EB1A Frequently Asked Questions

INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS

1.    What is an EB-1A?
2.    What are the minimum eligibility requirements for EB-1A classification?
3.    Who can petition for EB-1A classification?
4.    Why should I consider seeking an EB-1A?
5.    Why should I consider seeking an EB-1A instead of an EB-2 NIW?
6.    Why should I consider seeking an EB-1A instead of an EB-1B?
7.    Is a labor certification required for an EB-1A petition?
8.    Is a job offer or permanent employment required for an EB-1A petition?
9.    May I petition for an EB-1A if I have already submitted a petition for another immigrant classification?
10.  May I petition for an EB-1A if I already have a Labor Certification pending or a Labor Certification that has been denied?
11.  In an EB-1A petition, who is the petitioner, who is the beneficiary, and how many parties are involved?
12.  Do I need an employer sponsor for an EB-1A?
13.  Do I need to live in the U.S. to petition for an EB-1A?

ELIGIBILITY REVIEW STANDARDS

14.  What is an alien of “extraordinary ability”?
15.  What is “sustained national or international acclaim”?
16.  What are “substantial benefits to the U.S.”?
17.  Can an athlete who won an Olympic gold medal ten years ago apply for an EB-1A if he is now retired?
18.  Can a coach who used to be a top-performing athlete petition for an EB-1A under the basis of his previous record as an athlete?

EVIDENCE AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

19.  What is the two-part analysis for reviewing whether a petitioner has “extraordinary ability”?
20.  What constitutes a major, internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field?
21.  How do I show receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field?
22.  How many awards and honors do I need for an EB-1A?
23.  How do I show membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields?
24.  How many professional organizations must I be a part of for an EB-1A?
25.  How do I show that there is published material about me in professional or major trade publications or major media, relating to my work in the field?
26.  How do I show participation, either individually or as part of a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same field?
27.  How do I show original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field?
28.  How do I show that I have authored articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications, or other major media?
29.  How many published materials do I need for an EB-1A?
30.  How do I show evidence of the display of my work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases?
31.  How do I show that I have performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation?
32.  How do I show that I have commanded a high salary, or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field?
33.  How do I show commercial successes in the performing arts?
34.  If the ten statutory criteria do not readily apply to my occupation, may I submit comparable evidence?
35.  How do I show my intent to continue to work in the field?
36.  How do I show that my work and continued presence will substantially benefit the U.S.?
37.  What is a petition letter?
38.  What is a reference letter?
39.  Who should write my reference letters?
40.  What should my reference letters include?
41.  How many reference letters do I need?
42.  How long should a reference letter be?
43.  What other evidence is usually helpful for an EB-1A petition?

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

44.  What forms do I need to file to petition for an EB-1A?
45.  Once my application packet is complete, where do I submit the packet?
46.  Can I file my EB-1A petition online? If so, what is the procedure?
47.  Can I file my EB-1A Form I-140 and my Adjustment of Status Form I-485 concurrently?
48.  Will I get any confirmation of receipt from the USCIS?
49.  How long does the USCIS take to process an EB-1A petition?
50.  Are Premium Processing Services available for an EB-1A petition?
51.  May I request Premium Processing Services if my petition has already been filed and is pending?
52.  May I submit an application or petition for another immigrant classification at the same time that I submit my petition for an EB-1A?
53.  Is there any visa backlog for EB-1A?

APPLICATION RESULTS

54.  What types of actions may the USCIS issue after initial review?
55.  What is a Notice of Approval?
56.  What is a Request for Evidence (RFE)?
57.  What is a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)?
58.  What is a Notice of Denial?
59.  What may I do to respond to a Notice of Denial?
60.  May I adjust my status to permanent resident after my EB-1A is approved?
61.  How long will my EB-1A approval be valid if I am outside of the U.S.?
62.  What is the procedure for me to get my green card after the EB-1A is approved if I am outside of the U.S.?
63.  After the EB-1A is approved, can I choose between I-485 adjustment of status and consular processing of immigrant visa?
64.  May I change employers while my EB-1A petition is pending or after my EB-1A is approved?
65.  May I change fields while my EB-1A petition is pending or after my EB-1A is approved?

