By Mark Morais
TODAY WE WILL TALK ABOUT A VERY EXTRAORDINARY VISA. Among the 180 different types of visas that the United States offers, there is one that I find very attractive: it is the EB1, the extraordinary ability visa. People who excel in science, education, arts, business or athletics can apply for this special visa. The EB1, nicknamed the Einstein visa, tends to intimidate many potential candidates, but I believe a great number of people can qualify for it; several of my clients have already done so. In the beginning (it was created in 1990), the EB1 was requested mostly by renowned scientists, professors and academics, acclaimed in their fields, in addition to executives and managers of multinationals; today, many outstanding professionals in their fields have guaranteed their permanent stay in America through the EB1 visa. So even if you are not a Nobel Prize Winner or have not won the World Surfing Championship, you can still earn your EB1. Just fit three criteria out of a list of 10:
First criterion: prizes or awards at national or international level . To repeat: it doesn’t have to be a Nobel or a Pulitzer, or an Olympic medal; but a national award combined with two other criteria on the list, can put you on the immigration podium.
Second criterion: being a member of professional associations whose membership is conditioned to great achievements. To qualify for this criterion, it is not enough to pay the monthly fee of the associations such as the regulatory board of some professions: great achievements and accomplishments must be the requirement for membership.
Third criterion: media about your or about your work. Having published articles about you, about your professional performance in important media vehicles. Profiles in neighborhood newspapers are not valid, nor are paid publicity reports in mass-circulation vehicles.
Fourth criterion: judgment of the work of other professionals. Participation in evaluation boards of monographs, dissertations and theses, be a juror in events, review articles in specialized publications.
Fifth criterion: originality. Have developed an original work in your area of expertise, the results of which have had some impact on your industry. It will be necessary to demonstrate what the result was: whether the work provided a paradigm shift, whether it provided cost savings or increased profits, a considerable number of citations about your research (Google scholar), etc.
Sixth criterion: authorship. Any and all work authored by you that has been published: articles, materials, theses, book chapters, entire books…
Seventh criterion: display. Artists who have their works exhibited in galleries; producers, directors and actors whose plays have been staged in theater, cinema or television, have been a speaker at symposia and seminars; participate in sports competitions in stadiums, etc.
Eighth criterion: play a critical or leadership role in prominent organizations. It is necessary to demonstrate that the candidate performed critical or leadership roles in an organization of equal prominence, either by its size or expression in the area of activity. This demonstration can be done through the company’s organizational chart or through internal awards received; Proof of the company’s relevance can be given by the presentation of awards, equity value or size of the organization.
Ninth criterion: salary or remuneration. It is necessary to demonstrate that you receive values above the average of other workers in the same occupation.
Tenth criterion: commercial success in your art. Demonstrate that its performance is recognized by the market; painters who sell their paintings for significant amounts, musicians with high sales of records, actors who are box office success, athletes who receive high sponsorship from companies, the repercussion of a certain work in the media, are elements that prove the success of the visa candidate EB1.
The EB1 visa applicant must demonstrate that he/she meets at least three of the ten requirements; only after this will it be analyzed whether the applicant fits the definition of a professional with extraordinary abilities . I know it sounds difficult, but don’t be intimidated or belittle your own abilities. I represented a client, a lawyer and law professor, a renowned and highly paid professional, who was unsure about his own qualifications, like most foreigners; when we investigated his case, we noticed that he met no less than eight of the ten required criteria! His visa petition was approved in just six days , a record time! Today he lives happily in America with his family!
I once initiated a consultation with a potential client and his wife. “The consultation is about the professional profile of my wife, who is a medical doctor in Brazil, and I have heard around that she would be a strong candidate for the EB2-NIW visa because of the need for doctors in the USA ”, he said proudly of his wife. . We will talk about the EB2-NIW visa in another article. During the consultation, I realized that the wife, indeed, had a lot of experience as a doctor, however, nothing that made me believe that her plans for the US were of national importance – as we will see in another article, an indispensable requirement for an EB2-NIW visa. Before concluding an appointment, I always like to ask what the other spouse does for a living. Then I asked him:
– “And you, what is your occupation?”, I asked.
– “Nothing very relevant, I am a Sea and War Captain of the Brazilian Navy”, he would say, all modestly.
At that moment several alarms began to sound in my head and the lawyer instinct, which is already very sharp, became even more touched, and I started asking a series of questions about his military career. In short, a highly decorated military man with extensive international experience in foreign relations with the world’s major powers. Ladies and gentlemen, there was a classic case in front of me of a strong candidate for an EB1 visa with extraordinary abilities.
Said and done, we filed his EB1 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in mid-June 2021 and was approved 8 days later. A year later, June 2022, he, his wife, and two young children are already in the US with their green cards in hand and a world of opportunities ahead of them.
The EB1 visa does not demand high investments nor does it require proof of a job offer from an American company; Nor does it have to undergo the lengthy labor certification procedures with the US Department of Labor, where the petitioning company has to prove to the US government that it needs to hire a foreigner because it has not been successful in finding a qualified American willing to apply for the job opening.
Professionals of extraordinary abilities can apply on their own behalf (self-petitioners), without the need for a US company sponsoring that visa. The US government considers these professionals important for the country’s development and makes it as easy as possible for them to come to the US, removing from their path the bureaucratic and financial obstacles that could hamper their choice for America; It is even possible, upon payment of the premium process in the amount of 2,500 dollars (current value at the date of this article), to have your case adjudicated in just 15 days. For people with extraordinary abilities, Uncle Sam rolls out the welcome red carpet and says, smiling and with open arms: welcome !
The EB1 visa is divided into three subcategories: EB1-A, for professionals with extraordinary abilities , which does not require job offers; the EB1-B, for outstanding teachers and researchers ; for these, it is necessary: a) proof of job offer made by an institution of higher education or research centers; b) proof of at least three years of experience as a professor or researcher; and c) proof of fulfilling at least two of the six required criteria (they are similar to those already explained here); and the EB1-C visa, intended for managers and executives of multinationals; successful professionals in their fields who must have received job offers from American companies. In this case, your petition must have an American sponsor.
That’s it for now, see you on the next article!