Professionals from these countries achieved the most EB-1 and EB-2 approvals in 2020
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) compiles data each fiscal year on the number of employment-based green card petitions that it has approved for professionals. The 2020 data was released in January 2021, and it revealed that a total of 79,600 Form I-140 petitions were approved in the EB-1, first preference, and EB-2, second preference categories.
As only a fraction of the Form I-140 green card petitions are approved because they meet the EB-1 or EB-2 criteria, one can only imagine how many submissions were received by USCIS. It is a partial explanation for the lengthy USCIS processing times, and COVID-19, of course, is another reason for delayed green card processing.
EB-1 and EB-2 Green Card Approvals for India and China
As with most prior years, foreign workers from India and China topped the number of approved Form I-140 petitions in both the first and second preferences. In fact, foreign nationals from these two countries garnered more than half of the EB-1 approvals. Professionals from India alone received almost 58% of the EB-2 approvals.
It is important to note; however, that only a portion of these EB-1 and EB-2 approvals were gained without a American company extending a job offer to the green card candidate after the organization acquired a labor certification to show that the worker was accepting a position that was hard to fill.
Only the EB-1A Extraordinary Ability green card and the EB-2 National Interest Waiver categories allow an immigrant worker to gain lawful permanent residency without a job offer. Although none of the EB-1 first preference green cards require a labor certification, the EB-1B, for outstanding professors and researchers, and the EB-1C, which is reserved for certain multinational managers and executives, do have a job offer as a prerequisite.
Top 6 Countries of Origin for EB-1 Awardees in 2020
In addition to India and China, there were four other countries of origin whose citizens scored more than 500 EB-1 approvals from USCIS in 2020. The list is as follows:
Eight Countries Whose Professionals Achieved More than 500 EB-2 Approvals in 2020
For the second preference EB-2 green card, which includes professionals who had a job offer and labor certification, as well as those who received a National Interest Waiver, there were eight countries of origin that had more than 500 workers get approved by USCIS. The list is as follows:
There are several nations of origin that appeared high on the EB-2 list that did not make as well a showing on the EB-1 list. These include South Korea, Iran, and Taiwan. However, it is important to note that individuals from these countries have a current visa priority date on the March 2021 visa bulletin in both the first and second preference categories. Hence, many qualified candidates from these nations may have opted for the EB-2 over the EB-1 petition.
Contact us about your EB-1A or EB-2 NIW green card petition
Gallagher Domanski Legal Services is a fully remote, boutique immigration law firm in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. We are a flat-fee law firm that is focused only on green cards in the EB-1A and EB-2 National Interest Waiver categories.
If you would like a free CV evaluation to assess the appropriateness of an I-140 green card petition for you, feel free to contact us on our website, or you can send an email to Jean P. Domanski, Esq.
Suffering abuse by a loved one, whether physical, emotional, or financial, can feel devastating. Moreover, if you feel dependent on your abuser to help you to get your green card, you may believe that you need to suffer in silence for the sake of your immigration status.
If you have been married to, the parent of, or the child of an American citizen or a lawful permanent resident (LPR) who is harming you physically or emotionally, you may still have an opportunity get your green card on your own. A seasoned VAWA lawyer can be a helpful advocate during this period in your life.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
The Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, was passed in 1994. Although the title of the Act mentions only females, the law applies to both men and women who have suffered extreme cruelty at the hands of their U.S. citizen or LPR relative.
A noncitizen may be eligible to petition for VAWA lawful permanent residency if they meet certain criteria enumerated by the USCIS. Although one may self-petition for a green card under VAWA, it is generally helpful to consult an attorney who is well-versed in the VAWA green card process, as they may be more familiar with the requirements of the USCIS.
Eligibility for a VAWA Green Card
There are several categories of persons who may be eligible for lawful permanent residency under VAWA. Men and women may seek a VAWA green card under a qualifying spousal relationship. Certain parent/child relationships with U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident abusers may also establish VAWA eligibility.
Other requirements beyond the qualifying relationship can include exhibiting a record of good moral character. However, children who are younger than 14 are generally presumed to be of good moral character. A lawyer who is well-informed on VAWA green cards may discuss other USCIS eligibility criteria during a client consultation.
