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The EB-1A Green Card

A path to permanent residency through employment

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What is the EB-1A?

The EB-1A is an immigration petition that puts you on a path to apply for permanent residency. An EB-1A approval means you can apply for a green card. Although the EB-1 is an employment-based option to obtain a green card, if you qualify for the EB-1, you do not need an employer to sponsor you. You can self-petition!

Skip the PERM process

PERM can take a year or longer, but the EB-1A allows you to skip PERM, a lengthy process of testing the labor market for qualified U.S. workers.

Premium Processing

The EB-1A is eligible for premium processing. Premium processing guarantees a decision on the EB-1 petition in 15 days.

Permanent residency

Some employment-based green card options have long waiting lists. The priority dates for the EB-1A are current (meaning the wait time to apply for a green card is short).

“I had a great experience working with Legalpad for my EB-1 application. Legalpad provided clear guidance on what letters and documentation to obtain. They pulled up my patents and after in-depth research found the right way of presenting them. The thing that impressed me most was that they understood my career achievements very well after just a one-hour zoom chat – which are very technical in the field of computer science. After that chat, I felt I was in good hands!”

Pankaj Gupta, Baseten

Thank you, Legalpad, for all the support and guidance! The team went the extra mile to submit my petition with premium processing. I am so happy for my EB-1 approval that I have no words to express my happiness and gratitude. Thank you, Legalpad, for making this happen!

Sesh Rao Vaidyula, Templar Shield

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Qualifying for the EB-1A

Many different types of experts may qualify for the EB-1A!
For example, a startup founder with a record of business achievements, who has served in critical roles at companies, has been featured in media articles, and has received a high salary, may qualify for the EB-1A visa. Anyone at the top of their field is a potential candidate.

To qualify, you must either have received an internationally recognized prize or award, such as a Nobel Prize, Pulitzer, Oscar, or Olympic Medal


Meet at least three criteria below:

You received nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards in the field

You have won a well-known award in your field, such as a Stevie Award for your excellence in business, or an award for your research from a distinguished organization, such as IEEE.

You are a member of associations in the field that require outstanding achievement

You were invited to join an elite association for the top innovators in your field, such as a Presidential Commission, or an association for leading experts in your field

There is published material about you in professional publications, major trade publications, or other major media

  • There are numerous articles about you published in top news outlets such as New York Times, Forbes, and CNN
  • Your scholarly articles have hundreds of citations

You have judged the work of others in the field, either individually or on a panel

  • You have judged numerous prestigious competitions in your field, such as the Stevie Awards
  • You have served on a committee review board for a respected organization
  • You have peer-reviewed articles for distinguished journals
  • You have helped prestigious investment firms select investment recipients

You have made original contributions of major significance to the field

  • You have created patented technology that is widely used in your field
  • You created a technology that was acquired by a well-known company, such as Apple or Microsoft, or is being used by the government or military
  • Your scientific contributions to your field have had a massive impact on other researchers, and your work has been cited by hundreds of scholars

You have authored scholarly articles in professional publications, major trade publications, or other major media

  • You have published numerous articles in well-known peer-reviewed journals that relate to your current work
  • You have published numerous articles in internationally respected business news outlets, such as Forbes or Harvard Business Review

You have served in a leading or critical role for distinguished organizations

  • You are the founder of a startup company that has gained significant traction by raising millions of dollars in funding, being published in dozens of highly circulated press articles, obtaining partnerships with well-known companies, etc.
  • You are an employee of a distinguished company who has made business-critical contributions, such as designing the company’s app, serving in a Director, VP, or C-Suite role, etc.

You command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration

  • Your salary is higher than the highest salaries for individuals in your specific role in your city based on data on sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, Payscale, etc. 
  • You have been paid out a significant amount of equity and bonuses in a single year, that when combined with your salary, show that you have earned more than the highest salaries on sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, Payscale, etc.

Your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases

Your art has been displayed at art museums, a play you wrote has been performed live, the clothing you designed has been displayed at fashion shows, etc.

You have commercial successes in the performing arts

You are a musician in a band that has toured, you are an actor who has performed in numerous professional live performances, etc.

You have comparable evidence of extraordinary ability

This criterion is super subjective. Our legal team will work with you to determine if this criterion is suitable for your EB-1A petition.

EB-1A vs. EB-2

EB-1 and EB-2 are employment-based immigrant petitions that put you on the path to get a U.S. green card. Which one is right for you?

Learn More

Working with Legalpad

We simplify the EB-1A process so you know exactly what to expect on your journey to permanent residency.

Step 1


We hop on a call to make sure the EB-1A is the best option for you.

Step 2


We hop on a short call to get details about your company.

Step 3


Review evidence for the EB-1A immigrant petition with your immigration team.

Step 4


We share all letters with you and others to sign.

Step 5


We collect all signatures for the final version of the EB-1A petition.

Talk to our team about the EB-1A

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