EB-1: Priority Worker Requirements

Last Updated on March 2, 2023

EB-1 is one of the most desirable green card options because it does not require companies to complete the permanent labor certification (PERM) process. This results in a significantly faster processing time. An EB-1 priority worker is classified by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as:

  1. Workers of extraordinary ability.
  2. Outstanding university professors or researchers.
  3. Executives or managers of multinational companies.

EB-1 Priority Worker Requirements


Workers of extraordinary ability are defined as those with specific expertise in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.

EB-1 Priority Worker Requirements of Extraordinary Ability:

Documentation of at least three notable, public achievements and recognitions that demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim as an industry leader.


  • Proof of a major one-time achievement, such as receiving a Pulitzer Prize, Academy Award, Olympic medal, etc.
  • Receiving nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Membership in associations that demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications
  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance


Outstanding university professors or researchers may qualify for an EB-1 green card if they are held in high esteem in the international academic community for their achievements. EB-1 Requirements for Outstanding University Professors or Researchers:

  • Three years of experience in teaching or research in a specific academic area.
  • An offer of employment from a college or university, in a position that offers tenure or a track to tenure.
  • At least two qualifying examples of documented achievement.


  • Extensive publication in a given academic field
  • Documentation of awards or major achievements in that field
  • Evidence of original, groundbreaking research


Executives or managers of multinational companies being transferred to jobs in the United States may be able to pass the EB-1 green card requirements if they meet the guidelines below. Executives or Managers of Multinational Companies Requirements:

  • Worked for a multinational company outside of the United States for at least one of the three years preceding submission of an EB-1 green card petition.
  • Previously worked in a managerial or executive role.
  • The U.S. employer must prove it has been in business for at least one year and provide evidence of the foreign national candidate’s professional experience level.

Key HR Takeaways

EB-1 green cards require a very specific candidate whose achievements are nationally and internationally renowned, meaning qualifying candidates are rare.

This option is less time- and resource-intensive, as there is no labor certification requirement for any of the three subtypes compared to other green card categories.

Qualifying Questionnaire

Is the employee a priority worker with extraordinary ability, an outstanding professor or researcher, or executive or manager of a multinational company being transferred to the United States?

If the employee possesses the extraordinary ability or is an outstanding professor or researcher, is there ample and available evidence of national and/or international acclaim for his or her achievements?

If the employee is an executive or manager being transferred to the United States, has he or she worked at least one year (of the last three) for a company overseas, related to the U.S. entity that proposes to sponsor him or her?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, the EB-1 green card may be an option for your employee. To confirm eligibility for your foreign national, contact Envoy at (855) 847-2669 or visit us at envoyglobal.com/about-us/contact/.

To learn more about green cards, download our Comprehensive Green Card Guide here.