Frequently Asked Questions for EB-1A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability)

Frequently Asked Questions for EB-1A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability)
EB-1A Overview; Legal Fees of EB-1A; Processing of EB-1A; EB-1A FAQs
What is EB-1A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability)?
EB-1A is a first-preference employment-based immigration category which benefits non-residents who are at the top of their area of expertise. A non-resident in this category does not need a job offer from a sponsoring employer or a labor certification. Since all visas are already current in the EB-1A category, the non-resident doesn’t have to wait to become current before a green card can be obtained after the case is approved. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
Who qualifies as an “alien of extraordinary ability”?
An “alien of extraordinary ability” is a non-resident who has exceptional skill in business, athletics, education, the arts, or the sciences which has been evidenced by continuing national or international commendation, and whose accomplishments have been well-known in the area of expertise through extensive publications and citations. The non-resident is seeking to come to the U.S. to continue working in the documented area of expertise, and the non-resident’s presence and contributions will enhance the U.S. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
What is the meaning of “extraordinary ability”?
“Extraordinary ability” is defined as a degree of proficiency signifying that the non-resident is one of a few professionals who has achieved the highest level of skill in the area of expertise. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
Who can file a petition under EB-1A?
The non-resident can self-petition with USCIS for this visa category. If the non-resident is employed, his or her employer can file the application as a sponsor. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
What form is used to petition under EB-1A?
Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) is used to file an application for EB-1A. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
Is a labor certification required before filing an I-140?
A labor certification is not required before filing the I-140 for all categories of EB-1. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
Is a job offer required for EB-1A?
The answer is no. A job offer is not required for the EB-1A category and the non-resident does not need an employer sponsor to file the application. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
What are the major advantages of applying for EB-1A?
The major advantages of the EB-1A category are:
Labor certification is not required.
A permanent job offer or position is not required.
Petitioning on your own behalf is allowed.
Visas are all current.
It is quicker to acquire a green card in EB-1A than other categories. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
How difficult is it to get an EB-1A application approved?
The applicant must prove eligibility in EB-1A cases by providing significant documentation of at least three of the ten conditions needed to fulfill the case requirements or proof of a one-time prestigious award. For qualified applicants, the likelihood of approval is dependent on the strength of the case presented by the attorney. In 2010, 62% of the EB-1A cases were approved. The overall approval percentage for EB-1A cases has been steadily rising since 2005. Aria Law Group has had nearly 100% success rate for EB-1A cases filed by our attorneys. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
What eligibility conditions should be fulfilled for EB-1A petitions?
The non-resident should distinguish which of the regulatory conditions of EB-1A qualification are being fulfilled and the specific proof for each condition. Also, the non-resident should submit a statement and documentation to prove that he or she is entering the U.S. to work in his or her field of continued national or international commendation. Answer supplied by Aria Law Group.
How can an application establish that the non-resident has continued national or international commendation for his or her accomplishments?
The USCIS demands that the applicant provide thorough evidence to prove exceptional skill. National and international commendations can be proven by receiving a prestigious internationally known honor such as the Academy Award or the Nobel Prize. Otherwise, the non-resident must submit documentation to prove at least three of the following criteria:
Receiving minor national or international awards for distinction in the area of expertise.
Participation in organizations which demand exceptional accomplishment as a requirement for admission.
Print media about the non-resident in key trade or professional publications, or other important media outlets. (The examples must include the author, title, date, and must have an English translation.)
The non-resident’s involvement, either individually or on a committee, as a reviewer of other peer’s work in the area of expertise.
Proof of original artistic, scholarly, business-related, or scientific contributions of significant importance in the applicant’s area of expertise. Scholarly or scientific field evidence is generally in the form of a publication.
Composition of academic articles in the area of expertise, in specialized publications, or other important media outlets (national magazines, newspapers, journals, etc.).
Presentation of the applicant’s artistic works in showcases or exhibitions.
Performing in a critical or leading capacity for associations or establishments having a meritorious reputation.
Proof that the non-resident is rewarded with a high compensation or other substantial benefit when compared to peers in the area of expertise.
Financial success in the artistic professions as evidenced by sales records or box office receipts, video sales, compact discs, or other comparable mediums pertaining to the non-resident’s profession.
What evidence is needed to prove that the non-resident is seeking to enter the U.S. to continue working in the area of expertise that is the subject of the professional recognition?