WHAT VISATOPIA CAN DO FOR YOUR CASE

66.  Do I need an attorney?
67.  If I retain Visatopia, what services can I expect?
68.  If I retain Visatopia, when will my EB-1A be filed?
69.  If I retain Visatopia, will my EB-1A be approved?
70.  If I retain Visatopia, who will by my attorney?
71.  If I retain Visatopia, do I need to meet with my attorney?
72.  What are Visatopia’s fees?

INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS                                                                                                     

1.    What is an EB-1A?

EB-1A refers to classification under the first preference category of employment-based immigration as an “alien of extraordinary ability.

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2.    What are the minimum eligibility requirements for EB-1A classification?

Under INA 203(b)(1)(A), the beneficiary is eligible for EB-1A classification if (1) she has extraordinary ability demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, and her achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise through extensive documentation, (2) she seeks to enter the U.S. to continue work in the field of expertise, and (3) her future stay will confer substantial benefits to the U.S.

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3.    Who can petition for EB-1A classification?

The beneficiary may self-petition for EB-1A classification and thus act as both the petitioner and the beneficiary. If you are employed, your employer may petition as an employer sponsor. Beneficiaries may be in any profession, occupation, or industry, so long as they can demonstrate that they satisfy the eligibility requirements.

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4.    Why should I consider seeking an EB-1A?

Classification under EB-1A is an attractive option because there is currently no visa backlog for this category and priority dates are current. This means more immediate consideration and processing of the petition. In addition, unlike most employment-based classifications, EB-1A petitions do not require an employer sponsor, and accordingly, the beneficiary may self-petition. The petitioner/beneficiary also need not be currently employed to petition for an EB-1A. Finally, an EB-1A is a desirable option because the petitioner can forego the labor shortage attestation process, which is usually required for lower-preference categories and can be a time-consuming process.

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5.    Why should I consider seeking an EB-1A instead of an EB-2 NIW?

EB-1A classification is often preferable to EB-2 NIW classification because EB-1A classification gives you first preference, which means there is almost definitely no visa backlog. NIWs also have no visa backlog, but only if you were not born in India or mainland China. EB-1As and NIWs share the same benefits of foregoing the labor shortage attestation process and the need for an employer sponsor.

In certain cases, despite the higher standard of “extraordinary ability,” as opposed to an NIW’s standard of having an “advanced degree” or “exceptional ability,” proving an NIW’s third prong that requiring a labor certification would adversely affect the U.S. national interest can be more difficult than meeting three of the EB-1A statutory criteria.

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6.    Why should I consider seeking an EB-1A instead of an EB-1B?

EB-1A classification and EB-1B classification are both first preference categories, which means that both have no visa backlog. Both classifications share the benefit of foregoing the labor shortage attestation process.

Unlike EB-1As, however, EB-1Bs require an employer sponsor, which means that the beneficiary cannot self-petition. Moreover, EB-1Bs are available only to outstanding professors and academic researchers with qualified job offer and certain qualifications.

If you do not fall within those qualifications, but can still show that you are of extraordinary ability, then petitioning for an EB-1A would be the better alternative.

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7.    Is a labor certification required for an EB-1A petition?

No. Unlike most other employment-based preference categories, a labor certification or similar individual labor shortage attestation process is not required for an EB-1A petition.

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8.    Is a job offer or permanent employment required for an EB-1A petition?

No. Unlike most other employment-based preference categories, neither a job offer nor permanent employment is required for an EB-1A petition.

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9.    May I petition for an EB-1A if I have already submitted a petition for another immigrant classification?

Yes, but you must file a separate Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) with corresponding supportive documentation and filing fees.

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10.  May I petition for an EB-1A if I already have a Labor Certification pending or a Labor Certification that has been denied?

Yes. Labor Certification is conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor. EB-1A petitions are reviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). If the U.S. Department of Labor denies your prospective employer’s Labor Certification, your EB-1A petition may still be approved by the USCIS.

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 11.  In an EB-1A petition, who is the petitioner, who is the beneficiary, and how many parties are involved?

The petitioner is the person who is requesting the USCIS to consider and approve the petition. The beneficiary is the subject matter of, or the person who benefits from, the petition.

With an EB-1A petition, the beneficiary is the same as the petitioner because an EB-1A is a self-petition that does not require an employer sponsor.

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 12.  Do I need an employer sponsor for an EB-1A?

No. Unlike most other employment-based preference categories, an employer sponsor is not required for an EB-1A petition.

