With your EB-1 petition now approved by USCIS, you likely find yourself contemplating the subsequent steps in the process. Our comprehensive guide, “EB-1 Classification Final Step Demystified,” sheds light on the final step towards EB-1 permanent resident status.
The U.S., a global hub for innovation and opportunity, attracts top-tier professionals, scholars, and executives. Acknowledging their indispensable contributions, the U.S. government has established the EB-1 classification, facilitating their residence and work as priority workers. Although the EB-1 process can be navigated independently, it can be beneficial to seek legal counsel, especially given the complexities of the process and potential changes in immigration law. A question we often hear is: what happens next after an EB-1 petition is approved?
The journey toward lawful permanent residency in the U.S. is complex, especially for those navigating the process independently. Two primary paths exist post-approval of the EB-1 classification: Consular Processing and Adjustment of Status. Both are viable options, but the suitable one for you depends primarily on your geographical location at the time of approval.
If you’re outside the U.S., ‘Consular Processing’ is the path for you. Once USCIS has approved your EB-1 classification, you need to apply for the EB-1 visa at a U.S. consulate in your home country or place of legal residence. The Consular Processing enables you to obtain the necessary visa stamp in your passport, a prerequisite for U.S. travel. The EB-1 visa allows you to travel to the U.S., and upon arrival, USCIS will issue your EB-1 Green Card.
After you apply for the EB-1 visa through Consular Processing, the next crucial step is the consular interview. The U.S. consulate will schedule an interview to assess your eligibility for the visa. It’s essential to prepare meticulously for this interview, as the consular officer’s decision will significantly impact your path to U.S. residency.
During the interview, the consulate officers may ask you to provide thorough documentation of your extraordinary ability, outstanding professor or researcher credentials, or multinational executive or manager experience (depending on your EB-1 category). The consulate officers may also want to review the original petition and the evidence you submitted to USCIS. You must prepare to answer questions about your achievements, current work, and plans in the United States.
Regardless of whether you opt for Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status, a medical examination by a USCIS-designated civil surgeon or a panel physician is essential. This examination aims to ensure that you don’t have any health conditions that could make you inadmissible to the United States.
You’ll also need to meet specific vaccination requirements. If you haven’t received the required vaccines, they can often be administered during the medical examination.
While the EB-1 classification often doesn’t require an Affidavit of Support, it’s worth understanding this document’s role in the immigration process. The Affidavit of Support is a legally enforceable contract, and the sponsor submits it to accept financial responsibility for the person coming to live permanently in the U.S. However, because EB-1 applicants usually demonstrate extraordinary ability or hold high-level positions, they are less likely to become public charges, making this step less relevant to the EB-1 process.
Alternatively, if you’re already in the U.S. under a non-immigrant visa, ‘Adjustment of Status‘ is your most viable pathway towards lawful permanent residency. In the EB-1 classification, this process allows you to apply for permanent resident status, also known as Green Card application, without needing to return to your home country.
It is crucial to note that your EB-1 journey doesn’t end upon submitting your adjustment of status application.
Upon filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, USCIS schedules a biometrics appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC). At the biometrics interview, you’ll provide your fingerprints, photograph, and signature for security background check purposes.
You may be required to attend an interview at a USCIS office, although interviews are sometimes waived for EB-1 applicants. Like the consular interview, you should be prepared to answer questions about your eligibility for the EB-1 classification.
After all these steps, if your application is approved, USCIS will mail you the Green Card, officially marking your status as a U.S. permanent resident. Remember, maintaining your immigration status involves meeting certain obligations, like living predominantly in the U.S. and not committing actions that could make you removable under immigration law.
The journey to U.S. permanent residency under the EB-1 classification is a multi-step process, full of nuances and potential challenges. However, you can navigate this path successfully with careful planning and potentially professional legal help. Remember, the goal is to acquire U.S. residency and thrive and contribute significantly to U.S. society and economy in your respective field. Your journey doesn’t end with the Green Card; it begins there.