Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Attorney Chris M. Ingram Discusses the Current State of the EB1 Green Card Option for Top Professionals *

Skilled Workers and Graduates Professionals
Fiancée and Marriage Visas
EB1 Green Cards for Top Professionals
E2 Treaty Investor Visas
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update

EB1 Green Cards for Top Professionals

The EB1 green card has become a very popular immigration option amongst high level professionals in industry and the arts. In fact, of all of the areas of our practice the EB1 green card has grown the most.

The steady rise of the EB1 green card was stimulated by the numerical restrictions of the H-1B visa being numerically capped and the fact that even approved applicants could not take up their employment before October 1st of the current year.  Another push for the EB1 green card came from approved EB2 green card applicants from China and India in particular who found their share of the EB2 became backlogged (current EB2 wait time is 5 years) where for all other nationals EB2 visas are available today. So there you have three forces looking for the EB1 to be their solution; the H-1B alien, Approved EB2 Chinese and Indian.

Before I get too far ahead let me make sure that newer readers know what I’m discussing here.

The EB1 green card in a nutshell is reserved for top professionals in industry and the arts to be given a fast track to permanent US residency. In order to determine whether an alien qualified for EB1 green card status they had to satisfy from a list of ten categories three of them. To see the full list see EB1 green card checklist. Click Here.

The EB2 green card is reserved for top professionals who can qualify if they simply have an advanced degree and the employer can show that there are no Americans currently available to do that job which requires an advanced degree. EB2 green card outline. Click Here.

The H-1B visa is reserved for anyone with a BA/BSC degree or higher, alternatively for anyone who has at least 12 years experience rising to a position where a degree would be the minimum entry level. Click Here.

In order to progress to a green card from the H-1B the most the employer has to show is that there are no Americans available to do the job and the current wait time even if successful is seven years, unless they can squeeze into an EB2 green card category, by taking more exams and finding a higher level job.

As can be seen there is a lot of upward pressure for aliens looking to settle in the US to try their luck in the EB1 green card category. If they win they’ll have their green card in no time and that will be that for their whole family. 

US Immigration obviously see this upward trend and have the difficult task of trying to determine which applicants are genuinely deserving of the EB1 green card over those who are not deserving but merely trying their luck.

The EB1 green card is definitely an extremely challenging visa to qualify for but we have been very successful indeed overall, this having been said the degree of difficulty and determination to win these cases should not be understated and we might have to go through several rounds with US Immigration USCIS to ultimately prevail but it’s certainly worth it when you win having secured permanent residency for your clients.

Going through the EB1 green card process is a little like going through any kind of rigorous screening process; there are layers of scrutiny before you get to the end. Although winning is not certain, determination to succeed can often take you successfully to the finishing line.

As I mentioned earlier with all this pressure on the EB1 green card, USCIS have been looking at the EB1 green card regulations themselves trying to interpret them as narrowly as possible to keep the numbers down and in the process USCIS have been denying worthy and deserving EB1 applicants unfairly.  On March 4th 2010 an EB1 applicant called Kazarian, took his case all the way to the 9th Circuit Appellate Court to fight his case claiming that he satisfied at least four of the EB1’s ten possible categories. In the end the case in some respects ended in a draw. He won two of his categories and lost two (but remember you need three to win overall). The positive rulings that can be taken from the case overall was the fact that the Court openly reprimanded USCIS for inventing their own additional requirements to further refine the regulatory provisions in order to deny cases, something USCIS has no power to do. In April 2010 USCIS was forced to publish a consultative document admitting that they now had to take judicial notice of the Kazarian case and back down from their previously held positions on some of the categories. Now we’re in June 2010.

My expectation on EB1 cases from now on is highly positive. The only weapon a lawyer has when presenting cases for consideration by USCIS is legal precedent. The Kazarian case is a very big weapon. This case also referred to other cases and sought to get USCIS back in line with how the law is to be followed. Lawyers like me love these cases because it enables us to fairly and reliably evaluate our client’s chances of success at the earliest opportunity. Not only that these cases provide us with a road map as to how best to argue our cases before the court in our briefs.

So what is the take away message here? If having reviewed the above EB1 checklist you feel like you may have a shot, email me with your thoughts on the categories you think you satisfy. Take the time to review each category, your CV/resume won't hold the answers on it's own (also check out the ‘more info’ links for each category for additional guidance) and then make some notes from your history as to what evidence you think you have that could support that category. Get that information to me as quickly as possible by email. I’ll then review your email for free as long as there are no attachments and your email consists of a short bullet point synopsis of your categories. If I feel that you may have a case then my office will coordinate a telephone consult or I’ll email you back directly with my considered initial opinion.  If all goes well it won’t be long before we are working your case fully with you having retained us to represent you.

I’m very proud of our high EB1 green card success rate many of the cases we have won have been successful in the face of USCIS initial opposition or where others have told our clients that their case was not strong enough. I’ve learned that commitment and determination really does make all the difference and we now have many extremely satisfied EB1 clients with big grins on their faces as they carry their green cards with pride in their wallet.

US Immigration Attorney Chris M Ingram
EB1 Green Card and O1 Visa Specialist

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
520 Broadway, Suite 350,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients. 


General Location:  Santa Monica, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Serving all 50 States
Copyright 2010


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