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 13.  Do I need to live in the U.S. to petition for an EB-1A?

No. You may petition for an EB-1A outside of the U.S.  However, petitions from outside the U.S. are sometimes slightly different as you will need to submit an intent statement and career plan reiterating that you will continue to engage in the same field after obtaining a green card. If you do petition from within the U.S., you may file I-485 concurrently to adjust your current status. Otherwise, you may file I-485 after you receive approval of your petition if the visa number is current for your category.

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ELIGIBILITY REVIEW STANDARDS                                                                                     

14.  What is an alien of “extraordinary ability”?

“Extraordinary ability,” under 8 CFR 204.5(h), must include evidence of either (a) a one-time achievement or major, internationally recognized award, or (b) at least three of the following statutory criteria:

1.   Documentation of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field.

2.   Documentation of membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields.

3.   Published material about the petitioner in professional or major trade publications or major media, relating to the petitioner’s work in the field.

4.   Evidence of the petitioner’s participation, either individually or as part of a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same field.

5.   Evidence of the petitioner’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.

6.   Evidence of articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications, or other major media.

7.   Evidence of the display of the petitioner’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases.

8.   Evidence that the petitioner has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation.

9.   Evidence that the petitioner has commanded a high salary, or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field.

10. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

If any of the standards do not readily apply your occupation, you may submit comparable evidence.

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15.  What is “sustained national or international acclaim”?

“Sustained” is characterized by the beneficiary maintaining or persisting in making an effort to have such acclaim, especially over a long period of time. The USCIS does not provide any guidance on what length of time exactly satisfies the term, “sustained,” and accordingly, you may be very young in her career and still satisfy this aspect of the analysis.

If you received particular recognition for a certain achievement, the immigration officer will consider whether you continue to have the same or comparable level of acclaim and recognition in the field. If you do not continue to maintain a comparable level of acclaim after such an achievement, you will likely fail to satisfy this part of the analysis.

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16.  What are “substantial benefits to the U.S.”?

As there is no standard rule as to what will substantially benefit the U.S., the reviewing immigration officer may use his or her own discretion to determine if this requirement has been met. This requirement, however, is relatively less difficult to prove.

Standard examples of types of work that benefit the U.S. include those that:

  • Improve the U.S. economy;
  • Improve wages and working conditions of U.S. workers;
  • Improve education and training programs for U.S. children and under-qualified workers;
  • Improve health care;
  • Provide more affordable housing for young and/or older, poorer U.S. residents;
  • Improve the environment of the U.S. and make more productive use of natural resources; or,
  • Have been requested from an interested U.S. government agency.

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17.  Can an athlete who won an Olympic gold medal ten years ago apply for an EB-1A if he is now retired?

Maybe. In most cases, the success of the extraordinary petitioner must be sustained, but some exceptions are made for petitioners whose achievement is so large, a singular receipt of such an achievement is sufficient to qualify the petitioner for life. Examples include winning an Olympic gold medal, setting a prestigious world record, or winning the equivalent of a renowned national or international championship.

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18.  Can a coach who used to be a top-performing athlete petition for an EB-1A under the basis of his previous record as an athlete?

Maybe. A coach may petition for an EB-1A and point to her previous record as an athlete as secondary evidence, but primary evidence of her extraordinary ability must relate to her skills as a coach, not a player.

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EVIDENCE AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION                                                                     

19.  What is the two-part analysis for reviewing whether a petitioner has “extraordinary ability”?

Under the case Kazarian v. USCIS, review of an EB-1A petition must undergo a two-part analysis. In Part One of the analysis, the reviewing officer is not supposed to make a determination of sustained national or international acclaim. Part One is reserved for considering the quality and caliber of the evidence put forth to support (a) the receipt of a one-time achievement or major, internationally recognized award, or (b) meeting at least three of the ten statutory criteria.

If your petition satisfies Part One of the analysis, the reviewing officer must consider the totality of the evidence to determine whether you have demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., more likely than not) that you (1) have a level of expertise indicating that you are one of a small percentage who has risen to the top of the field, and (2) have sustained national or international acclaim and achievements that have been recognized in the field.

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20.  What constitutes a major, internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field?

Prizes or awards equivalent to the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, or an Olympic gold medal constitute a major, internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field.

