Are you an individual with extraordinary ability, an outstanding professor or researcher, or a multinational manager or executive looking to work and live in the United States? If so, the EB-1 Visa, also known as the EB-1 Green Card, might be the perfect opportunity for you.

In this article, we will explore the different categories of the EB-1 Visa, the evidence required to demonstrate your worth, the application process and timeline, the fees and costs, the benefits for your family, and how this visa can be a path to US citizenship. Let’s delve into the world of the EB-1.

Benefits of the EB-1 Visa

An EB-1 Visa saves you time. The immigration process in the US is notoriously lengthy. Many I-140 Immigrant Petitions take long periods of time to process and approve, but the EB-1 Visa can be relatively quick and straightforward. These are some of the reasons why:

No labor certification

EB-1 cases are exempt from the “default” employment-based requirement of a PERM labor certification. Labor certification is the lengthy and intricate process that employers undergo to prove there are no qualified US workers to perform the job. EB-1 petitioners and beneficiaries can avoid this process and save valuable time as well as the risk of denial at the PERM stage.

Premium processing option

USCIS will respond to the EB-1 petition (Form I-140) within 15 days if you choose this option. Premium processing has a fee of $2,500.

Concurrent filing

You can file the EB-1 Immigrant Petition (Form I-140) at the same time as the permanent residence application (Form I-485), as long as you meet certain requirements and if you are already in the United States.

Early work authorization

Your spouse and children under 21 can be granted authorization by the USCIS to start working in the country before the permanent residence is approved.

EB-1A: Extraordinary Ability

The first category under the EB-1 Visa is for individuals able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. 

To qualify for this visa, you must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and international recognition for your achievements. You must provide evidence that you have risen to the very top of your field, such as major awards, published material about your work, membership in distinguished associations, and evidence of your contributions to the field. 

The main advantage of the EB-1A visa is that not only do you not need an existing job offer for an EB-1 I-140 Immigrant Petition, you can petition entirely for yourself. Therefore, unlike the other categories, you do not need to have sponsorship from a company to apply for this visa. 

Evidence Necessary 

You must be able to provide that you have submitted evidence in at least three of the following evidentiary categories below or provide evidence of a one-time achievement such as a Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal. You also need evidence showing that you will be continuing to work in the area of your expertise. No offer of employment or labor certification is required. 

You must present evidence of: 

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence 
  • Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members 
  • Published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Having been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel 
  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field 
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media 
  • Your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases 
  • Performance in a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations 
  • That you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field 
  • Commercial successes in the performing arts 

EB-1B: Outstanding Professors and Researchers

The second category of the EB-1 is designed for outstanding professors and researchers. To qualify, you must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. You must have at least three years of experience in teaching or research and have a job offer of a permanent teaching or research position with an appropriate institution of higher learning or research institution.  

Evidence necessary 

 You must present evidence of at least two items in the list below (or comparable evidence) and an offer of employment from the prospective US employer.  

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement 
  • Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement 
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the noncitizen’s work in the academic field 
  • Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field 
  • Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field 
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field 

EB-1C: Multinational Manager or Executive

The third category of the EB-1 Visa is for multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the same multinational firm or corporation.  

 This visa category also allows overseas companies to expand their business to the United States by permitting the overseas company to transfer executives and managers with direct knowledge of the company’s operations to the United States to assist with the start-up. In order to qualify as an Executive or Manager, certain requirements must be met. 

 To qualify, you must be coming to the United States to continue working for that employer in a managerial or executive capacity.

Evidence necessary 

 Some examples of evidence you can submit include: 

  • Documentation of your employment history with the multinational firm or corporation 
  • Evidence of your executive or managerial capacity 
  • Description of the duties you will perform in the United States 
  • Proof of the multinational company’s qualifying relationship

 It is important to note that the US Employer also needs to meet certain requirements, such as: 

  • The employing company must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent, subsidiary, affiliate, etc.)  
  • The employing company must conduct business in the United States and in one other country. The business may be done directly or through a subsidiary.  
  • The company must exist for at least one year in the United States. 