How to File for a VAWA Green Card
The USCIS has certain forms that must be submitted with supporting documentation to establish eligibility for a VAWA green card. Petitioners generally need to complete Form I-360 and file the form with supplemental evidence to the Vermont Service Center of the USCIS.
If a Form I-360 is approved, the petitioner for lawful permanent residence under VAWA may then seek authorization to work in the United States, as well. As such, a VAWA green card can provide the freedom to live separately from the abuser and the ability to make a living in the United States.
It may be wise to seek the assistance of an attorney who is knowledgeable about green cards based on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as the forms can be cumbersome. A skilled VAWA lawyer can also provide counsel on what documentation would best support a petition.
Contact a VAWA Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has had the misfortune of suffering extreme cruelty at the hands of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, it may be time to contact a competent VAWA immigration attorney. Retaining a capable green card lawyer can make all the difference in creating a persuasive VAWA petition.
Call today to schedule an in-person or telephonic consultation with a talented green card lawyer who is proficient in petitions related to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It can be a relief to have someone on your side during this process.
If you have remarkable skills in your field, and you are interested in honing your craft in the United States, an O-1 nonimmigrant visa may be for you. An O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that generally lasts for one to three years. There are two categories of this type of visa, O-1A and O-1B. The O-1 visa differs from the EB-1 in that it is temporary and lacks a green card benefit.
Like an EB-1A. an O-1A nonimmigrant visa is reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. Alternatively, those who have exemplary skills in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry may be eligible for an O-1B nonimmigrant visa. A skilled Los Angeles O-1 visa attorney may help you to decide which type of O-1 visa might be appropriate for you, so that you may live and work temporarily in the United States.
Qualifications for an O-1A Nonimmigrant Visa
Successful applicants for an O-1A nonimmigrant, temporary visa are those who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in their field and sustained national or international acclaim. These persons are those who have evidenced that they are one of only a small percentage who has risen to the top of their area of extraordinary ability. O-1A petitioners must also attest that they are only coming to the United States temporarily to work in their area of exemplary talent and notoriety.
Although an extraordinary foreign national might be eager to apply for a temporary nonimmigrant visa, an individual or their O-1A immigration lawyer may not apply to USCIS more than one year before their intended entry into the United States. However, O-1 visa professionals should submit their paperwork at least 45 days before they need to report for work in America.
As an O-1A is a nonimmigrant visa, it may be valid for only one year, but some outstanding individuals are able to be granted a longer stay. A capable O-1A attorney in Los Angeles may have the knowledge necessary to gain a three-year temporary visa for an exemplary client.
Outstanding individuals who want to work for 1-3 years in the USA will need to demonstrate to USCIS that they meet at least three of eight O-1A criteria. The eight O-1A qualifications are as follows:
Applying for an O-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
An O-1B nonimmigrant visa may be awarded by USCIS to those with extraordinary ability in the arts. For an O-1B, extraordinary ability means distinction in the arts or entertainment. Additionally, artists who need to be in the United States for an event or performance should be prepared to present USCIS with their intended itinerary.
When evidencing an agreement with a U.S. employer, O-1B applicants may be able to provide their contract with their agent, who will likely also be able to provide an agreement with the entertainment venue or U.S.-based employer. An adept Los Angeles immigration lawyer who is well-informed on O-1B nonimmigrant visas may provide clients with other examples of documents that might serve as compelling evidence.
Criteria for an O-1B Temporary Visa
To demonstrate distinction in the arts, an O-1B applicant will need to provide evidence that they meet at least three of six criteria:
O-1B artists, models, and entertainers are also required by USCIS to obtain a consultation and advisory opinion from the appropriate labor group or union. If there is no corresponding O-1B labor organization, a knowledgeable immigration lawyer may direct a client to acquire endorsements from members of their peer group in the United States.
Consultation and Advisory Opinion
In addition to submitted evidence of extraordinary ability and a contract with a U.S. employer, O-1 petition letters should be accompanied by a consultation and advisory opinion from the relevant labor organization. If the exemplary individual is not involved in the arts or athletics, and there is not an appropriate union to issue the consultation and advisory opinion, they may seek written endorsements from members of their peer group.