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21.  How do I show receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field?

Documentation should indicate that you, not your employer, were the recipient of the major prize or award. Documentation should also provide at least some information about the criteria for granting the major prize or award, as well as the singularity, significance, and prestige of the particular prize or award in the field.

This may be shown, for example, by a letter from the decision-making committee or information about the qualifications for the award. The prize or honor should not be widely awarded to numerous recipients and it must be national or international in scale and prestige. Most academic scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, or grants, as well as team awards or local awards are insufficient to meet this standard.

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22.  How many awards and honors do I need for an EB-1A?

There is no specific number of awards or honors you need to have earned to get approval for an EB-1A. However, a strong showing of high-level and demonstratively prestigious awards and honors may enhance your petition’s strength in claiming this criterion.

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23.  How do I show membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields?

Documentation should demonstrate that membership in the organization is based on outstanding achievements or significant merit in the field. Documentation should also distinguish between membership levels and their corresponding requirements, if there are such levels.

Membership should not be based solely on a yearly fee or subscription, a level of education or years of experience, or a requirement for employment in certain occupations (e.g., union membership).

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24.  How many professional organizations must I be a part of for an EB-1A?

There is no specific requirement to be a member of a professional organization to be eligible for an EB-1A. However, memberships should be in professional organizations that are reserved for the very top in a field to enhance your petition’s claiming of this criterion.

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25.  How do I show that there is published material about me in professional or major trade publications or major media, relating to my work in the field?

Published materials should specifically be about your work or research in the field, not merely about your employer or an organization in which you are involved. Articles that cite to your work should be substantial and not merely part of a list of citations to other works. Published materials should not have been created for the purpose of promoting or selling any product or service.

Documentation of materials in professional publications should demonstrate that the publication is indeed a professional publication, usually by showing relatively wide online or print circulation, the publication’s target audience, as well as the title, date, and author of the citing publication. Publications should not be mere press releases prepared by journals publishing your work or re-prints of their corresponding abstracts. Publications should instead be by independent journalists about you.

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26.  How do I show participation, either individually or as part of a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same field?

Evidence should demonstrate that you have been invited to judge the work of others in the field, and that you actually followed through in participating as a judge of the work of others in the field.

Examples include peer reviewing for a widely-circulated scholarly journal evidenced by an invitation to review and proof of completion of the review, or serving as a member of the final Ph.D. dissertation decision-making committee evidenced by departmental records.

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27.  How do I show original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field?

Evidence must demonstrate that the original work constitutes major, significant contributions to the field. Evidence merely showing that the work was funded or published is insufficient. Similarly, evidence simply showing that the work is original is insufficient.

Usually, this requirement may be shown through letters from recommendation in which the recommenders articulate the specific impact and influence of the original work. Examples of “major significance” include presenting at a major academic symposium, provoking widespread commentary or recognition from others in the field, or citations illustrating the authority of the work.

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28.  How do I show that I have authored articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications, or other major media?

Evidence should demonstrate that the scholarly article speaks to original research, experiments, or theory. For fields that do not have traditional publications of scholarly work, evidence should demonstrate that the claimed scholarly articles appeared in publications that target those having insightful knowledge in the same field.

Quality of the scholarly articles, as opposed to the quantity, is given more weight. Evidence should also include any significant numbers of citations.

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29.  How many published materials do I need for an EB-1A?

There is no specific number of published materials required for an EB-1A. However, a strong showing of published materials along with a strong citation history can definitely enhance your petition’s strength in claiming this criterio.

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30.  How do I show evidence of the display of my work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases?

Evidence should show that the work that was displayed was indeed your work. Evidence should also demonstrate that the displays, whether virtual or physical, were artistic and were either exhibitions (defined by Merriam-Webster as public showings) or showcases (defined by Merriam-Webster as a setting, occasion, or medium for exhibiting something or someone especially in an attractive or favorable aspect).

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31.  How do I show that I have performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation?

Evidence should demonstrate that your role is, or was, leading or critical. A leading role is one where you acted as a leader, which may be established by your title and letters specifically detailing her responsibilities and management structure.

A critical role is one where you contributed in a significantly important way to the establishment’s activities, which may be established by demonstrative and specific letters from those with personal knowledge of the petitioner’s role. A critical role may not simply be purported by your title.

