TN Visa & Green Card

First Preference EB-1 Category - "Priority Workers"

1. Overview: Priority Workers.

Individuals may qualify for lawful permanent residence (i.e. a green card) under the EB-1 preference category for "Priority Workers" if they qualify under one of three sub-categories: (1) Workers with Extraordinary Ability; (2) Outstanding Professors and Researchers; and (3) Certain Multinational Executives and Managers.

2. Workers with Extraordinary Ability.

An  individual may qualify for a green card under the EB-1 Priority Worker category if he or she has "Extraordinary Ability" in the Sciences, Arts, Education, Business, or Athletics. INA § 203 (b) (1) (A) (1). The law defines extraordinary ability as “a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.” 8 C.F.R. § 204.5 (h) (2).

To establish that an applicant possesses extraordinary ability in the field, the applicant must  demonstrate that he or she has "sustained national or international acclaim" and has been recognized in the field through extensive documentation. INA § 203 (b) (1) (A); 8 C.F.R. § 204.5 (h) (3). A petition for an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability green card must be accompanied with extensive supporting evidence

Applicants may self-petition for a green card under the EB-1 Extraordinary Ability category as no offer of employment is required. 8 C.F.R. § 204.5 (c). However, the law requires that the applicant enter the U.S. to continue his or her work in the area of extraordinary ability. INA § 203 (b) (1) (A) (ii). Also, the applicants' entry into the United States must substantially benefit the United States. INA § 203 (b) (1) (A) (iii).

3. Outstanding Professors and Researchers.

  • Must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field.
  • Must have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in the academic field.
  • Must enter the United States for a tenured position to teach in the academic field or to conduct research in the area.

4. Certain Multinational Executives and Managers.

  • Must have been employed for at least one year within the past three years prior to application by a multinational firm, corporation, or legal entity or with one of its affiliates or subsidiaries.
  • Must come to the United States in order to continue to render services to the same employer or to one of its affiliates or subsidiaries.
  • Must be employed in a capacity that is managerial or executive.

5. Job Offer Requirements and Labor Certification (PERM).

  • An offer of employment is needed for EB-1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers, and for EB-1 Multinational Executives and Managers. No offer of employment is required for Workers with Extraordinary Ability.
  • Unlike the EB-2 and EB-3 preferences, no labor certification (PERM) is required for any of the three EB-1 Priority Worker preference categories.

6. Family.

  • Spouses and children under 21 may receive the same preference and priority date if accompanying or following to join.

7. References:

Revised June 3, 2010.