EB1 Visa Requirements, Application and Processing Time (2023) 

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Are you looking for a fast and efficient way to immigrate to the United States as an outstanding individual with exceptional abilities? Look no further than the EB1 Visa. This visa category is specifically designed for individuals who have achieved extraordinary success in their field of expertise and are looking to bring their talents to the United States. 


In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the EB1 visa requirements, application, and processing time, so that you can achieve your immigration goals in the quickest and most efficient way possible. 

Whether you’re a renowned researcher, a talented artist, or a successful businessperson, this guide will provide you with the information you need to make your dream of living and working in the United States a reality. So, are you ready to take the first step towards your new life in America? Let’s get started!

EB1 Visa Requirements
Credit: Ashoori Law

How to Qualify for EB1 Visa Requirements

EB-1 visa is a category for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. To qualify for EB-1 visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Sustained national or international acclaim: You must have a record of achievements in your field, recognized through extensive documentation such as awards, publications, and media coverage.
  • Evidence of significant contributions to your field: You must provide evidence of original contributions to the field through patents, research, or other relevant contributions.
  • Standing as the top in your field: You must show that you are one of the few in your field who have risen to the top, such as through membership in professional associations or by serving as a judge of others’ work.
  • Requirement for your presence in the U.S.: Your presence in the U.S. must be required for your continued work in your field.
  • Labor certification is not required: Unlike other employment-based visas, EB-1 does not require labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.

It’s important to note that meeting these criteria does not guarantee visa approval, as the immigration officer’s discretion and the individual circumstances of each case play a role in the final decision.

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EB1 Visa Processing Time

The processing time for an EB1 visa (Employment-Based, First Preference) can vary and is dependent on several factors, including the workload of the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) field office responsible for processing the case and the individual circumstances of each application. On average, it can take several months to a year or more for an EB1 visa to be processed. You can check the current processing time for your local USCIS field office on their website.

EB1 Application Process and Cost 

The EB1 visa, also known as the Employment-Based First Preference Visa, is a type of visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics.


The application process for an EB1 visa typically involves the following steps:

  • An employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, on behalf of the foreign national.
  • The foreign national must also submit a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if they are in the United States and wish to adjust their status to permanent resident.
  • Supporting documentation, including evidence of the foreign national’s extraordinary ability, must be submitted with the Form I-140 and Form I-485.

The cost of the EB1 visa application process varies depending on the specific circumstances of the case. However, the following fees are typically involved:

  • Form I-140 filing fee: $700
  • Form I-485 filing fee: $1,170
  • Premium Processing fee (optional): $2,500

It is important to note that these fees are subject to change, and additional fees may be required in certain circumstances. An immigration attorney can provide more information on the specific costs involved in an EB1 visa application.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I bring my family with me on an EB1 visa?

Yes, you can bring your spouse and unmarried minor children with you on an EB1 visa as dependents. They can apply for a dependent visa (also known as an EB2 visa) and will be able to accompany you to the United States.

Is there a maximum number of EB1 visas available each year?

No, there is no maximum number of EB-1 visas available each fiscal year. However, there are limits on the number of visas available for certain employment-based visa categories, including EB-1, which may impact the availability of visas in a given year.

How can I check the status of my EB1 visa application?

You can check the status of your EB1 visa application through the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) website.

  • Go to the USCIS website (www.uscis.gov)
  • Click on the “Check My Case Status” option
  • Enter your receipt number and select the “Check Status” button
  • The status of your visa application will be displayed on the screen

Note: Your receipt number can be found on the Form I-797 receipt notice that was issued to you when you filed your visa application. If you have lost your receipt number, you can request it from the USCIS.

Can I work while I wait for my EB1 visa to be processed?

If you have an approved I-140 (EB-1) immigrant petition and an available visa number, you may apply for a work authorization (Employment Authorization Document or EAD) under the I-485 adjustment of status process. Once you have the EAD, you may legally work in the United States while you wait for your EB-1 visa to be processed. It is important to note that not everyone is eligible for an EAD and the availability of a work authorization depends on individual circumstances.

What happens if my EB1 visa application is denied?

If your EB-1 visa application is denied, you will receive a written explanation of the reasons for the denial from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Depending on the circumstances of the denial, you may be able to appeal the decision or file a new application. However, if the denial is based on ineligibility or failure to meet the requirements for the visa category, you may not be able to appeal or reapply.

It is important to consult an immigration attorney or a qualified representative for guidance on your options after a visa denial.

Is there a way to expedite the EB1 visa application process?

There is no official way to expedite the processing of an EB-1 visa application, but there are some steps that can help ensure that your application is processed as quickly as possible:

  • Complete and submit a thorough and accurate application package: This includes all required forms, documents, and evidence.
  • Pay the correct fee: Double-check that you have paid the correct fee for your application and that your payment has been processed.
  • Avoid errors: Carefully review your application before submitting it to make sure that all information is correct and all required fields are filled in.
  • Respond promptly to requests for additional information: If the USCIS needs additional information or clarification, respond as quickly as possible to avoid delays.

It is also a good idea to keep track of your application status and follow up with the USCIS if there are any concerns or if you have not received a decision within a reasonable timeframe.


In conclusion, the EB1 Visa provides a unique opportunity for individuals with exceptional abilities to immigrate to the United States. The requirements for this visa are stringent, but with the right preparation, you can demonstrate that you are a leader in your field and worthy of this prestigious visa category. 

The application process can be complex, but with the help of a qualified immigration attorney, you can ensure that your application is complete and meets all the necessary requirements. 

Finally, the processing time for the EB1 visa can vary, but with proper planning and a well-prepared application, you can minimize any delays and ensure that your application is processed quickly. In the end, the reward for successfully obtaining an EB1 visa is the opportunity to live and work in the United States and make your dreams a reality.


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