USCIS guidelines stipulate that in order for the non-resident to prove a required objective to remain employed in his or her area, it is required that the applicant submit statements from potential businesses, proof of prior agreements like contracts, or a letter from the non-resident defining his or her strategy for remaining employed in the area of expertise in the U.S. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What proof is needed to document that the existence of the non-resident and his or her occupation will promote the U.S.?
USCIS guidelines do not specifically require the non-resident to provide evidence that his or her admittance will significantly enhance the U.S. This information is usually submitted with required documentation fulfilling other USCIS requirements. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What signifies a major internationally recognized award or prize and minor nationally or internationally recognized awards or prizes?
Legislative past decisions show that a major, international prize constitutes an award like the Nobel Prize. The AAO (Administrative Appeals Office) states that other examples of internationally recognized one-time awards can include the Academy Award, the Olympic Gold Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize. The AAO determined that the awards were highly recognized by the population and are the highest available in the relevant area of expertise.
Even though lessor known nationally or internationally acknowledged awards have a lower value for proving eligibility for an EB-1A visa, the non-resident is still required to provide evidence to show that the awards are nationally or internationally recognized. Documentation should be submitted that details how many people were nominated, whether it was a team project or individual, and a complete description of the award or prize. USCIS has provided the following guidelines regarding these requirements:
Educational grants or scholarships do not qualify;
Documentation should be provided detailing the number of nominations for the award and the eligibility requirements;
An individual award is more valuable than a group award; and
Local prizes do not qualify.
See information here concerning the distinction between a major internationally recognized prize and a minor nationally or internationally recognized award or prize. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What evidence concerning the non-resident’s participation in organizations in the area for which a visa is sought should be presented?
Regarding participation in discerning organizations, the AAO has restated that evidence must be presented that describes the participation standards. A petitioner must prove that the organization demands outstanding accomplishment as a critical requirement for entrance to membership. Trade union or local association memberships will not have any merit. Likewise, participation conditions based on grade point averages, payment of dues, standardized test scores, a fixed minimum of experience or education, recommendations by peers or current members, or activity or employment in a given area do not fulfill this requirement since they do not establish outstanding accomplishments. Furthermore, participation in an organization that assesses its membership applications at the local chapter level would not qualify. In summary, the overall stature of a given organization is not decisive. The key is membership conditions rather than the organization’s overall status. The evidence must prove that the association demands outstanding accomplishments of its overall membership. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What establishes documentation of published articles about the non-resident in major trade or professional publications or major newspapers?
Published materials about the non-resident must show that the non-resident’s work has been reported in detail by major media or national broadcast networks. The articles provided should include the title or date of the publications. Furthermore, AAO decisions have stated that no credence will be given to local publications.
Little credence will be given to articles about productions/projects in which the non-resident was given little consideration in the article. A non-resident does not earn national or international praise by being a nameless cast member in a widely advertised play. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How should an application present documentation of the non-resident’s participation, either in a group or individually, as a judge of the work of peers in the same or similar field of specialization for which classification is pursued?
Claims that the non-resident has sat on panels, led workshops, and led discussion groups and performed at national conferences and festivals must be submitted with descriptions of how these actions represent judging the work of peers. Additionally, all stated attendances must be documented. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What guidelines are used by the government concerning the evidence of the non-resident’s original artistic, business-related, scientific, athletic, or scholarly contributions of major substance in the field?
Regarding contribution in the area of expertise, the AAO states that the evidence should not just show that the non-resident has been “successful“ in her area of expertise; the evidence should prove that the non-resident’s contributions in the area of expertise set her considerably above peers in her field. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What standard does the government use concerning evidence of the foreign person’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media?
Publications written by the non-resident must be published in nationally or internationally distributed periodicals. Likewise, the publication has to be printed in prominent media that has established strict selection methods. The AAO has stated that when documentation of academic publications is submitted for an area of expertise in which it is typical for persons to publish articles, the publications may have insignificant value in proving that the applicant “is one of the small percentage who have risen to the very top” of that area of expertise. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What document should be submitted as evidence that the non-resident has a critical role for associations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation?
An affidavit or other evidence should be submitted regarding the non-resident’s significance within the association or that the association has a notable reputation. Furthermore, the AAO has implied that even if the non-resident has performed a leading role in a production/project, further documentation must be submitted that the production/project was successful. Documentation that the non-resident is being considered for leading roles/projects will be given little or no importance since the documentation must establish suitability for EB-1 status at the time of filing. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How should an application prove that the non-resident has been awarded a high salary or other significantly high compensation for services in relation to peers in the field?