An establishment may have a distinguished reputation regardless of its relative size or length of existence. Merriam-Webster defines “distinguished” as marked by renown or excellence, or befitting a renowned person.

Evidence for this criterion must include a letter from your employer establishing your role and/or the establishment’s distinguished reputation.

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32.  How do I show that I have commanded a high salary, or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field?

Evidence may include, but is not limited to, compensation surveys for your geographical location or position, justifications within the organization for compensation above the averages listed in the compensation surveys, or statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Labor.

Remuneration refers to a broad umbrella of anything that recompenses or compensation for one’s services, which may include salary, wages, bonuses, or commission. However, if you submit your base salary as well as bonuses and commission, then statistics or surveys for your geographical location, position, and compensation must reflect the typical base salary as well as bonuses and commission of others in the field. A false comparison or inaccurate analogy between your proposed remuneration and the statistics is detrimental to proving this criterion.

Usually, an annual salary, including bonus, that is above $1 million is deemed significantly high remuneration for services, but must still be compared to the typical salary that others in the field command.

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33.  How do I show commercial successes in the performing arts?

Evidence should demonstrate a high volume of sales of the respective medium and your commercial success relative to others involved in similar activities in the same performing art.

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34.  If the ten statutory criteria do not readily apply to my occupation, may I submit comparable evidence?

Yes. If any of the standards do not readily apply to your occupation, you may submit comparable evidence, which should specifically demonstrate why the statutory standard is not readily applicable to your occupation and how the evidence is comparable to what is typically required to satisfy that statutory standard.

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35.  How do I show my intent to continue to work in the field?

Showing your intent to continue working in the field is relatively less difficult to prove than any of the ten statutory criteria. This requirement can usually be demonstrated through your personal statement of intent, a pending job offer, or reference letters.

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36.  How do I show that my work and continued presence will substantially benefit the U.S.?

Showing that your work and continued presence will substantially benefit the U.S. is relatively easier to prove than any of the ten statutory criteria.

Standard examples of types of work that benefit the U.S. include those that:

  • Improve the U.S. economy;
  • Improve wages and working conditions of U.S. workers;
  • Improve education and training programs for U.S. children and under-qualified workers;
  • Improve health care;
  • Provide more affordable housing for young and/or older, poorer U.S. residents;
  • Improve the environment of the U.S. and make more productive use of natural resources; or,
  • Have been requested from an interested U.S. government agency.

This requirement can usually be demonstrated through your personal statement of intent, a pending job offer, or reference letters.

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37.  What is a petition letter?

The petition letter acts as a comprehensive summary of your evidence and the reasons why the evidence demonstrates that you meet the requirements for EB-1A eligibility.

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38.  What is a reference letter?

Reference letters (recommendation letters) provide the reviewing immigration officer what should be objective evidence regarding your expertise and benefits to the U.S. They also speak to any of the other requirements to obtaining approval for EB-1A classification. They are essential to your case, especially when they come from experts or authorities in your field because they provide objective evidence of the impact and influence your work or research has in your field and on the U.S.

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39.  Who should write my reference letters?

Reference letters should come from an expert or some other person of authority in your field or a closely related field. They may also come from current or past supervisors of your research or work who can comment on your exceptional ability and how your ability has already and will continue to significantly benefit the U.S.  The USCIS would like to see a balanced and diverse pool of recommenders, including people who have never worked with the beneficiary or co-authored any papers with the beneficiary.

Any given recommender’s qualifications should not outshine your own qualifications too much. A strong letter from a moderately qualified recommender is better than a moderate letter from a highly qualified recommender.

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40.  What should my reference letters include?

Reference letters should include language of support from the recommender with respect to the petition for an EB-1A. The recommender should be able to get behind your petition and comment on her noteworthy contributions to the field and her significant degree of recognition in the field.

They should also include a brief paragraph outlining the qualifications of the recommender. These may include outstanding achievements, notable positions in organizations or universities, publications in esteemed widely-circulated journals, and any other information that exhibits why the recommender is qualified to evaluate and speak to the value of your work or research. Again, these qualifications should not outshine your own credentials.

In addition, they should include a large amount of substantive information regarding how the recommender came to know about your work, specific and notable aspects of your work, and any language that speaks to your extraordinary degree of expertise in your field, the impact and influence of your work, and the significant national benefit that stems from your work.

