualify for an EB-1A green card case later. Our attorneys offer practical suggestions backed by a pragmatic understanding of the USCIS officer’s mindset, the reason behind the creation of this EB-1A category, combined with a deep knowledge of business and research.

We believe it only takes an involved attorney with a patient ear to get your EB-1A green card approved. Above we have described some of the common considerations while filing for a EB-1A green card. As attorneys, we believe in helping our clients succeed. It is our privilege to help you create a successful EB-1A petition.

Please contact us to discuss how we can help you obtain permanent residency through a EB-1A filing. We look forward to making immigration easy for you.

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