Utku Galip Akçok - Professional immigration lawyer

The main topics to be covered in this article:

What is an EB-1A Visa?

The EB-1A (Gifted and Talented) visa, which is a visa that can be obtained through work and provides permanent immigration, is one of the 5 categories of EB visas and is granted to individuals who have extraordinary talents or achievements in the fields of science, arts, education, business and sports.


While it may be more difficult to qualify for an EB-1A visa than other visa types, it is a popular visa type because you can submit your own application without requiring a job offer or Labor Certification.



In order to obtain an EB-1A visa, the applicant must prove that he/she has superior skills in the field of work and that he/she is coming to the United States to work in this field. 

Important Information

  • The EB-1A visa is one of the priority visa types for USCIS and thus the waiting time is much shorter than for other visa types.
  • To obtain an EB-1A visa, a person does not need to go through the PERM (Labor Certification) process or receive a job offer. Thus, if you meet the necessary criteria, you can get a Green Card much more easily than other visa types.
  • It is possible to obtain American citizenship as a result of an EB-1A visa.
  • With an EB-1A visa, it is also possible to bring your family to the US with E-14 and E-15 immigration status.

Important Terms and Definitions Related to EB-1A Visa

There are 3 main issues that USCIS considers when evaluating EB-1A visa applications:


1. Persons who have demonstrated exceptional talents or achievements in the fields of science, arts, education, business and sports, with sustained national or international recognition and weighted evidence that their achievements are recognized in their field. 


Sustained National or International Recognition is one of the important criteria that USCIS considers when evaluating the file. Although there is no precise definition, it can be said that "Sustained Recognition" means an uninterrupted success story that continues until the application period, albeit intermittently. For example, having achieved great success 10 years ago, but not being able to show any presence afterwards may not be a good example of sustainability.


2. Go to the USA to continue to work in the field in which you are gifted.


3. Given all the evidence and documents in the application file, the person will make a significant contribution to the United States in the future.


Although there is no precise definition of "significant contribution" here, precedent decisions and the documents and arguments put forward in the field of expertise may reinforce this point.


Who Can Obtain an EB-1A Visa?

Individuals eligible for an EB-1A Green Card are those who have exceptional talents or achievements in fields such as science, arts, education, business and sports and can provide concrete evidence of this.


Giftedness can be defined as "a level of expertise that marks a person's ascension to the top minority in their field of study". 

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Criteria for Obtaining the EB-1A Visa

According to USCIS, when applying for an EB-1A visa To show that you have outstanding achievement or talent, you must have received a major one-off achievement award (such as the Nobel Prize or the Academy Award) or meet at least 3 of the following 10 criteria.

Note Even if you do not meet any of the criteria below, there is a possibility that you can obtain an EB-1A visa by providing similar evidence. You can discuss your case with an immigration lawyer.

  1. Evidence that you have received excellence awards or prizes that are less recognized nationally or internationally than major achievement awards (Nobel, Oscar...),

  2. Proof of membership in associations that demand outstanding achievement from their members,

  3. Evidence of material published about you in professional or major trade publications or other important media,

  4. Evidence that you have evaluated the work of others, either individually or on a panel,

  5. Evidence of significant original scholarly, academic, artistic, athletic or business contributions to your field,

  6. Evidence that you are the author of scientific papers published in professional or major trade publications or other important media,

  7. Evidence that your work has been exhibited in art exhibitions or showcases,

  8. Evidence that you have played a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations,

  9. Evidence that you receive a high salary or significantly higher remuneration than others in the field,

  10. Proof of your commercial success in the performing arts.

How to Get an EB-1A Green Card?

You can apply for an EB-1A visa from within the United States or through consulates in your home country. 

EB-1A Visa Application Process 

In 2024, it takes approximately 1 to 3 years to finalize EB-1A Green Card applications. If you wish to shorten your evaluation process 2805$ in exchange for I-907 form with Your I-140 form it is possible to reduce the evaluation process to 15 days.


Although the forms you will use in your application will vary depending on your application location, you will need to meet the following requirements to obtain an EB-1A visa:


  1. Step: We prepare a dossier with the necessary evidence to show that you are eligible for an EB-1A visa. The content of the dossier may vary depending on your status, experience, area of specialization and the 10 criteria listed above that you think you meet. This stage is carried out interactively with Akcok Law Office (ALO) and its duration may vary depending on the speed, accuracy and suitability of the documents requested by us.
  2. Step With your application together We fill out the I-140 form for you and send the file to USCIS.
  3. Step: After USCIS reviews your file, we coordinate with you to complete any additional information requests.