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41.  How many reference letters do I need?

There is no specific number of required reference letters, but you should aim to provide anywhere from 5 to 7 reference letters with your petition.

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42.  How long should a reference letter should be?

Reference letters vary in length depending on the extent to which the recommender can comment on your ability and career. They should, however, aim to be somewhere between 2 to 3 pages single-spaced.

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43.  What other evidence is usually helpful for an EB-1A petition?

In addition to reference letters, your petition package should include all necessary forms (see #44 below), your petition letter, and other supporting documentation, which may include:

  • Resume, awards, achievements, honors, etc.;
  • Publications and publication requests;
  • Evidence of significant citations to your work;
  • Invitations to review or judge manuscripts for publications;
  • Conference presentations and any corresponding invitations;
  • Evidence of memberships in any professional associations;
  • Evidence funding or grants for any relevant research projects;
  • Evidence of other past accomplishments and achievements; and,
  • Evidence that you have had a crucial or critical role in employment.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE                                                                                                    

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44.  What forms do I need to file to petition for an EB-1A?

In addition to your evidence and supporting documentation (see #43 above), you must fill out Form I-140 (Immigration Petition for Alien Worker).

If you are represented by an attorney, you must also fill out Form G-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative).

If you are already in the U.S. under another valid status, you may also file Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status), which may sometimes be concurrently filed with the EB-1A petition to expedite consideration and processing of the adjustment application.

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45.  Once my application packet is complete, where do I submit the packet?

You must submit your petition packet along with its $580 fee to a designated address based on the petitioner’s address. The package is then distributed to either the Nebraska Service Center or the Texas Service Center.

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46.  Can I file my EB-1A petition online? If so, what is the procedure?

You may file your EB-1A petition online. E-Filing’s benefits are that you may pay your fees with a credit or debit card, or directly through your checking or savings account, and you will receive immediate confirmation that you application has been received by the USCIS.

However, Form I-140 cannot be e-Filed concurrently with other forms. Also, you must still send the documents supporting your application to the address on the e-Filing Confirmation Receipt within 7 business days. If you do not send them within this timeframe, you will receive a Request for Evidence. If you do not send them within the timeframe of the Request for Evidence, your petition will be denied and filing fees will not be refunded.

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47.  Can I file my EB-1A Form I-140 and my Adjustment of Status Form I-485 concurrently?

Yes. You may file Form I-485 with Form I-140 if the visa priority date for EB-1A classification on the most recent visa bulletin is current.

As of January 2014’s visa bulletin, all countries are current and do not have a backlog.

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48.  Will I get any confirmation of receipt from the USCIS?

Yes. You will get a Notice of Receipt usually within 1 to 2 weeks after submission.

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49.  How long does the USCIS take to process an EB-1A petition?

An EB-1A petition generally takes about at least 3 to 9 months to process, depending on the case, the USCIS Service Center, and the Immigration Officer processing the case.

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50.  Are Premium Processing Services available for an EB-1A petition?

Yes. If under Premium Processing Services, the USCIS will process the petition within the guaranteed 15 calendar days.

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51.  May I request Premium Processing Services if my petition has already been filed and is pending?

Yes. You may request Premium Processing Services if your petition has already been filed and is pending. THE USCIS will process the petition within the guaranteed 15 calendar days from the day they properly receive the request for Premium Processing Services.

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52.  May I submit an application or petition for another immigrant classification at the same time that I submit my petition for an EB-1A?

Yes, but you must file a separate Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker), or its applicable equivalent, with corresponding supportive documentation and filing fees.

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53.  Is there any visa backlog for EB-1A?

As of January 2014’s visa bulletin, all countries are current and do not have a backlog.

If your petition is approved and you are not already in the U.S. under another status, you will need to apply for a visa at an overseas U.S. consulate to enter the U.S. Your visa interview will be scheduled when the visa number becomes current for your category according to the most recent visa bulletin. Once you land in the U.S. with an immigrant visa, you will be issued your green card.

If your petition is approved and you are already in the U.S. under another status, your application for adjustment of status will be considered in accordance with the most recent visa bulletin as well.

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APPLICATION RESULTS                                                                                                                       

54.  What types of actions may the USCIS issue after initial review?

The USCIS may issue one of four possible actions after initial review: (1) Notice of Approval, (2) Request for Evidence, (3) Notice of Intent to Deny, or (4) Notice of Denial.

