Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Chapter 2 – O1 and EB1 Application Strategies



Depending on the overall merits of your case it may be advantageous or strategic to make a dual application. Basically, the criteria for the O1 visa and making a green card application based on the client's extraordinary ability are very similar. Some might argue that the threshold is slightly higher in the case of a green card application. In truth, the matter is technically argumentative, which is 'lawyers speak' for 'can be argued either way'. There is an O1 visa list of criteria where the alien has to be able to identify at least three qualities and for the EB1 there is another list from which the alien must be able to satisfy three of the qualities. See below. Nevertheless, where the client's case is very well suited for an O visa, it is possible to simultaneously apply for what is called a priority worker EB1 class green card as well. The EB1 option is only worth doing if the client ultimately wishes to become a permanent resident in the US and settle there.

The advantages of applying for both at the same time are: –

  • The combined attorney fees are lower because much of the evidentiary work (preparing the documentary evidence of extraordinary ability) overlaps.
  • If the client were accepted for both then the client would obviously go for the green card over the O-1.
  • As an EB1 green card holder, the spouse and children (unmarried or under 21) would all get green card status also, and be able to do what ever they liked. Whereas, the O-1 does not create working opportunities for the spouse and children, they must qualify in their own right.
  • As an O-1 holder, you must have an agent or sponsor of some kind offering you work in the US, whereas the EB1 holder does not, and they can just arrive and set up on their own.

As you can see, although the O-1 is an excellent visa, the benefits of EB1 status are that much greater.

According to the INA Section quoted at the start of this review, the ideal O-1 candidate is a person who has received sustained national or international acclaim for their extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or motion picture industry.

0-1  For Arts / Music Entertainers: Non-immigrants in the arts must show a high level of achievement as demonstrated by the degree of skill and has received recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered and is recognized as prominent, i.e. renowned, leading or well known.

O-1 For Motion Picture and Television:  Non-immigrants in television and motion picture industries must show that they have attained a very high level of accomplishment evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered and are recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading. (8 C.F.R. Section 214.2(O)(3)(ii)

Congress further stated that extraordinary priority worker classification (EB1 Green Card Status) is 'reserved for that small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor". This report further argued that the definition of O-1 non-immigrants is identical to that for EB1 – priority workers. As discussed above based on reports of Congress many attorneys will file for both O-1 and EB1 status. This having been said, success at the O-1 level does not automatically guarantee success at the EB1 level. This is especially true for arts and motion picture based applicants, because a person can be very well known but not be deemed at the very top of their field of endeavor. (INA section 203(b)(1)(a)(i), as amended by IA90, section 121(a).



EB1 Green Card Categories

In order to qualify for an EB1 Green Card you need to be able to satisfy three from a list of ten categories. We’ve provided informative videos on each category for your kind perusal so please review them and get back to us if you feel we can help you. 


EB1 Green Card Checklist – One Time International Award – (i) National Award –
(ii) Invited Membership – (iii) Published Material About You –  (iv) Judging – 
(v) Innovation – (vi) Scholarly Articles – (vii) Exhibition or Showcases – 
(viii) Leading / Critical Role – (ix) High Salary – (x) Commercial Success –
Let's Get Your Case Started Today!


Important Notice: Please note that all videos created by the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram are intended as general information only and not specific legal advice pertaining your case. If you would like specific legal advice on any immigration matter please do not hesitate to contact this law office accordingly. All pictorial images used in these videos and the website in general are licensed stocked images and not portraits, or otherwise, of anyone from the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram, nor of its clients unless otherwise indicated by name. All images are used solely for illustrative purposes only. Copyright 2010-2013 All Rights Reserved.


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