District Court rulings held that whether the salary received by the non-resident is in line with the salary received by principal leaders in the area of expertise must be proven by a comparison to other individuals with a similar role, position, or expertise as the non-resident. For this comparison, factors other than capability must be considered in determining the non-resident’s relative salary. Additionally, documentation of receipt for high compensation for one performance/project is insufficient to warrant an overall conclusion that the non-resident consistently receives a high salary. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
Will other evidence be considered by the USCIS in addition to the listed types for proving the national or international recognition of a non-resident?
The answer is yes, other documentation will be considered if the listed types of evidence do not readily apply to the alien’s occupation. Regulations leave the term “comparable documentation” undefined, providing flexibility to the employer and non-resident in an extraordinary ability case to document the non-resident’s qualifications. Under the requirements above, the USCIS retains the flexibility to require that more than three categories of documentation be submitted in a specific case. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How should I argue an EB-1A case to boost the chance of approval?
The field should be defined narrowly. Regarding the requirement that the non-resident represent a “small percentage” who has risen to the “very top of the area of expertise”, the actual area of expertise must be clearly defined before determining whether the non-resident has extraordinary ability in that area.
Remember that if the area of expertise is narrowly defined, it is to be expected that you will have risen to the top of your field. Look at one of our clients for example. Mr. Li is a Ph.D. student in the area of computer science, concentrating his research on terahertz application. Because he is a student, it is difficult to prove that Mr. Li has risen to the very top of the field of terahertz application given that he still received training and instruction from his professor. However, Mr. Li obtained his master’s degree in integrated circuit design and amasses several articles in this area. As a result, our firm was able to narrowly define his field as a mixture of terahertz and IC design, exploring the application of terahertz with integrated circuit. Consequently, USCIS approved Mr. Li’s first preference employment-based immigrant visa as a priority worker of extraordinary ability because Mr. Li submitted documentation sufficient to prove that he was among the top researchers in the area of expertise for those who combine IC design and terahertz application. Had Mr. Li defined his field more broadly, such as “outstanding researcher in the area of terahertz application” his believability as an expert in both fields would have been greatly reduced.
Take Advantage of Prior Education Background and Work Experience
Many petitioners seeking immigration benefits of EB-1A have obtained their bachelor’s or master’s degrees in their home country. They also have accumulated significant work experience. Both of these factors are critical when defining the applicant’s expertise in the petition letter. By defining the field specifically and narrowly, it becomes easier to argue that the applicant is one of a few experts in the field and that the applicant “has risen to the very top of the area of expertise.” Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How should I present my evidence of being “extraordinary”?
One of the most effective methods to determine if the non-resident is “one of the small percentage who have risen to the very top” of his or her area of study is to provide documentation that sets a benchmark for comparison between the non-resident and their colleagues that are deemed typical or average in the area of study. For instance, if the non-resident is in a discipline in which the printing of academic pieces is normal, Aria Law Group will show documentation that the petitioner’s pieces were seen in the most prominent periodicals in the area of study, were the topic of peer discussion in these periodicals, or were extensively cited in other academic journals.
Secondly, the applicant should compare his or her qualifications to those applicants from approved cases. Even though USCIS tries to discourage using comparisons between successful petitions in the same area of expertise, Aria Law Group attorneys have determined that both AAO and the court system regularly stated that agency regulations established the governing guideline for determining extraordinary skills as being a comparison with peers in the area of expertise. As a result, USCIS treatment of colleagues in the area of study with similar credentials is extremely significant to an extraordinary ability petition. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What is the two-part approach taken by the USCIS adjudicators?
In 2010, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reexamined the denial of an EB-1A petition, the Kazarian case. The AAO concluded that the Kazarian case utilized a two-part approach:
Step 1: The USCIS adjudicator must decide whether a petitioner has presented enough documentation to meet the requirements for the immigration classification he or she is pursuing as mandated by the USCIS rules.
A petition for an EB-1A extraordinary ability non-resident must include evidence of receiving a major internationally acknowledged award, such as a Nobel Prize, or include at least three types of evidence from among the 10 types defined in the rules. When determining whether the petitioner has received a major award (quite uncommon) or has proven at least three of the types of evidence listed, adjudicators examine the evidence given not in terms of quality but to determine how many of the evidentiary prongs have been fulfilled. After determining that at least three evidentiary prongs or a major evidentiary prong has been fulfilled, the USCIS adjudicator can proceed to the second step.