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55.  What is a Notice of Approval?

A Notice of Approval indicates that the USCIS has reviewed and approved your petition.

At this point, if you are currently in the U.S. under another status, and if you have not already concurrently filed for an adjustment of status, you may do so by filling out Form I-485. If you are not currently in the U.S under another status, you may apply for a visa to enter the country.

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56.  What is a Request for Evidence (RFE)?

A Request for Evidence indicates that the reviewing USCIS Immigration Officer is requesting additional evidence to address and support specific parts of the petition.

You may have up to 84 days after the date of the decision to respond. If you do not respond within the prescribed period, your petition may be denied. Once the USCIS receives your response to an RFE, further action will generally occur within 60 days, but may take longer. You should ask for an update if none is provided by the USCIS within 60 days.

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57.  What is a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)?

A Notice of Intent to Deny indicates that the reviewing USCIS Immigration Officer is giving notice that he or she will deny the case unless you provide certain extra documentation.

You may have up to 84 days after the date of the decision to respond. If you do not respond within the prescribed period, your petition may be denied. Once the USCIS receives your response to an NOID, further action will generally occur within 60 days, but may take longer. You should ask for an update if none is provided by the USCIS within 60 days.

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58.  What is a Notice of Denial?

A Notice of Denial indicates that the USCIS has reviewed and denied your petition.

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59.  What may I do to respond to a Notice of Denial?

You have 30 days after the date of the decision to file one of three responses if you so choose: (1) appeal, (2) motion to reconsider, or (3) motion to reopen.

An appeal is appropriate if you believe the USCIS’ denial was incorrect or wrong. A motion to reconsider is appropriate if you want another Immigration Officer to review the case. A motion to reopen is appropriate if you have evidence that was absent in the original application or response to an RFE that existed at the time of original filing.

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60.  May I adjust my status to permanent resident after my EB-1A is approved?

Usually you may file Form I-485 to adjust your status after your EB-1A petition is approved if the visa priority date for EB-1A classification on the most recent visa bulletin is current.

As of January 2014’s visa bulletin, all countries are current and do not have a backlog.

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61.  How long will my EB-1A approval be valid if I am outside of the U.S.?

Theoretically speaking, your EB-1A petition approval can be valid for unlimited duration.  In practice, the sooner you initiate the consular process once your visa priority date is current, however, the better.  After the National Visa Center send you the processing fee bill payment notice, you have to respond it in one year.  Otherwise, your request for consular processing of immigrant visa will be regarded as abandonment.

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62.  What is the procedure for me to get my green card after the EB-1A is approved if I am outside of the U.S.?

Consular processing is a means through which you may apply for an immigrant visa after your petition is approved at a U.S. consulate overseas.

If your petition is approved and you are not already in the U.S., the USCIS will send your approved petition to the Department of State National Visa Center. The National Visa Center will send you a notice of receipt. When visa numbers are available or about to become available for your classification, the National Visa Center will send you another notice indicating when you must submit immigrant visa processing fees and supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include the original Notice of Approval; a copy of your filed petition; Notice of Receipt; a valid passport; criminal history, police, military, or prison records; birth certificate; marriage certificate; and birth certificates of children.

When fees and supporting documentation have been received, the National Visa Center will send you a packet of forms and instructions. Upon submission of those forms, the National Visa Center will send you an appointment letter including instructions for the medical exam and indicating when you must appear at a designated U.S. consulate for an interview. After the interview, the consular office will review your application and either grant your visa or request the USCIS to reconsider or revoke your petition.

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63.  After the EB-1A is approved, can I choose between I-485 adjustment of status and consular processing of immigrant visa?

Yes. If your petition is approved and you are already in the U.S., you may choose between applying for an adjustment of status, or going to your country of birth or establishing residency abroad and initiating consular processing, assuming that visa numbers are current for your classification. To apply via consular processing, you must mark that option in your I-140 form or you must file Form I-824 (Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition) with the USCIS to request that the petition gets sent to the Department of State National Visa Center.

The primary benefit of consular processing is that it is often quicker than an application for adjustment of status. Consular processing tends to take less than 1 year. An application for adjustment of status, however, can take about 1 to 2 years to process.

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64.  May I change employers while my EB-1A petition is pending or after my EB-1A is approved?

