U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued new policy guidance to clarify the types of evidence that can be used to establish eligibility for the EB-1 visa, which is a first-preference employment-based visa for individuals with extraordinary ability or in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (EB-1A), or outstanding researchers or professors (EB-1B).
The EB-1 Form I-140 immigrant visa petition circumvents the arduous PERM labor certification process, which can take as long as approximately 18 to 20 months, if not audited.
The new guidance provides more clarity and transparency for petitioners, who are the individuals or entities who sponsor an immigrant for a visa. The guidance also includes specific examples of evidence that may be considered, with a focus on STEM fields.
To be eligible for an EB-1 visa, an individual must demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field. This can be done by meeting three of the following ten criteria:
- Evidence of sustained national or international acclaim
- Membership in professional organizations
- Published materials in professional journals or major media
- Performances or exhibitions that have been recognized as outstanding
- Awards and honors
- Original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions
- Display of skills and accomplishments at an internationally recognized level of performance
- A high salary or other remuneration
- Participation on a panel of judges
- Teaching or lecturing engagements
- Evidence of commercial success
The new guidance provides additional clarity on how these criteria can be met, and it also includes examples of evidence that may be considered for each criterion. For example, under the “sustained national or international acclaim” criterion, the guidance mentions that evidence of such acclaim could include awards, prizes, or nominations; published articles or books; or media coverage.
The new guidance also includes specific examples of evidence that may be considered for STEM fields. For example, under the “original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions” criterion, the guidance mentions that evidence of such contributions could include peer-reviewed publications; patents; or presentations at conferences.
The new guidance is a welcome development for those who are seeking to obtain an EB-1 visa. It provides more clarity and transparency on the eligibility requirements, and it also includes specific examples of evidence that may be considered. This should make it easier for petitioners to submit the necessary evidence and to obtain an EB-1 visa.
If you are interested in learning more about the EB-1 visa or the new policy guidance, you can visit the USCIS website. You can also consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your specific circumstances.
Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:
- USCIS Policy Manual: Extraordinary Ability: https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-6-part-f-chapter-2
- USCIS Policy Manual: Outstanding Professor or Researcher: https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-6-part-f-chapter-3
- EB-1 Visa Guide: https://www.eb5brics.com/united-states/visa/eb-1