The process of transitioning from a nonimmigrant O-1 Visa to an EB-1A green card (first employment-based category) can be streamlined if you can establish the necessary qualifying criteria. This comprehensive guide to transitioning from an O1 Visa to Green Card status explores everything you need to know about the process.
Quick Refresh -> What is an O-1 Visa?
Quick Refresh -> Who is Eligible for an O-1 Visa?
How to Transition from an O-1 Visa to an EB-1A Green Card.
To qualify for an EB-1A green card, the applicant must demonstrate extraordinary abilities in the field of science, art, education, business or athletics. To do this, they must meet a list of evidentiary criteria. Additionally, they must possess a level of expertise in their field that indicates that they are one of the small percentage of people who have risen to the very top of their field, and their professional achievements must have been received national or international recognition.
As with the O-1 visa, all these documents must have proof. However, the main difference between the qualifications of these two companies is that USCIS adheres to stricter standards for EB-1A applications.
How Do You Prove to USCIS That You Have Extraordinary Ability in Your Field?
You can demonstrate your extraordinary ability to USCIS by showing that you have received a major, internationally recognized award (such as a Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Oscar or Olympic Medal), or, as is the case for most people, by providing a sufficient amount of compelling documentation meeting at least 3 of the following 10 criteria:
- Awards: Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in your field.
- Memberships: Membership in associations in your field that require outstanding achievements of their members.
- Published Articles Written by Others About Your Work: Published material about your work in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
- Peer Review Activities: Evidence of your participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in your field.
- Original Contributions: Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
- Published Scholarly Articles Written by You: Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
- Artistic Exhibitions/Showcases: Evidence of the display of your work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
- Critical Role: Evidence that you have performed in a leading or critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation.
- Comparatively High Salary: Evidence you have commanded a high salary or other significantly high compensation for services, in relation to others in your field.
- Commercial Success: Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.
If the above criteria do not readily apply to your occupation, comparable evidence may be submitted to establish your EB-1A eligibility.
What is the EB-1A Application Process?
To secure an EB-1A Green Card and if the applicant is in the United States, they must file, and receive approval of an I-140 Immigrant Petition and an I-485 Adjustment of Status Application. There are two application filing strategies available, Concurrent Filing or Separate Filing.
If you have a strong EB-1A case, you may choose to file your I-140 Immigrant Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application together (also known as “concurrent filing”).
If there is some uncertainty about the strength of your EB-1A case, you may want to choose to file your I-140 Immigrant Petition first, and then once it is approved, you can then file your I-1485 Adjustment of Status Application.
If the applicant is outside of the United States at the time of an I-140 filing, they will need to Consular process for an immigrant visa before entering the United States in an EB-1A status.
What is an O-1 Visa?
An O-1 visa is for foreign nationals who either possess an extraordinary ability in the field of science, art, education, business, or athletics; or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
What is an O-1A Visa?
An O-1A visa requires individuals to have a proven track record of extraordinary abilities in science, education, business or sports.
What is an O-1B Visa?
An O-1B visa is intended for individuals who have shown extraordinary abilities in the field of art or outstanding achievements in the film industry or television.
O-1 visas are a category of employment-based nonimmigrant visa, which means that they give individuals a legal work authorization in the United States, but only for a temporary period. This period has an initial maximum limit of three years, which USCIS can extend in increments of one year if it deems the employment appropriate. However, generally the validity period of an O-1 visa depends on how long it will take the beneficiary to complete the activities or project that the petition and filing is based on.
Who is Eligible for an O-1 Visa?
To be eligible for an O-1 status, the foreign national must demonstrate that they received at least (3) three of the following:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
- Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field;
- Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field for which classification is sought;
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought;
- A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence;
- Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought;
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
Let Us Help With Your O-1 Visa to Green Card Process
Work with a business immigration attorney who understands the interworking of a O1 visa to green card process. Reach out to Batrakova Law to learn about your immigration options and enjoy all the benefits of working with an experienced immigration lawyer in Portland, Oregon.