Yes. An EB-1A does not require an employer sponsor, so your status is not bound to any specific employer.

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65.  May I change fields while my EB-1A petition is pending or after my EB-1A is approved?

No. You must remain in the same or similar field indicated in your EB-1A petition and confer the same substantial benefits to the United States. If you change fields drastically, the USCIS may deny your petition, deny your Adjustment of Status or green card application, or revoke your green card.

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WHAT VISATOPIA CAN DO FOR YOUR CASE                                                                   

 66.  Do I need an attorney?

Needless to say, filing a petition for an EB-1A can be daunting and confusing. Although there have been successful approvals of petitions by unrepresented individuals, Visatopia will ensure that your petition is filed efficiently and is at its strongest when it reaches the reviewing immigration officer’s hands.

Four features distinguish Visatopia from other firms:

  1. Our exceptional legal credentials, extensive knowledge, and breadth of experience enable us to outmatch our major competitors’ services;
  2. Our contingent flat fees, free initial consultation, and encouragement of open client communication without ever getting charged are all ways in which we keep ourselves accountable to our clients and deliver the best possible results at lower costs;
  3. Our policies of promptness and diligence allow us to provide a personal, attentive, and strategized approach in our clients’ immigration matters; and,
  4. Our firm is by immigrants and for immigrants. We are committed to our clients’ successful immigration and, accordingly, provide all-encompassing services to our clients to ensure that we take care of our clients from start to completion.

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67.  If I retain Visatopia, what services can I expect?

For the EB-1A process, you can expect at least the following services from Visatopia:

  • Advise whether an EB-1A is appropriate for your matter;
  • Provide guidance on selecting recommenders and collecting reference letters;
  • Review, edit, and refine reference letters to best strengthen your application;
  • Guide you in collecting and organizing the proper documentation and evidence to enhance your application;
  • Draft a polished petition letter that cohesively presents the strength of your case along with its supporting evidence;
  • Provide frequent updates and communication;
  • Submit your complete application, after your review and approval, to the appropriate USCIS Service Center;
  • Track your case and update you on the processing status of your case;
  • Ensure that you respond to any additional requests for evidence or information related to your case;
  • Provide guidance on whether an appeal or motion is appropriate if your case is not approved; and,
  • Follow through with work related to appeals and motions if you choose to pursue those routes.

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68.  If I retain Visatopia, when will my EB-1A be filed?

Visatopia strives to handle its clients’ immigration matters with the utmost integrity, care, and professionalism. We also have stringent policies of promptness and diligence, which allow us to provide a personal, attentive, and strategized approach in our clients’ immigration matters.

How quickly we file your case depends on the complexity of your case and how long it takes to obtain all supporting documentation. Once all supporting documentation has been collected, you can expect your petition to be fully prepared and filed in about 1 week.

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69.  If I retain Visatopia, will my EB-1A be approved?

 Visatopia cannot guarantee that your petition will be approved, but our 95% approval rate illustrates our exceptional legal credentials, extensive knowledge, and breadth of experience at the firm.

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70.  If I retain Visatopia, who will by my attorney?

You will have one primary attorney personally handling your case. However, by retaining Visatopia, your matter will benefit from the knowledge, experience, and expertise of all of our high-caliber attorneys and clerks. All petitions are reviewed by a senior attorney before filing to ensure that your case meets Visatopia’s high standards of quality, accuracy, and persuasive strength.

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71.  If I retain Visatopia, do I need to meet with my attorney?

No. You may participate in your initial consultation and the entirety of your case via any form of communication, including e-mail, phone, video conferences, fax, and mail.

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72.  What are Visatopia’s fees?

We will provide a fee quote to you after evaluating your case and situation. We are committed to beating all major competitors’ rates while outmatching their services.

Visatopia’s attorneys’ fees can be paid in two installments: half upfront as an initial retainer fee, and the remaining half as a contingent fee that is due upon your case’s approval. Our contingent flat fee, as opposed to an hourly rate, is designed to keep us accountable to our clients and to deliver the best possible results. For some selected cases that pass our evaluation, we can even provide a “money back” guarantee if the case is not approved.

We never charge our clients for phone calls, e-mails, or meetings. We encourage frequent, open communication with our clients.

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Read more about EB-1A status and Visatopia’s EB-1A services:

Read about some of our successful EB-1A cases: