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EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa for Entrepreneurs

If you are seeking to start a business in the US as a foreign national entrepreneur and you have extraordinary ability in your field, you may qualify for the EB-1 extraordinary ability visa for entrepreneurs if you meet certain requirements. For further information, or if you would like to have a consultation with an attorney about the specific facts and circumstances of your case, contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. Our lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience in numerous complex immigration law matters.

What is the EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa?

The EB-1 extraordinary ability category is a visa option for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in their field of expertise. The EB-1 is an immigrant visa meaning that it grants US lawful permanent resident status (green card). Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also obtain permanent residence status as dependents of the EB-1 principal applicant.

How does the EB-1 work for entrepreneurs?

The EB-1 may be an alternative to the H-1B if you don't qualify. The H-1B requires that your area of expertise is in a specialty occupation. The EB-1 visa will grant you permanent residence (green card), while the H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that does not. The H-1B can lead to labor certification and an immigrant visa down the road. Let us plan a business strategy that works best for you. We are an innovative firm with proven results.

Requirement 1: You must prove that you possess extraordinary ability in your field

The classification “extraordinary ability” is a category reserved for that small percentage of people who are considered to have reached the very top of their field of expertise and are coming to the United States in order to continue working in that field.

There are two different methods to establish that you have extraordinary ability. The first method is to prove that you have a major, internationally recognized award, like the Nobel Prize for example. In order to show that award is of that high caliber, evidence should include some of the following: (1) the nature of criteria used to grant the award, (2) the significance of the award in your field, (3) the reputation of the organization that granted the award, (4) other winners of the award who have achieved international acclaim, and (5) if the award encourages competition from internationally recognized individuals in the field.

The second method to prove extraordinary ability is to establish at least 3 of these 8 criteria:

  1. Your receipt of a prize or award for excellence in the field that is less recognized nationally or internationally;
  2. Your membership in associations that require outstanding achievement as judged by recognized national or international experts;
  3. Published material about you in professional or major trade publications or major media relating to your work in the field;
  4. Your participation on a panel or individually judged the work of others in the same or similar field;
  5. Your original contributions of major significance in your field of expertise that are scientific, scholarly, or business-related;
  6. Published scholarly articles authored by you in professional journals or other major media;
  7. Your work in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments with a distinguished reputation;
  8. Evidence that you receive or will receive a high salary or other remuneration for your work.
Requirement 2: you must show that you are coming to the United States in order to continue your work in the area of expertise

You must provide evidence that demonstrates you are coming to the United States to continue working in your area of extraordinary ability. This evidence should include letters from current or prospective employers, documentation establishing your pre-arranged commitments (such as contracts), and a detailed statement of your plans regarding your intent to continue working in your field in the United States

Additional information about the EB-1 visa

The EB-1 visa category is similar to the O-1A extraordinary ability visa category, but there are differences. You can file the EB-1 petition on behalf of yourself, which is something you cannot do with the O-1A visa that requires that the petition be filed by an entity on your behalf. Another difference is that the EB-1 is an immigrant visa, meaning that once the petition is approved, the new become eligible to adjust status to permanent residence using Form I-485. Conversely, the O-1A is a non-immigrant visa, meaning that it is intended to be used to work in the United States for a temporary period of time. The EB-1 is a first preference category, meaning that your priority date is likely to be current allowing for concurrent filing of the I-140 and the I-485.

If you have any questions about the EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa for Entrepreneurs or any of the other types of immigration visas that may be available to you. Please contact or call our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at one of our offices near you.

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