Employment-Based Immigrant Visas (Permanent Residency Visa) include the following:
- EB-1: persons of extraordinary ability, multinational executives or managers, and outstanding researchers or professors;
- EB-2: persons of exceptional ability, persons with an advanced degree, and those meeting the standards required for a national interest waiver;
- EB-3: skilled workers, professionals and other workers;
- EB-5: immigrant investors.
What is best? A non-immigrant O-1 visa or pursuing an EB-1 immigrant visa in order to get my green card?
Our analysis of your situation will help you decide what is best for you. Everyone is different. What may work for you may not work for someone else. An example of this would be the Colombian actress who qualifies for both a non-immigrant and temporary O-1 Visa as well as an EB-1 immigrant visa that will get her a permanent “green card”. She tells me she will be on filming a telenovela in the United States within the next 3 months and needs employment authorization. If that’s the case, then we will guide her towards an O-1 visa sponsored by the production company. The visa will be good for the duration of the production and any post-production as well as any U.S. promotional work necessary. During production, she could then pursue a permanent residency by way of the EB-1 immigrant visa and potentially adjust her status while she is filming.
I now hold an H-1B visa. Will I need a labor certification in order to pursue my residency?
Most likely. Most professionals will request that their employers pursue this route on their way to permanent residency. Another option could be an EB-1 immigrant visa based upon extraordinary ability or even an EB-5 petition based on a large investment in the United States in a job-creating enterprise. To learn more about Labor Certification, click here.
I have held my H-1B visa for 4 years. Is it too late to pursue residency?
No. Your employer can still petition for you, assuming that they also pursue labor certification and meet its many requirements. At Estrella Law, we can help your employer pursue labor certification and the I-140 petition process in order to help you become a permanent resident.
In many cases, pursuant to a law commonly known as AC-21, your H-1B visa can be extended while you await residency, so long as certain important steps are taken and deadlines are met.
Do I need to have an O-1 visa before I proceed with an Employment based first preference residency (EB-1)?
Absolutely not. An O-1 Visa is NOT a prerequisite for obtaining residency based upon extraordinary ability. Estrella Law has worked with many extremely talented individuals (such as actors/actresses, business-persons, journalists, industry experts, athletes, and artists) who did not have an O-1 visa prior to filing their I-140 petition based upon that talent. Whether this works for you will depend on whether your case involves the talent required for an EB-1. The standard set by the regulations overall requires a higher degree of evidence than that required for an O-1. The EB-1 process will also likely take more time and be more costly than seeking an O-1 visa. However, the reward in pursuing the EB-1 is much greater, as it ends in the acquisition of permanent residency. At Estrella Law, our job is to explain the pros and cons, guide you to the best decision for you and your family and ultimately help you make the process successful.
I have heard that pursuing an EB-1 residency based on international transfer and my L-1A visa is nearly impossible for small companies. Is this true?
What is true is that for several years and under different administrations, the EB-1 category for international transferees has become increasingly difficult, especially for those working for small companies. We find that it can be done, especially when the Employer painstakingly details the duties of the employee and strictly follows EB-1 guidelines. The trick here is to document everything and outline how the Employee fits within the U.S. company structure with great detail and precision. At Estrella Law we have guided many of these petitions to success and we have salvaged many cases that were previously denied or issued lengthy requests for evidence by USCIS. If the case is not salvageable, we will tell you that and we will guide you to better options or help you refile the case with the benefit of our guidance.