There may be a circumstance where an O-1 applicant does not belong to a peer group or labor organization. In such cases, USCIS will make their decision based on the supplied evidence. However, a practiced O-1 immigration lawyer may be able to provide a list of peer groups or labor organizations to a client, so that a consultation and advisory opinion may be sent to USCIS.
What is the purpose of an O-1 consultation and advisory opinion?
An O-1A or O-1B consultation and advisory opinion provides an endorsement of a person of extraordinary ability by experts in their field in the United States. However, if an O-1 petitioner or their immigration attorney can show that there is no corresponding peer group, labor organization, or union to provide such a ratification, USCIS may base their decision on the other provided evidence.
Moreover, O-1B artists who have already obtained a consultation and advisory opinion during the past two years for similar work may be able to have this requirement waived. An immigration attorney who is well-informed about O-1 nonimmigrant visas may provide further information on consultation and advisory opinion waivers by USCIS.
Ask An O-1 Nonimmigrant Visa Attorney
The process for applying to USCIS for an O-1 classification can be cumbersome if you are unclear about the documentation that is needed. In addition to providing the correct information on the USCIS forms, a professional of extraordinary ability must also attach relevant supporting documentation. A seasoned O-1 visa lawyer may be well-versed in writing a persuasive letter that will convince USCIS to award you a nonimmigrant stay in the United States.
Make an appointment to speak with a well-informed immigration lawyer, if you think that an O-1 visa might be right for you. The O-1 attorney may be able to thoroughly explain the nonimmigrant visa process and answer any questions you may have about USCIS requirements.
In March 2020, when COVID-19 basically shut down the United States, people hoped that the Safer at Home orders would last a few months. Then we thought that 2021 would bring us all some relief. Of course, that did not happen.
Therefore, if you were visiting the United States on a B1 or B2 visa, you probably thought ahead and filed an application to extend your B2 nonimmigrant visa and planned to return to your home country before it ever expired. But travel restrictions continue, and fear of the virus remains.
Because it appears that the nationwide constraints will continue through the Spring of 2021, and your home country may be hesitant to allow you to come home for those same pandemic-related reasons, you might have to file a second B2 extension application. But the question is, will you be able to receive this second B2 extension from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)?
Your B2 Tourist Visa
Having B2 status means that a foreign national is allowed to be in the United States for a limited amount of time on a nonimmigrant tourist visa. Generally, such tourist entries are valid for six months, at which time the holder of the B2 should be prepared to return to their home country.
Unlike the B1 visa that is used for purposes of business, the B2 status is for the purposes of pleasure. Foreign nationals may use their B2 nonimmigrant visa to go on vacation in the U.S., to visit American friends and family, or to receive treatment from a U.S. medical professional.
If someone finds that they will need to remain in the United States for longer than half a year, they may need to file for a B2 extension. Currently, many individuals are unable to return to their home country when their tourist visa expires because of reasons related to the coronavirus. If this is the case, they have had to obtain a B2 extension from the USCIS.
A foreign tourist who is present in America on a nonimmigrant visa needs to file a Form I-539 to extend their B2 beyond the initial six month period. This should be done at least six weeks before the expiration of their I-94.
If a B2 tourist is still unable to return to their home country because of COVID-19, and their first extension is about to expire, they may need to apply for a second B2 extension.
Can you obtain a second B2 extension during COVID-19?
The chances of achieving a second B2 extension from the USCIS depend on the current status of the first nonimmigrant visa extension. Moreover, when the reasons for needing a second extension of the B2 are related to COVID-19, a different standard of analysis and consideration may be applied by the USCIS.
What if my first B2 Extension is still pending with the USCIS?
If a foreign national was present in the United States in B2 status when the coronavirus pandemic impacted life in America, they may have filed for an extension of their nonimmigrant visa with the USCIS. If this first B2 extension application is still pending with the USCIS, they can still file for a second B2 extension before the requested extension date listed on their first application, so long as they meet other requirements of the Form I-539.
If Your First B2 Extension is Approved
If someone who is present in the United States on a B2 nonimmigrant visa has been fortunate enough to have gotten their first extension approved, the visiting foreign national can file a second B2 extension. This should be done before the expiration date for their first application, as long as they meet other requirements of Form I-539. This date both appears on their I-94 and is indicated on their I-797 approval notice.