Application Process

1. Submit file I-140 and documentation

2. Submit DS-260 or I-485

3. Attend biometrics and medical appointment

4. Attend the visa interview

5. Receive your green card

  • Step 1: File and submit Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker), along with the supporting documents. This petition will be filed by your employer, if you are applying for EB-1B or EB-1C, or by yourself, if you’re applying for EB-1A.
  • Step 2: Once the I-140 petition is approved, you will make an Immigrant Visa Electronic Application (Form DS-260), using consular processing at a US Embassy or consulate abroad. However, if you are already living in the US, you will apply to adjust your status (Form I-485).
  • Step 3: Attend a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photographs, and signatures. You will also need to attend the immigration medical exam.
  • Step 4: Attend the visa interview.
  • Step 5: If the application is approved, you will receive your green card, allowing you to work and live in the United States.

Fees and Costs

When applying, there are several fees and costs to consider, which change depending on whether you are applying from outside or inside the US.

Applying from within the US

Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker)

  • Filing Fee: $700
  • Immigrant Fee: $220

Form I-485 (the application to adjust status for applicants living in the US)

  • Filing Fee: $1140 (for each person. Please note that children under 14 will have a reduced fee)


  • Fee: $85 (required for all applicants aged 14 to 79)

Medical examination (performed by an authorized physician)

  • Cost: $100 to $500 (depending on the doctor and the location). 

Applying from outside the US

Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker)

  • Filing Fee: $700

Form DS-260

  • Filing Fee: $345 (for each person)


  • Fee: $85 (required for all applicants aged 14 to 79)

Medical examination (performed by an authorized physician)

  • Cost: $100 to $500 (depending on the doctor and the location). 

Timeline of Application Process

The timeline for the EB-1 Visa application process can vary based on factors such as the current processing times, the workload of the immigration authorities, and how complete your application is. Currently, the process can take between eight months to two years.  

The processing time for Form I-140, the first step of the EB-1 process, currently averages four months, according to USCIS historic processing times data, but it varies case by case. Note that with premium processing, the I-140 can be expedited to 15 days.  

Unlike other employment-based visas, EB-1 applicants do not need to wait for a visa to become available. This means there is typically no waiting time for visa availability. If the applicant already lives in the US, the average waiting time for Form I-485 for employment visa applications is currently 17.5 months.  

If you are applying from abroad via consular processing, the case will be transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. The NVC will forward the petition to the nearest embassy or consulate, which will arrange an in-person interview. The timeline for this stage of the process depends on where the applicant is based. 

Family of EB-1 Visa Holders

 As an EB-1 Visa holder, you have the opportunity to include your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 in your application. They can accompany you to the United States and can enjoy many of the same benefits as you do, such as access to education. 

They may also be eligible for work, if they apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), which allows them to legally work in the United States for any employer, including self-employment. It’s important to note that the EAD is granted for a specific period of time and must be renewed if the family member wishes to continue working in the US.  

Path to US Citizenship 

One of the significant advantages of the EB-1 Visa is that it puts you on a path to US citizenship. After residing in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for a certain period, typically five years, you can apply for naturalization and become a US citizen. This grants you all the rights and privileges that come with citizenship, including the ability to vote and hold public office. 

Pros and Cons of the EB-1 Visa

Like any immigration option, the EB-1 has its pros and cons. Some benefits of this visa include: 

  • Premium processing available and no requirement for a labor certification 
  • No need for a job offer under the EB-1A category 
  • Access to a path to US citizenship

However, the cons include:  

  • The high standards of evidence required to qualify
  • Limited visa numbers available each fiscal year
  • The complexity and potential length of the application process

Global Citizen Solutions: Who are we & how can we help you?

If you think the EB-1 Visa may be the right option for you, or if you’d like to know more about other US visa options, don’t hesitate to contact us and book a complimentary 30-minute call with one of our experts. 

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique investment migration consultancy firm focused on finding the right residency or citizenship by investment program for individuals wishing to secure their future and become global citizens. With offices in Portugal, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Brazil, our multilingual team guides individuals and families from start to finish, providing expert advice considering freedom, mobility, taxation, and security. 