Step 2: After satisfying the requirements for step 1, the USCIS adjudicator must examine all of the presented documentation in its entirety in order to make a determination as to whether the non-resident meets the mandatory level of expertise for the category. In this phase, the adjudicator examines all the evidence to determine if, cumulatively, it proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the I-140 petitioner fulfills the general requirements for the category.
For example, an adjudicator for an EB-1A case has to determine whether the petitioner is at the very top of his or her area of expertise. For this determination, quality of evidence is considered. For instance, if evidence presented for the condition regarding the judging of peers’ work, an internal judging responsibility has less impact than an external one. For scholarly articles evidence, the citation number is an important concern in the final determination. In summary, the two-step analysis does not significantly differ from the standard that USCIS uses to decide the value of an application. Quality of the evidence presented is still critical for an adjudicator to make a decision on a petition. However, our law firm adjusted the application procedure instantly after USCIS released the standards in order to adjust to the new approach and accelerate approval for clients’ petitions. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
Can I request premium processing for my I-140 petition?
The answer is yes. If you want premium processing for Form I-140, you should also file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. You should send Form I-140 and I-907 together to the address in the Form I-907 filing instructions. Do NOT send premium processing requests to a lockbox facility. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
Can I request premium processing when my I-140 is pending?
The answer is yes. If you want premium processing and you have already filed Form I-140, follow the instructions to file Form I-907 with the service center where the Form I-140 is pending. Do not send premium processing requests to a lockbox facility. Include a copy of Form I-797C, Notice of Action, which indicates that Form I-140 was accepted, or if applicable, a copy of the transfer notice showing the location of Form I-140. Fully answer questions 1 through 5 in Part 2 of Form I-907 to make sure that this form gets paired with the correct Form I-140. If this information is missing, Form I-907 will be rejected. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What is the filing fee for I-140?
The fee for filing Form I-140 is $580. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How about my family? Are they also beneficiaries of my I-140 petition?
Any unmarried children under 21 and your spouse are indirect beneficiaries of your I-140 approval. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How many publications are sufficient to meet EB-1A requirements?
EB-1A does not have a specific minimum publication requirement. USCIS determines on a case-by-case basis if the applicant meets the necessary requirements. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
Can I file an EB-1A petition and petition for other categories simultaneously?
The answer is yes. There must be a separate Form I-140 with the supporting documentation and filing fee for each category of visa requested. You cannot check multiple visa categories on one Form I-140. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How can I file a petition?
A Form I-140 can be filed by mail or electronically, but supporting documents must be sent to a service center. When e-filing Form I-140, it is automatically sent to the correct Service Center, and you are sent a receipt showing the service center location. It is important to look at your receipt and make note of the location. Submission of supporting evidence and all other communication must be sent to the location shown on your e-filing receipt. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
Does the priority date matter in an EB-1A case?
The answer is no, since all EB-1A visas are current. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
Can a petition be withdrawn?
The answer is yes, the applicant or Form G-28 representative can send a letter directly to USCIS requesting withdrawal of the I-140 petition. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How can a petitioner request the withdrawal of a Form I-140 petition?
The applicant or the Form G-28 representative can send a letter to USCIS requesting to withdraw the I-140 petition. Withdrawal requests should include:
A statement indicating that the Form I-140 applicant wishes to withdraw the application;
The Form I-140 application receipt number;
The name, address and phone number of the applicant;
The name of the non-resident;
The non-resident registration number of the beneficiary, if known;
The applicant’s signature or the Form G-28 representative’s signature.
Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
If an EB-1A petition is rejected or denied, how long do I have to wait to file again under EB-1A or another category?
There are no restrictions regarding when you can file a new EB-1A petition after being rejected on a previous filing. A rejected application does not keep you from submitting another application, regardless of classification. Although you can submit another petition at any time, we do not advise that you reapply unless your circumstances have changed in a way that will increase your chances for approval. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How should the evidence accompanying the application be organized?
Follow these tips for organizing the evidence:
Provide all required evidence and documentation with the application when filed. Form I-140 applications can be denied by USCIS without issuance of a Request for Evidence (RFE) in some cases where the required documentation was not submitted with the application.
If you are providing photocopies of evidence, make sure to include clear legible copies.
