The following categories of U.S. permanent residence can be applied for independently without an employer or family sponsorship :
▪ EB-1: Priority Worker (First Preference)
This category consists of the following three subcategories:
(1) EB-1A: Aliens of Extraordinary Ability :
To be eligible under this category, the applicant must be able to demonstrate an “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics,
through sustained national or international acclaim. In addition, the applicant must meet at least 3 out of the following 10 requirements :
① Evidence of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
(2) EB-1B: Outstanding Professors and Researchers
② Evidence of membership in associations in a field that demands outstanding achievement of their members.
③ Evidence of published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
④ Evidence of participation by the alien as a judge, either individually or on a panel, of others’ work.
⑤ Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
⑥ Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or major trade publications or other major media.
⑦ Evidence of work that has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
⑧ Evidence of having taken on a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.
⑨ Evidence that the applicant commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration relative to others in the same field.
⑩ Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts.
To be eligible under this category, the applicant must demonstrate an international recognition for her/his outstanding achievements in a particular academic field.
To be eligible for this program, the petitioner must meet the following requirements :
① International recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field.
(3) EB-1C: Multinational Manager and Executive Transferees
② At least three years of relevant research or teaching experience in that particular academic field.
③ A job offer for a permanent research position or a tenured or tenure-track teaching position from the sponsoring employer.
To be eligible under this category, the applicant must have been employed in a managerial or executive capacity by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary or branch of
the U.S. employer for at least one of the three years prior to filing the application, and must be seeking to enter the U.S. to continue his/her services for that company or
organization. The applicant’s employment must have been outside the U.S. in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate or a subsidiary of the employer.
▪ EB-2: National Interest Waiver (Second Preference)
The National Interest Waiver (NIW) program was introduced in 1994 when the immigration regulation was amended. The purpose of this program is to invite workers with exceptional
ability who will be contributing to the national development and competitiveness of the United States. Since the program does not require a sponsor, an applicant will be waived the
Labor Certification submission requirement. To be eligible under this category, the applicant must meet the following requirements :
① The applicant has a Master’s Degree (or a “Bachelor’s Degree and five years of related work experience”) or above;
② The applicant’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance; and
③ The applicant is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
Although most applicants under this category are researchers or professors in the fields of science, engineering or medicine, professionals in various other fields,
such as entrepreneurs and economists, also apply under this category.