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What is the Eb-1a green card application process? How long does it take to get an Eb-1a green card?

By February 24, 2021March 1st, 2021Immigration
Image courtesy of Nguyen Hung Vu on Flickr (labeled for reuse) https://www.flickr.com/photos/vuhung/14565350736

To qualify for the EB-1A Green Card, you will need to prove that you are one of the small percentage of people who have risen to the very top of your field. To prove that you qualify for the Eb-1A green card, you will have to submit evidence showing that you have sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in your field of expertise. You can either be sponsored for an Eb-1a green card by a U.S. employer or you can also file a self-petition. Either way, the process would be the following:

  • Discuss the Eb-1a green card option with your employer/decide to file a self-petition
  • Gather all the supporting documents

Eb-1a green card is a very document intensive process as you will have to prove to USCIS that are one of the small percentage of people who have risen to the very top of your field. Usually it takes our clients several weeks/months to put together finalize all the supporting documentation. Please see the Eb-1a criteria when you click here.

  • Prepare an I-140 form

You or the U.S. employer that is sponsoring you for the Eb-1a green card will have to prepare an I-140 Petition, Immigration petition for Alien worker. The filing fee for this form is $700. You can also pay a Premium Processing fee (Form I-907) of $2,500 and USCIS would then adjudicate your immigrant petition within 15 calendar days.

  • Decide if you are going to file for an Adjustment of Status/Consular Processing

If you are currently in the U.S., you can file an I-485, Adjustment of Status Petition and also apply for an employment and travel work authorization. Please note that you can either:

  1. First file the I-140 form, wait for USCIS decision, and then file an Adjustment of Status petition, or
  2. File the Adjustment of Status petition concurrently with the I-140 petition if the Eb-1A category for your country is current (Please see our blog post on visa bulletin and how to read visa bulletin when you click here).

In the second scenario, even if you pay the Premium Processing fee for the I-140 petition, that will not apply onto the I-485 petition). This means, that even if USCIS approves your I-140 petition within 15 days, you may wait for the I-485 approval for several more months. If you are outside the U.S. at the time the I-140 is being filed, you can apply for a green card through Consular Processing. You would still have to file an I-140 petition and get it approved by USCIS.

  • Attend biometrics appointment, attend the green card interview

If you are filing for an Adjustment of Status, once USCIS receives your I-485 petition, they will issue a Biometrics Appointment notice and you will have to attend your Biometrics appointment. It is currently taking USCIS several months to schedule a green card interview (please note that we noticed that in some cases USCIS has been approving employment green card petitions without an interview during Covid). If you applied for a green card through Consular Processing, you will need to attend your green card interview at a U.S. Consulate. After you get your green card, you should make sure that you maintain your green card. Please see our blog post on this topic when you click here. Please see our blog post that compares the O-1 and Eb-1a visa when you click here.

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