Any foreign language evidence must be submitted with a corresponding English translation that must be certified by a competent translator who should certify in writing that “the translation is true and accurate to the best of the translator’s abilities.” The English translation should be stapled to the foreign language document.
If providing the non-resident beneficiary’s citations or publications, the applicant’s name should be highlighted in the relevant articles and publications. The applicant is not required to send a full copy of a thesis, research paper, or dissertation either written by the non-resident beneficiary, or one in which the non-resident beneficiary’s work has been cited. Include the title page and the section(s) that cite the non-resident’s work and the “works cited” or bibliography.
Place tabs and labels at the bottom of the first page of each exhibit submitted, and provide a list of the exhibits and the eligibility standards that each exhibit is submitted to prove for applications supported by a significant amount of evidence. An exhibit that is being provided to meet multiple eligibility standards should be identified as such in the exhibit list.
Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What is a letter of recommendation?
A letter of recommendation, also called a reference letter, is a letter written by an expert in the non-resident beneficiary’s field or another influential person in a similar field of expertise. Reference letters are vital in application for employment-based benefits. Since officers are seldom experts in your area of expertise, they must use the submitted documentation. A reference letter is some of the most critical evidence. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
Whom should I contact to obtain letters of recommendation?
The USCIS maintains that an applicant with international notoriety should be able to supply sufficient evidence signifying that recognition. A non-resident beneficiary should acquire convincing letters from both the “inner circle” and “outer circle” of peers. The non-resident’s “inner circle” includes peers that the non-resident has worked directly with either in business or academia. Even though letters from the closest peers are the most complimentary, they are also the most mistrusted since they are likely biased. Therefore, reference letters from outside and independent sources carry more influence because they are evidence of the non-resident’s achievements and international acclaim. However, references from your inner circle of peers can be great endorsements if they are recognized authorities or experts in your area of expertise.
In addition to being a professional in the area of your expertise, if the employer or professor has significant knowledge about your achievements and can provide a strong recommendation, they could be a good candidate for a reference letter. Although a person who has well-known recognition in the area of your expertise will be a better endorsement than a reference from your immediate group of associates, a perfect endorsement will be an expert acquainted with your accomplishments. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What should be included in the reference letters?
Things that should be included in a reference letter are:
Qualifications of the reference: A reference letter needs to include a description of the person giving the reference. If the reference comments on the non-resident’s research or accomplishments, a statement should be included with the reference letter that proves the qualifications of the individuals to judge the non-resident beneficiary’s work.
Helpful expert testimonials: Expert testimonials of your achievements are critical to your application. Keep in mind that the expert references should uphold the argument that you meet the standards of the law, i.e., that you have a level of expertise above that usually found in your area of expertise. Evidence that only proves competence or that fails to distinguish you from other individuals in the field does not reinforce your petition because it carries little influence and could actually harm the petition.
Substantive information: A good reference letter should point out the superior level of unique expertise the non-resident beneficiary possesses. If it is a reference letter from a professor or employer of the non-resident beneficiary, it should detail the work the non-resident is responsible for and the requirements of the position. Although a job offer is not required, a reference letter from an employer can refer to a position to prove that only a few individuals are qualified to fill the offered position (i.e., only superior individuals in the relevant area or those with exceptional capability can accomplish the duties required for the position) and the non-resident beneficiary is one of these rare individuals. In addition, reference letters that briefly describe the applicant’s activities and knowledge, but lack detailed information of how the applicant’s contributions had consistently and significantly influenced the relevant area are unsatisfactory.
Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
How many recommendation letters are needed?
The USCIS does not list a specific number of required reference letters, but there should generally be three to seven reference letters in an EB-1 petition. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What assistance does your firm provide concerning drafting reference letters?
Letters of reference are hard to write but effective letters of reference will significantly increase your chance for a successful case. After our firm is retained, we will help you obtain effective reference letters using these steps:
Our firm will provide detailed advice concerning reference letters and assist you with the content, purpose, and format of reference letters.
Our firm will confer with you about prospective candidates for writing reference letters.
You will need to provide us with detailed evidence pertaining to the expertise and authority of the references, your connection to the references, the relationship between your research and theirs, etc.
After receiving the documentation you provide, our attorneys and legal team will write the reference letter for you.
You will send the recommendation letters to the references for their review and signature.
Before our firm submits the application, our attorneys will review the substantially revised reference letters to determine if it is necessary to ask the reference to sign an updated version.
Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What if I change jobs while my EB-1A petition is pending?
