Introduction of EB-1

Posted on June 05, 2007 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

Introduction of Employment-based First Preference (EB-1)

In general, for most of the aliens who want to immigrate to the United States, they can come to the United States based on either their education or job skills (Employment-based) or through their relationship with U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Family-based).

As one of the categories under the Employment-based Immigration system, EB-1 aims to attract those workers whose skills and talents are important to the United States – the “best and brightest.”  Generally speaking, the EB-1 category covers three groups: aliens of extraordinary ability (EB-1a), outstanding professors and researchers (EB-1b), and managers and executives of multinational companies (EB-1c).

EB-1(a) covers aliens possessing extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business or athletics.  An alien with extraordinary ability means an individual of those small percentages who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor. An alien can establish a sustained national or international acclaim through evidence of a “one-time achievement (that is, a major international recognized award like Nobel Prize, etc.) or by being qualified for at least 3 out of 10 criteria stated in INA. The subcategory of ‘Extraordinary Ability’ does not require a specific job offer, as long as the alien states that he or she will continue to work in the field of his or her extraordinary ability in the United States. This means that the alien may file a petition on his or her own behalf, rather than having an employer file the petition for him or her.

EB-1(b) is for outstanding professors and researchers who have made an outstanding achievement in a specific academic field.  It not only includes those people who teach or research at university or institute of higher education, but also includes those researchers with private employer.  To qualify for this category, the alien must satisfy at least two of the six criteria enumerated in the regulations and has at least three years of experience in teaching and/or research in the academic field. The main difference between EB-1(a) and EB-1(b) is that EB-1(b) requires a job offer for a permanent research position or a tenured or tenure-track teaching position from a prospective U.S. employer.

EB-1(c) is reserved for executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the same or a related company in the United States.  To qualify for immigration as an executive or a manager, the alien must have worked for the petitioner for at least one out of three previous years and the alien must be coming to the United States to work in an executive or managerial capacity.  If the alien is already in the United States, the required one year of employment in the past three will be determined by looking at the three years prior to the alien’s transfer to the United States.  The U.S. business must have been established for at least one year before filing the petition.

Compared to most of the employment-based application for lawful permanent resident status in the United States, the advantage of EB-1 application is that it is exempt from the Labor Certification process.  Moreover, even with today’s huge shortage of immigration visas, there is no waiting period for EB-1 applicants from most of the countries.  For Korean who have received PhD level education or made outstanding achievements in their professional areas, they need to look into their qualifications more carefully to see if they could take advantage of the excellent opportunities provided by EB-1 category.

This article is only for your reference. Please do not apply mechanically to any exact cases. You are welcome to consult our attorneys at Liu & Associates, P.C. For contact information, please click here.