Obtaining US permanent residency through EB1A involves two steps: 1) securing approval of EB1A immigration petition (Form 140) and 2) adjusting status to that of permanent resident or seek consular processing.
EB1A Pre-filing Stage
The EB1A application process involves preparing the necessary documentation, filing the EB1A petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and waiting for its decision. During the adjudication process, USCIS may issue request for additional evidence if they believe the provided documents are not sufficient to make a decision. Therefore, it is crucial to that applicants include all documentation and forms required for an EB1A petition to avoid delay.
This will be an interactive process between clients and our attorneys. It takes anywhere from one month to several months to prepare an EB1A application. Generally, the timeframe depends on how quickly applicants provide the requested documentation. Our attorney will assist you to prepare and file your cases as soon as possible. The list below includes the forms and documents needed:
- Forms: Immigration Petition for Alien Worker(Form I-140); Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative (Form G-28) is required. Request for Premium Processing (Form I-907) will be prepared by your attorney if client requested.
- Petition Letter: addressed to USCIS, which serves as an outline of the EB1A application. In addition to demonstrating the provided documents meeting the minimum requirement of EB1A evidential criteria, we further provide thorough explanation of the field of endeavor’s necessity to the U.S. to maximize the chance of approval.
Required Documents: provide documentation that qualify at least 3 of the following 10 document types. (Note: a single piece of document can be used to satisfy more than one evidential criterion.)
- Evidence of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
- Evidence of membership in associations in the field that demand outstanding achievement of their members.
- Evidence of published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
- Evidence of participation by the alien as a judge, either individually or on a panel, of others’ work.
- Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
- Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or major trade publications or other major media.
- Evidence of work that has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
- Evidence of having taken on a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.
- Evidence that the applicant commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration relative to others in the same field.
- Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts, as shown by either box office receipts or cassette, compact disc, video, or DVD sales.
Other Supporting Documents:
- Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of extraordinary ability
- Letters of recommendation from national or international experts in your field of endeavor
- Work products, such as project reports and presentation showing the achievements you’ve made to your employer or your field of endeavor
- For research, evidence of project funding or grants
- Curriculum vitae, which should include awards, honors, etc.
EB1A Adjudication Process
After thorough prefiling review, we’ll submit your completed petition package to the proper USCIS Service Center. USCIS will then issue an official receipt notice, acknowledging that it has received your EB1A application. The date USCIS receives a petition package is known as the filing date, which USCIS uses as its “priority date” for your application. Typically, USCIS issues a receipt within a week or two of submission, and we promptly provide our clients a copy of this receipt as soon as we get it.
The current regular processing time for EB1A ranges from 4 to 7 months depending on the particular USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction, as well as the individual USCIS officer who processes the case. With premium processing (a USCIS service provides expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications, such as EB1A), the initial processing time will be shortened to 15 calendar days. After reviewing the petition, USCIS can do one of the following:
- Approve the EB1A.If your petition is approved, USCIS will mail an approval notice in a Form I-797.
- Issue a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE) notice.If the USCIS officer reviewing your case has determined that there is insufficient evidence for approval, the officer can ask you to provide additional evidence to support specific points in your application. RFEs take the form of an official letter. Generally, USCIS allows you up to 84 days to respond to an RFE. You attorney will guide you gather requested documents and promptly respond to the RFE. If no additional evidence provided, USCIS will adjudicate the case as it is.
- Issue a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).In the event the USCIS officer reviewing your case determines that your application should not be approved, or if there is no extra documentation or evidence submitted, the officer can issue a NOID Generally speaking, both the guidelines for and documents used in responding to NOID are similar to those for RFE responses. Similar as RFE, NOID takes the form of a letter, and USCIS allows up to 84 days to respond. If the client does not respond to a NOID in that time with additional evidence, the case will be denied. Thus, a NOID differs from an RFE in that a case with an RFE may have a chance of approval (albeit a very slim chance), even though no additional evidence has been submitted. If USCIS issues a NOID on a pending case of one of our clients, your attorneys will respond and submit additional evidence to rebut the NOID.
- Simply deny your application without an RFE or a NOID. In general, an EB1A petition with the required initial evidence should not be outright denied. However, if the adjudicating USCIS officer decides that a petition does not contain the basic evidence needed to satisfy the minimum criteria, then the officer can issue a denial notice. There have been instances in which USCIS has denied cases that did contain all the required initial documents. In such an event, a petitioner can request that USCIS reopens his or her case.
At our firm, we’ll assist you in the preparation and submission of all the evidence required for your case. As soon as USCIS makes a final decision on your EB1A case, we’ll immediately inform you of the result.
Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing
If you are in the United State and your visa number is current, meaning that no visa backlog for EB1 category for your country of birth, you may file adjustment of status (AOS) application along with your EB1A petition. However, USCIS will not adjudicate you AOS application until your EB1A is approved. You may also file AOS application immediate upon approval of your EB1A petition. In this case, you usually could receive your green card within one year of filing your AOS.
If you are in your home country and your visa number is current at the time your EB1A being approved, your case will be transfer to National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. You will receive notice from NVC within 2 months of approval, instructing you to submit civil documents and online application to initiate the Consular Processing process. You will go through visa interview at your home country and come to the US with your immigrant visa. You will then receive your green card after entering the United States.
If your visa number is not current, you would need to wait for your visa number to become current before beginning the Adjustment of Status application or Consular Processing.