Documents You'll Need to File an EB-1 Visa Petition

Find out what proof of job qualifications and more the employer will need to provide when filing an EB-1 visa petition to get a work-based green card.

When an employer (after having gotten PERM labor certification) files an initial visa petition (Form I-140) for an EB-1 worker to receive a green card (that is, to become a permanent resident), it must include a large number of supporting documents. These serve to prove that the would-be immigrant has the necessary background and qualifications to apply in the priority worker category and that fit the offered job.

Below is a handy checklist of the documents that will be needed within each subcategory of the EB-1 employment visa.

For Applicants in the Persons of Extraordinary Ability Subcategory (EB-1A)

If the employee is seeking EB-1A status, the visa petition will need to include the following:

  • Evidence that the employee has either received a major, internationally recognized award (like a Nobel or an Oscar), or at least three of the following:
    • Evidence of several lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards in the field.
    • Documentation of membership in associations that require outstanding achievements of their members, as recognized by national or international experts.
    • Published material about the employee in professional or major trade publications or other major media relating to the person’s work.
    • Evidence of participation as a judge of the work of others in the field or an allied field.
    • Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
    • Evidence of authorship (or coauthorship, though this carries less weight) of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
    • Evidence of the display of the person’s work at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
    • Evidence that the employee has performed in leading or critical roles for distinguished organizations or establishments.
    • Evidence that the employee has commanded a comparatively high salary or other compensation.
    • Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts (box office receipts, evidence of sold-out clubs, concert halls, arenas, or stadiums, or sales data on recordings or videos).
    • If the above do not fit the occupation, comparable evidence.
  • Copy of U.S. employment contract, an employer letter, or a statement written by the employee, explaining how he or she will continue doing extraordinary work in the United States.

For Applicants in the Outstanding Professor and Researcher Subcategory (EB-1B)

If the employee will be seeking an EB-1B visa, the petition will need to include the following.

  • At least two documents from the following list:
    • Evidence of membership in associations in the academic field -- associations that require outstanding achievements for membership.
    • Published material in professional publications written by others about the employee’s work. Mere citations to the work in bibliographies are not sufficient.
    • Evidence of participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field.
    • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field.
    • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals having international circulation.
    • Evidence of at least three years of teaching or research experience in the field (such as letters from former employers).
    • If it is a university position, a letter or contract from the university stating that the U.S. position is either a tenured, tenure track, or permanent researcher position.
    • If the employer is in private industry, evidence that it has a history of significant achievements in research, employs at least three other full-time research workers, and intends to hire for a permanent research position.

In the Multinational Managers and Executives Subcategory (EB-1C)

If the employee will be seeking an EB-1C visa, the petition will need to include the following.

  • Notice of approval of an L-1 visa petition, if any (recommended, not required).
  • Documents proving employment as an executive or manager with the parent company for at least one of the past three years outside of the U.S. (or, if the employee is already in the U.S., for one of the three years before arrival).
  • Documents proving that the employee will be working in an executive or managerial capacity, including a description of the job duties.
  • Photographs of the foreign and U.S. offices.
  • Organizational charts for both the foreign and U.S. companies.
  • Accountant’s financial statements, including profit and loss statements, and balance sheets of both the U.S. and foreign company for the past two years.
  • Payroll records of the foreign company for the past two years, if available.
  • Promotional literature describing the nature of the employer’s business, both U.S. and foreign.
  • Copy of the business lease or deed for the premises of the U.S. business.
  • Documents proving that the U.S. employer is either the same legal entity or in an affiliate or subsidiary relationship with the overseas employer, and has been doing business for at least a year, including such documents as:
    • Articles of incorporation or other legal charter or business license of the foreign business.
    • Articles of incorporation or other legal charter or business license of the U.S. business.
    • Legal business registration certificate of the foreign business.
    • Legal business registration certificate of the U.S. business.
    • Tax returns of the foreign business for the past two years, if available.
    • Tax returns of the U.S. business for the past two years, if available.
    • If the company is publicly held, annual shareholder reports of both the U.S. and foreign companies.
    • If either company is publicly held, statements from the secretary of the corporation attesting to how the companies are related.
    • For private companies, copies of all outstanding stock certificates.
    • For private companies, notarized affidavits from the corporations’ secretaries verifying names of the officers and directors.
    • For private companies, copies of the minutes of shareholder meetings appointing the officers and directors.
    • If a joint venture, copy of the joint venture agreement.

If The Employer Did Not Seek a Labor Certification Because It’s a "Schedule A" Job:

Regardless of which subcategory the worker is in, the employer may have been able to skip the labor certification part of the process if the job is one of those listed on “Schedule A.” If so, documents to add to the I-140 petition include:

  • An original and one copy of Application for Permanent Employment Certification (Form ETA-9089), including a prevailing wage determination from the SWA. The form need not be certified, but must be signed by an authorized official of the petitioning company.
  • Evidence of compliance with the posting/union notification requirements, including a copy of the posted notice and of any in-house postings via electronic or other media.

Schedule A, Group I: Medical Occupations

In Group I of Schedule A, also add to the I-140 petition:

  • Evidence that notice of filing the Application for Permanent Employment Certification was provided to the bargaining representative of the employer’s employees.

Physical Therapists (Subcategory of Group I)

For physical therapists, submit either:

  • Copy of a U.S. state physical therapist license, or
  • Letter from the state physical therapy licensing agency stating that the therapist meets all the qualifications to sit for the state exam.

Registered Nurses (Subcategory of Group I):

For registered nurses, submit either:

  • Copy of a full and unrestricted state nursing license to practice in the state where the nurse will be employed
  • Copy of the nurse’s certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) , or
  • Evidence that the nurse has passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Group II: Exceptional Ability in the Arts or Sciences

For Group II applicants on the Schedule A list, submit either:

  • Documentary evidence showing the widespread acclaim and international recognition accorded the person by recognized experts in the field.
  • Documentation showing that the employee’s work in the artistic or scientific field during the past year did, and his or her intended work in the United States will, require exceptional ability.
  • At least two of the following:
    • Documents proving that the employee has won internationally recognized prizes or awards in his or her field of work.
    • Documents showing membership in selective international associations—associations that require outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized international experts.
    • Articles about the employee’s work appearing in relevant professional publications, including the title, date, and author of such published material.
    • Documents proving that the employee has acted as a judge in international competitions in the field or an allied field.
    • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions, which were of major significance in the field.
    • Copies of scientific or academic articles by the employee that have been published in international journals (including professional journals with international circulation).
    • Documents proving that the employee’s artistic work has been exhibited in at least two different countries.

For more information on obtaining an EB-1 visa and green card, see our section on Employment-Based Immigration Laws.

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