EB1 First Preference

A foreigner may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if he has an extraordinary ability, is an outstanding professor or researcher, or is a multinational executive or manager. Each occupational category has certain requirements that must be met.

EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY. A foreigner must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. The person’s achievements must be recognized in the field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required.

The foreigner must provide evidence of a one-time achievement, such as Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, an Emmy, SAG, Olympic Medal, MacArthur Fellowship, the Fields Medal, the Bancroft Prize, and the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Golden Globes or any internationally recognized awards; or

The foreigner must meet 3 out of the 10 listed criteria below to prove extraordinary ability in his field:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about the foreigner in professional or major trade publications or other major media 
  • Evidence that the foreigner have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of the foreigner’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of the foreigner’s authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media 
  • Evidence that the foreigner’s work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases 
  • Evidence of the foreigner’s performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations 
  • Evidence that the foreigner commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of the foreigner’s commercial successes in the performing arts

The foreigner may petition for himself by filing a Petition for Alien Worker.

OUTSTANDING PROFESSORS AND RESEARCHERS. A foreigner must demonstrate international recognition of his outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. He must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area. The foreigner must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education.

The foreigner must include an offer of employment from the prospective U.S. employer and documentation of at least two of the listed below examples of documentary evidence:

  • Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement 
  • Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement 
  • Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the foreigner’s work in the academic field
  • Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
  • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field 
  • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field

The employer must file a Petition for Alien Worker.

MULTINATIONAL MANAGER OR EXECUTIVE. A foreigner must have been employed outside the United States in the 3 years preceding the petition for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation and must be seeking to enter the United States to continue service to that firm or organization. His employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer.

The petitioning employer must be a U.S. employer. The foreigner’s employer must have been doing business for at least 1 year, as an affiliate, a subsidiary, or as the same corporation or other legal entity that employed the foreigner abroad.

The employer must file a Petition for Alien Worker. The application does not require the labor certification. The foreigner can have an ownership interest in the company.

EB-1 Multinational Manager/Executive category and the L-1A visa category are very similar. The main additional requirement is that the US operation be in existence for at least a year. Also, the EB-1 Manager/Executive category requirement is a year employment for the company abroad.