  • We have helped hundreds of clients from 35+ countries in all the top Residency by Investment and Citizenship by Investment programs. With an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the area, we provide our clients with solid guidance. We have a team of immigration lawyers, and immigration advisers specialized in US immigration. 
  • Our team has never had a case rejected. Our 100 percent approval rate sets us apart from our competitors and guarantees that you can expect a successful application. 
  • Our transparent pricing covers all the processes from opening your bank account, document certification, and legal due diligence to investment and submission. As there is one fee for the entire process, you can be confident that you will not face any hidden costs later. 
  • All data is stored within a GDPR-compliant database on a secure SSL-encrypted server. You can be safe knowing that your personal data is treated with the utmost security.
  • Global Citizen Solutions provides an all-encompassing solution. Our support can continue even after you receive your passport. We offer additional services such as company incorporation, Trusts, and Foundations formation. 
  • The BeGlobal Onboarding System® allows you to access the status of your application every step of the way, something that sets us apart from our competitors.

To find out more about immigration opportunities, investment visas, and work visas in the United States, the following articles may be useful:

Frequently Asked Questions About the EB-1 Green Card

Who is eligible for a green card EB-1?

The EB-1 Visa grants permanent residence to individuals who demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, outstanding professors or researchers, or multinational managers or executives. 

What are the different subcategories within the EB-1 Visa category?

The different subcategories of the first preference EB-1 Visa are EB-1A, for foreign nationals of extraordinary ability; EB-1B, for outstanding professors and researchers; and EB-1C, for multinational managers or executives.

How long does it take to get an EB-1A green card?

The processing time for an EB-1A green card can vary depending on several factors, including the USCIS workload and the completeness of your application. It may take between eight months to two years from the time of filing to receive a decision on an EB-1A petition.  

How hard is it to get an EB-1 Green Card?

Obtaining an EB-1 can be challenging because it requires meeting high standards of achievement and providing substantial evidence to demonstrate you meet the eligibility criteria. The requirements for each subcategory are rigorous, and the level of evidence needed is demanding. It’s crucial to have a strong case with substantial supporting documentation to increase your chances of success. 

Only foreign nationals who can demonstrate extraordinary ability are able to secure an EB-1A green card. You will need to demonstrate outstanding achievement evidence of extraordinary ability, in a managerial or executive capacity in a leading or critical role. In the case of outstanding professors, it’s also necessary to present major media evidence of published articles and national or international acclaim.

Which is better, the EB-1 or EB-2?

The choice between the EB-1 and EB-2 Visa categories depends on your individual circumstances and eligibility. Both categories have different criteria and requirements. Generally, the EB-1 category is considered more prestigious and has faster processing times compared to the EB-2 category. However, the EB-2 category may be more suitable if you do not meet the exceptional standards of the EB-1 category but still have a high level of expertise or qualifications.  

Is the EB-1 Visa easy to get?

Obtaining an EB-1  is not easy due to the high standards and requirements for eligibility. It requires that you demonstrate outstanding achievement evidence, confirming extraordinary ability, outstanding research or teaching, or managerial or executive capacity.  

What are the benefits of the EB-1 Visa?

It offers several benefits, including:

  • Priority processing without the need for a labor certification
  • The ability to self-petition under the EB-1A category, without requiring an employer sponsor
  • No significant backlog for visa numbers, which means faster processing times compared to some other employment-based visa categories
  • Eligibility for a path to US citizenship after meeting the necessary residency requirements
  • The opportunity to include your spouse and unmarried children under 21 as derivative beneficiaries, allowing them to accompany you to the US and potentially obtain work authorization

Can I leave the US whilst on an EB-1 Visa?

Yes, as an EB-1 Visa holder, you are generally allowed to leave the US temporarily for business or personal reasons. However, it’s important to maintain your intent to reside in the US as a permanent resident and meet the required residency obligations.  

Do I need a job offer from a US employer to apply for an EB-1C Green Card?

Yes, you must have a job offer from a company that operates in the United States (for one year or longer) and at least one other country.

Can I include my family members in my EB-1 application?

Yes, you can include your immediate family in your application: spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old.

Can I apply for an EB-1 Visa while in the US on a non-immigrant visa?

Yes, in this case you will apply to adjust your status, using the Form I-485.