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EB-1A Visa

What is EB-1 Visa?

The EB-1 visa is an employment-based immigrant visa category in the United States, designed for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives or managers.

The three subcategories of the EB-1 visa are as follows:


Extraordinary Ability: This category is for individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in their field, such as the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Extraordinary ability means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of their field. Most of our clients without work or academic teaching experience fall under this category.


Outstanding Professors and Researchers: This category is for outstanding professors and researchers with at least three years of experience in teaching or research and who are recognized internationally for their achievements. They must have a job offer for a tenured or tenure-track position at a university or a comparable research position with a private employer.


Multinational Executives or Managers: This category is for executives or managers who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer. The individual must be coming to the U.S. to continue rendering services to the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate.

The EB-1 visa is considered a preference category because it has a limited number of visas available each fiscal year. It is known for its relatively faster processing times compared to some other employment-based immigrant visa categories. Applicants usually do not need a labor certification, which can simplify the process.

Comparison to Other Common U.S. Visa Types

Other Permanent Employment Based (EB) visas: 

  • EB-2: Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability - similar to EB-1A but requires an employer to sponsor the application whereas EB-1A does not

  • EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers - similar to EB-2 and also requires employer sponsorship, but has less stringent qualification requirements

  • EB-4: Special immigrants (including religious workers, certain international broadcasters, and other categories) - niche occupations that do not apply for most people

  • EB-5: investment based visa, requires monetary investment in specific types of businesses

Other Temporary Worker visas:

  • H-1B: Specialty occupations - requires employer sponsorship, annual lottery process with low rates of selection due to high number of applicants

  • L-1: Intracompany transferees - can only be used by employee transfers from international companies

  • E-1/E-2: Treaty traders and investors - can only be used for international trade professionals or business owners

  • TN: NAFTA professionals - specialized occupations for citizens of Canada and Mexico only


Because the EB-1A and O-1 visas are granted on the basis of extraordinary ability, the way that your application package is put together is extremely important in the rate of success. Each client has very different credentials and abilities and the Crimson team is solely dedicated to understanding every client’s and building a highly personalized and cohesive application package.

You must meet at least 3 of the 10 criteria below, or provide evidence of a one-time achievement as well as evidence showing that you will be continuing to work in the area of your expertise:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence

  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members

  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media

  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel

  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field

  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media

  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases

  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations

  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field

  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

Timeline and Process

EB-1A visas typically take 8 to 30+ months to process depending on the number of applications being processed at the time and the competency of the application being submitted. Therefore, it’s imperative to start working with us as early as possible to ensure a timely result.

Typical Process Steps:

  1. Determine Eligibility:

    • Gather evidence to demonstrate your eligibility, such as achievements, recognitions, publications, awards, etc.

  2. File Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker:

    • Submit Form I-140 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), including supporting documentation that proves your eligibility for the specific EB-1A subcategory.

  3. Premium Processing (Optional):

    • Consider using premium processing if you want expedited processing for an additional fee. This allows for a faster adjudication process.

  4. Wait for USCIS Decision:

    • USCIS will review your petition and make a decision. If approved, you will receive a Notice of Action (Form I-797).

  5. Obtain Visa and Travel to the U.S.:

    • If approved, you will receive an immigrant visa on your passport. Travel to the U.S. within the visa validity period.

  6. Obtain a Green Card:

    • Once in the U.S., individuals with EB-1A visas can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to obtain a green card (permanent residency).

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