EB-1A and EB-2 NIW as Alternatives to EB-5

Many Entrepreneurs consider EB-5 immigrant category as their only path to their permanent residency in the United States. However, there are other options as well. For instance, besides costly EB-5 program, many entrepreneurs may qualify for the EB-1A Extraordinary Ability and/or EB-2 NIW Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) category. To be eligible for Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) category, an applicant must demonstrate that 1. he or she has received a major, internationally recognized award; or 2. that the applicant meets 3 of the 10 criteria identified by the USCIS. For example, to meet at least three of the ten criteria, the applicant may provide evidence demonstrating that the applicant is a member of a professional association in the field for which classification is sought which requires outstanding achievement of its members; published materials about the applicant in professional or major trade publications or other major media relating to the applicant’s work in the field for which classification is sought; evidence demonstrating that the applicant has participated in judging the work of others in his or her field or allied field for which classification is sought, either individually or on a panel; evidence of the applicant’s original business-related contributions of major significance to his or her field; evidence of the applicant’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, published in professional or major trade publications or other major media; evidence of the applicant’s performance in a leading or critical role in organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations; evidence that the applicant received in the past or will receive in the future a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in his field.

In addition, this category is a great option because it is eligible for Premium Processing meaning that if the applicant pays $1,410 in addition to the regular filing fee ($700), the USCIS will review the EB-1 petition within 15 days from the date of filing.

The EB-2 National Interest Waiver category maybe beneficial to those Entrepreneurs whose endeavor would have a significant economic impact in the United States. To be eligible for EB-2 NIW, an applicant must demonstrate the following:

1. his or her proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;

2. he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and

3. it would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the requirement of a job offer and labor market test.

National Interest Waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability in their fields of endeavor. To demonstrate exceptional ability, the applicant must meet at least three of the enumerated criteria. For example, the applicant may submit evidence demonstrating that the applicant possesses degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to his or her area of exceptional ability; letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in his or her occupation; a license to practice his or her profession or certification for his or her profession or occupation; evidence that the applicant has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates his or her exceptional ability; membership in a professional association(s); recognition for the applicant’s achievements and significant contributions to his or her industry or field by his or her peers, government entities, professional or business organizations; as well as other comparable evidence.