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The O1 Visa and EB1 US Visa for Professionals

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Are you looking into how to get an O1 Visa or an EB1 Visa so you can live and work in the US?  Our specialist Immigration Solicitors can help.

In this article, our Immigration Solicitors look at the eligibility criteria for the O1 Visa and the EB1 Visa.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors 

For O1 Visa and EB1 Visa and US immigration advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

O1 Visa or EB1 Visa?

One of the first questions your Immigration Solicitors will ask you is your planned length of stay in the US, your long-term goals and family circumstances. This information will help them advise you on whether the O1 Visa or the EB1 Visa would be the best US visa option for you.

One of the key differences between the two visa types is their length. The O1 Visa is temporary while the EB1 Visa provides an indefinite length visa and Green Card US residency. After five years of continuous residence on the EB1 Visa, you can apply for US citizenship. There are other distinctions if you are being accompanied by family. For example, family members are allowed to work whilst in the US if they accompany you on an EB1 Visa but they are not automatically allowed to do so on the O1 Visa.

Unsurprisingly, it is harder to secure an EB1 Visa rather than an O1 Visa but the work involved in getting the EB1 Visa may be justified for what it offers you.

Both visas are US Work Visas but, unlike the EB1 Visa, you need a work sponsor if you are applying for an O1 Visa. Whilst the application process to get an O1 Visa is quicker, and it is possible to switch to the EB1 Visa, it is best to fully weigh up the advantages of each visa to see which one best suits your needs. Call our US Visa Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to discuss your US visa options.

The EB1 Visa

The EB1 Visa is a Work Visa or employment-based for people of ‘ability’. There are three categories of EB1 Visa:

  1. EB1A for people with extraordinary ability
  2. EB1B for outstanding professors and researchers
  3. EB1C for multinational executives or managers.

To secure your visa you must evidence your ability in your chosen subcategory. Immigration Solicitors can help you select the correct subcategory and will explain the eligibility criteria for your chosen category and the evidence you will need to provide in support of your application.

You should not be deterred from applying for an EB1 Visa simply because you do not think you are extraordinary. It is worth checking out the visa because it offers speed of visa processing and more flexibility than other Work Visas. The speed of processing is achieved in part because there is no requirement to go through the US labour certification process.

The visa eligibility criteria depend on the subcategory of the visa that you are applying for.

The EB1A Visa extraordinary ability eligibility criteria

To obtain an EB1A Visa you must have evidence of your possession of extraordinary ability in the fields of arts, business, sciences or athletics by either being a recognised prize winner of an international award or evidence that you meet at least three out of the following ten criteria:

  1. Receipt of an internationally or nationally recognised awards or prize for excellence
  2. Membership of an association in your field of expertise that requires outstanding achievement of their members
  3. Evidence of requests to judge the work of others on a panel or individual basis
  4. Had material published about you in a major or professional trade publication or other major media
  5. Written scholarly articles in major or professional trade publications or other major media
  6. Made original scholarly, scientific, athletic, artistic, or business-related contributions of major significance to your field of expertise
  7. Had work featured or displayed at showcases or exhibitions
  1. Achieved commercial success in the performing arts
  1. Receive a high salary or other remuneration compared to others in the same field of expertise
  2. Carry out a critical or leading role in reputable organisations

If you can meet three of these ten criteria your EB1A Visa is not contingent on your having a job offer in the US.

The EB1B Visa outstanding professor or researcher eligibility criteria

If you are applying for an EB1B visa as an outstanding professor or researcher you must be moving to the US to obtain either tenure or tenure track teaching or a research role at a university, a higher institution of learning or with a private employer.

The EB1B eligibility criteria are:

  • Offer of employment from a US employer. A private employer must be able to show their area of expertise in your field and employ at least three full-time researchers
  • At least three years of academic experience in research or teaching
  • International recognition for outstanding achievements in an academic field

To meet the international recognition eligibility criteria, you need to be able to demonstrate that you meet at least two of these six criteria:

  1. Received major awards or prizes for outstanding achievement
  2. Professional publications about your work in the academic field authored by others
  3. Membership of an association/s that requires a record of outstanding achievements for admission to membership
  4. Have participated as part of a panel or individually to judge the work of other people in similar academic fields
  5. Written scholarly articles or books with international circulation in your area of expertise
  6. Carried out original research contributions in your field of expertise

The EB1C Visa multinational executive or manager eligibility criteria

To secure an EB1C Visa you must have been employed outside the US for at least one year in the past three years before your visa application and your employment outside the US must have been at managerial or executive level. Your US-based employer must:

  1. Have been in business for at least one year
  2. Show you will be working in an executive or managerial capacity
  3. Maintain a qualifying relationship with the overseas employer

The major advantage of the EB1C Visa when compared to other US Work Visas is that there is no labour certification process required.

How London-based OTS Solicitors can help you with your O1 Visa  and EB1 Visa and immigration law needs

At first glance, the eligibility criteria for each EB1 Visa appear tough but our Immigration Solicitors can work through each criterion with you and help demonstrate that you meet the criteria.

OTS Solicitors are immigration law experts specialising in US visas and so have the experience to help you whether you are based in the UK or anywhere across the globe with all your Business Immigration or Individual Immigration law needs from Work Visas, US Business Visas, Family Visas or US citizenship or dual nationality.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors 

For O1 Visa and EB1 Visa and US immigration advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.


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