O-1 Visa

For extraordinarily talented individuals in science, the arts, business or athletics that have a job offer.

Qualifications Timeline

O-1A -Must meet at least three of the following eight criteria:

  • Must meet at leastthree of the following eight criteria:
  • Internationally recognized prizes or awards
  • Membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications
  • Participation on a panel as the judge of the work of others in the field
  • Original scientific or scholarly contributions of major significance to the field
  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation

O-1B – Must have a nomination for or receipt of a major award such as Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director’s Guild Award, OR at least three of the following six criteria:

  • Performance as a lead or starring participant in productions or events of distinguished reputation
  • National or international recognition for achievements evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials;
  • Performance in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations with distinguished reputation;
  • Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes
  • Significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts
  • Higher salary in comparison to peers.

Average USCIS processing time: 2-4 months; 2 weeks when filed with Premium Processing and if there is no Request for Evidence (it may take several weeks to gather all evidence prior to filing)

O-1As are filed for 3 years extendable in 1 or 3 year-increments. No maximum time limit.

EB-1A Green Card

For individuals who have extraordinary ability. PERM is not required.

Qualifications Timeline

Must prove extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, demonstrated by sustained or international acclaim.

Must seek to continue working in the area of extraordinary ability and show that the work will substantially benefit the U.S. Can self-sponsor; employer not needed.

Must meet at least three of the following criteria:

  • Nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards
  • Membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field
  • Published material about you in professional or major trade publications
  • Participation on a panel as the judge of the work of others in the field
  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance
  • Author of scholarly articles in the field
  • Employment in a leading or critical capacity for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation
  • Commanding a high salary or other compensation compared to others in the field
  • Commercial success in the performing arts

On average this takes 4-6 weeks to put together and file with USCIS. Regular processing time is 10-15 months. Premium Processing is available which reduces processing time to 15 days.  Requests for Evidence are common.

Following the approval of the immigrant visa petition with USCIS, the processing of applicant’s and their immediate family’s individual applications for permanent residence with USCIS or immigrant visas abroad generally take several additional months.

EB-1B Green Card

For individuals who are outstanding professors and researchers. PERM is not required.

Qualifications Timeline

Must show that you are recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic area.

Must have three (3) years’ experience in either teaching or research.

Must be seeking entry for:

  • Tenure or tenure track teaching position with institution of higher education;
  • Research role at institution of higher education; or
  • Research role with private employer if it employs at least three (3) full-time researchers and the research division has achieved documented accomplishments in the field.

Must include proof of at least two (2) of the following:

  • Major prize or award for outstanding achievement
  • Membership in association requiring outstanding achievement
  • Published material about your work
  • Participation as a judge of others’ work
  • Original scientific research
  • Author of scholarly articles or books
  • Any other comparable evidence.

On average this takes 4-6 weeks to put together and file with USCIS. Regular processing time is 10-15 months. Premium Processing is available which reduces processing time to 15 days.  Requests for Evidence are common.

Following the approval of the immigrant visa petition with USCIS, the processing of applicant’s and their immediate family’s individual applications for permanent residence with USCIS or immigrant visas abroad generally take several additional months.

EB- 2 National Interest Waiver

For professions holding advanced degrees or foreign nationals of exceptional ability. PERM Required.

Qualifications Timeline

Must have:

  • Advanced degree, or
  • Prove exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability requires any three (3) of:
    • Degree relating to area of exceptional ability
    • Employment letter(s) showing 10 years of experience
    • License to practice in your profession
    • Salary commensurate with extraordinary ability
    • Membership in a professional association
    • Recognition for significant contributions to or achievements in the field
  • The requirement for labor certification is waived if you can show that you have substantially benefited or will substantially benefit prospectively the U.S. national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the U.S. These criteria must all be met:
  • The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
  • The applicant is well positioned to advance the endeavor; and
  • It would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the normal requirement of a job offer and labor certification.

Must intend to work in the area of expertise in the U.S., but an offer of employment or employer sponsorship is not required.

On average this takes 4-6 weeks to put together and file with USCIS. Regular processing time is 10-15 months. Premium Processing is available which reduces processing time to 15 days.  Requests for Evidence are common.

Following the approval of the immigrant visa petition with USCIS, the processing of applicant’s and their immediate family’s individual applications for permanent residence with USCIS or immigrant visas abroad generally take several additional months.