If you’re looking to come to stay in the U.S. and you’ve made some major scientific, scholarly or business-related contributions in your field or any other past accomplishments, there are basically three options you may want to consider.
- The O-1A Nonimmigrant Visa
- The EB1-A Green Card
- The EB2-NIW (National Interest Waiver) Green Card
Requirement and Criteria
Both the O1-A visa and the EB1-A Green Card require you to either have won a major international prize or award; or if you didn’t, to meet at least three of the evidence evidentiary categories set out in the law.
The O1-A visa has eight criteria:
- Awards for excellence
- Being a member of any clubs or groups that are hard to get into
- Articles that have been written about you
- If you’ve judged for others’ work
- Discoveries or contributions in your field
- Published articles you’ve written
- An important role in a distinguished organization
- High salary (present or future)
The EB1-A green card has ten criteria. These are basically the same as for the EB1-A green card criteria. But the green card one is a little bit different because it also applies to artists, whereas the O1A usually doesn’t.
The EB2-NIW is for people who are either outstanding or people who have at least a master’s degree level of experience. You have to show that your work has substantial merit and national importance, how you’re going to advance the company’s work and its future plans, and how not recruiting Americans for this job could be helpful to an urgent national interest.
Strategize with Your Immigration Lawyer Today
Everybody’s different. The decisions that are right for one person’s life and one person’s family might have no relevance at all to somebody else’s. It’s therefore important to make these important strategic decisions on an individual basis with your immigration lawyer.
For more information and resources on what visa types work for you, check out Immigration Law for Tech Startups podcast. If you’d like to listen, head over to Episode 14: Visas & Green Cards Based on Past Accomplishments.