The most important factor in obtaining an EB-1A Green Card visa is the accuracy and completeness of the documents you use in your application. By working with a competent law firm, you can increase the likelihood of success of your application.

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How Does USCIS Evaluate EB-1A Applications?

USCIS conducts this assessment in two stages:


Phase 1, whether you meet 3 of the 10 criteria mentioned above. In addition, the evidence you present in the file is analyzed in terms of quality rather than quantity.


Phase 2 The dossier in its entirety is evaluated for a "sustained record of achievement" and the recognition of your work in your field, and a decision is made as to whether you are in the top quartile of giftedness in your field.

EB-1A Visa: Tips and Tricks

  • As a reminder, unlike many other work-based immigrant visa types, the EB-1A visa does not require any job offer or Workforce Certification is not required. Therefore, anyone who thinks they can prove that they are gifted can make the application themselves.


Note Although a job offer is not required when applying for an EB-1A visa, you must prove that you are willing to work in the US in your field. You also need to convince USCIS that your admission will be beneficial to the US, even if you meet the eligibility requirements. For these reasons, working with an immigration lawyer will make your visa process much easier.

Working in the US with an EB-1A Green Card

When applying for an EB-1A Green Card, you will need to demonstrate your extraordinary ability and show that you will continue to work in the field related to that ability when you arrive in the US. Job offers or interviews can provide support for this.

If you plan to work in a different field than the one in which your talent was acquired, your visa may be denied. For example, a person who has achieved great success as an athlete may be denied a visa if they want to go to the US as a coach or trainer.

Let's Get Your EB-1A Visa Together

The EB-1A Green Card visa is an excellent opportunity for people with exceptional skills to immigrate to America and is a very popular choice among those who want to immigrate to America because it does not require a job offer.

If you think you meet the requirements for an EB-1A visa, you can contact us or we will be in touch with you if you solve our free visa compatibility test. Thank you for reading our article. Remember, you are not alone in America.

Utku Galip Akçok
Utku Galip Akçok

Attorney Utku Galip Akçok is the founder of ALO. Like you, he came to the US as an immigrant and today is a licensed attorney in California and New York.

Frequently Asked Questions

PERM is a document required for foreign nationals who want to work in the US in a permanent job. It is issued to employers by the US Department of Labor (DOL) and proves that hiring a foreign worker does not deny US workers job opportunities.

Although a definitive answer is not possible as the processes may vary periodically, it takes approximately 1 to 3 years to finalize EB-1A Green Card applications in 2024.  

I-140, I-485 forms to see the current application processes Timeframes for finalization by USCIS you can follow.

After residing in the United States with a Green Card for 5 years, you may be eligible for American citizenship. In this process, you must have been in the United States for a total of at least 2.5 years during your 5-year Green Card period.

To learn all the requirements for American citizenship and the application process in detail our guide that we have prepared for you you can visit.

Employment-based Green Cards, such as the EB-1A visa, are usually issued for 10 years and can be renewed at the end of that period.

US Immigration Law does not set an age limit. There is also no time limit for your extraordinary ability to be considered "continuing". The decision will be made by the immigration officer based on the data in the file and your situation.

For example, a 70-year-old painter of extraordinary talent could apply for an EB-1A Green Card. The painter's application would be based on evidence that he or she still has talent and will continue to paint after immigrating to the US.

The applicant's spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can also live in the United States under the EB-1 category by obtaining a Green Card together with the applicant.

No, you do not need to have a job offer to apply for an EB-1A Green Card. What is important is that you submit documents that demonstrate your exceptional ability and prove that you will continue to work in the US using that ability. 

However, any job offers or interviews you receive may be useful in demonstrating your ability and plans to work in the US.

In order to increase your chances of being successful in your EB-1A visa application, it is necessary to prepare a comprehensive dossier proving that you have superior ability in the field you work in.  

Including your awards, publications and letters of reference in this file will increase your chances of obtaining an EB-1A visa. Having an experienced and meticulous immigration lawyer who is experienced in the EB-1A visa process will also increase your chances of success.

Contact us now!