If you self-petition, changing positions will have no impact on the status of your case, and your petition will remain active. If you are sponsored by your employer, a new petition may need to be filed. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
Can a Ph.D. student apply under EB-1A? What is the success rate?
Our law firm has successfully petitioned cases for Ph.D. students to obtain green cards in the EB-1A category. It is believed that since Ph.D. students still require the teaching of their professors, it is challenging to argue that they are at a level of expertise in their field. However, there are ways to define the area of expertise to make the petitioner appear “substantially above others in the field”. To learn more, please read the blog article, “Qualifications of Aliens of Extraordinary Ability-Have you Risen to the Very Top of your Endeavor?” The approval rate of Ph.D. students applying for EB-1A benefits is similar to that of other applicants in our law firm. Answer provided by Aria Law Group.
Can an F-1 student visa holder apply for EB-1A? Do I have to wait to apply for the green card until after my graduation and change the visa to H-1B?
The F-1 visa is a non-resident visa, but an F-1 visa holder is allowed to apply for the green card. However, an F-1 visa holder cannot have dual intent when they apply for the non-resident visa. A non-resident visa holder, such as J-1 or F-1, can change its intent after receiving a non-resident visa. A non-resident visa holder does not have to change the visa type to a non-resident visa, such as an H or L visa which allow dual intent, before filing a green card application. Anyone can file an immigration application at any time as long as the qualification requirements are met. But, if the current F-1 visa time is not long enough to finish your degree, it is better to wait to file the green card petition after you have extended the F-1 visa. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What is the difference between NIW and EB-1A applications? Is it possible to file two applications such as an NIW and EB-1A at the same time?
The requirements of NIW and EB-1A are different, and the preparation process is substantially different for these two applications. Successful NIW cases are not limited to non-residents who are perceived to be at the top of their field of expertise. Presenting evidence in support of the application that create the most favorable opinion will help gain approval. For instance, it is important that the applicant interpret the non-resident’s field as narrowly as possible while sustaining credibility. In narrowing the reference, the non-resident will be compared to a greatly reduced set of U.S. peers. However, it should not be so reduced that the AAO will suspect the non-resident’s field as being too narrow. The definition of the non-resident beneficiary’s expertise area should be supported by evidence. Once the I-140 is approved, there is not a significant difference between the two classifications for the I-485 application. It is feasible to file two petitions such as an EB-1A and a NIW concurrently. Some non-residents file two I-140 applications simultaneously in EB-1 and NIW. The law does not prohibit multiple filings, and in fact, this could increase your chances for approval. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
If I have not published articles in journals within my field, can I still apply under EB-1A? Do I need sponsorship from my current employer for an EB-1A petition?
The answer is yes, you can apply for an EB-1A since there is not a specific requirement that you have published articles or employer sponsorship in order to apply or obtain approval of an EB-1A petition. However, publications will greatly improve the chances of approval because publications help to prove your authorship and original contribution. You can also prove your case by providing documentation that proves the other prongs listed by the law. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
If I do not have any awards in my field, can I still file under EB-1A?
You can still apply for an EB-1A even if you do not have any awards in your field. There is not a specific requirement regarding awards in order to apply or obtain approval of an EB-1A application, although awards do improve the chances of approval. You can prove your case by providing documentation that proves the other prongs listed by the law. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
I am a J-1 holder subjected to the two-year foreign country residency requirement. Can I apply under EB-1A now, and get my J-1 waiver later?
The answer is yes, you can apply for the EB-1A now, and get the J-1 waiver later. Even with I-140 approval, you are still bound by the two-year foreign residency requirement, and must get the J-1 waiver before adjusting your status to permanent resident. You are not required to have a J-1 waiver before submitting an I-140 application. The two-year foreign residency requirement does not allow adjusting the status from J-1 to permanent residency, but it does not prevent the submission of an I-140 application. Also, you can prepare your case for I-140 and J-1 waiver simultaneously. If you receive the I-140 approval before the J-1 waiver, you must wait for the J-1 waiver before submitting the I-485 petition for status adjustment. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.
What is your firm’s legal fee for EB-1A cases?
Our firm charges a flat attorney fee of $4,800 for I-140s eligible for the “Approval or Refund” service. Even with the complete service provided, Aria Law Group still keeps the attorney fees reasonable and affordable. Our firm’s objective is to provide an affordable option to help every qualified non-resident beneficiary attain their American dreams. Answer submitted by Aria Law Group.

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