If a person who has received a first B2 extension cannot find their I-94, they can use the traveler information lookup tool provided on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. They will need to provide their full name, birth date, passport number, and country of passport issuance.
First B2 Extension Denied by the USCIS
Unfortunately if a visiting foreign national has already applied to the USCIS for a first B2 extension, and it was denied, they will have less of a chance of getting this nonimmigrant visa extended. Persons with a denied first B2 extension application cannot file a second B2 extension unless their I-94 is still valid when filing the second application.
How can you extend your B2 tourist visa with the USCIS a second time?
The process for obtaining a second extension of a B2 nonimmigrant visa from the USCIS is substantially the same as the first time you applied for your extended tourist visa. The process begins with completing the Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
Many B2 holders are able to file their I-539 form online, as long as they meet the following criteria:
A written statement should accompany the Form I-539, because you will need to justify the reason why you are asking the USCIS to extend your B2 tourist visa a second time. For example, you might state that your country is not currently allowing incoming travel from outside its borders because of
Moreover, you might consider attaching any articles that you find online that support your assertion that you cannot return to your home country at this time, because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, if you have airplane tickets that you will now need to change, you might supply a copy of the old tickets to the USCIS to show that you fully intend to exit the United States as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.
The important thing is to demonstrate to the USCIS that you are acting in good faith, while obeying any new regulations established because of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to the filing fee, you should also provide proof of financial independence, as well as a copy of your I-94 visitor information card.
Most of all, do not worry. We will all get through this phenomenon in history. If you need help you can contact a B2 extension immigration lawyer.
If you live outside the United States you might be wondering how you can get a green card to live and work in the USA when you live far away from America. The solution is consular processing.
There are U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the globe that process visas. Moreover, nowadays the internet allows you to complete a great deal of the green card matters online. Although you do need to also deal with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), which is located in America, you can also finish the green card process by connecting with the National Visa Center (NVC) online.
What is consular processing?
If a family member or a potential employee lives outside the United States, a U.S. citizen (USC) or U.S. company can file a petition for a green card from within the 50 United States. Common USCIS petitions include the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. Other immigrant visa applications can be submitted from outside the United States, generally when a noncitizen is self-petitioning.
Regardless of the origin of the green card application, after it is approved for someone who resides outside the United States, consular processing can become necessary.
Can you go through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?
A green card application can only be submitted through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, rather than USCIS, under emergency circumstances. Situations that may be considered dire include the following:
NVC Processing How-To
Once USCIS greenlights an immigrant visa petition for a foreign national who is living outside the United States, they will transfer the case to the National Visa Center (NVC) when a green card is available. The NVC will begin the pre-processing of the immigrant visa by creating a case number for the beneficiary in their system.
Consular Electronic Application Center
After establishing the case, the NVC will send a Welcome Letter that invites both the petitioner and the applicant to log on to the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) using their assigned case number. This central hub will serve as the key place for the petitioner and the beneficiary to upload documents, check their status, receive messages, and manage the case.
Green Card Consular Processing Fees
After one receives the Welcome Letter from the NVC and logs on to the CEAC with the case number, next comes the processing fees.
In many cases, a petitioner will need to submit an Affidavit of Support and the relevant financial documents. Next, the applicant can complete their DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application, and upload copies of their civil documents, such as their birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, or any court documents.
Forwarding the Case to the Nearest Embassy or Consulate
Once the immigrant visa process is complete with the NVC the case will be forwarded to either a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. At this time, the noncitizen should gather the originals of their forms and documents in preparation for their consular processing appointment.
Although the NVC compiles all of the applications and copies of the relevant documents, they do not officially process the green card application. Rather, this occurs at the consular processing appointment.
What happens at the consular processing appointment?
Sometime after the NVC has transferred a case to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, an interview will be scheduled with an officer. The instructions for each U.S. Embassy or Consulate will differ depending on the city in which it is located. Fortunately, the foreign national can look up the instructions for the consular processing location nearest them. Generally, an immigrant visa beneficiary should print out and bring their applications, their passport, and their original civil documents.
The letter about the consular processing appointment will indicate who must be at the interview, and generally, the sponsor or petitioner does not usually need to attend the visa interview.
The consular processing officer will be placing the foreign national under oath, so the interviewee should be prepared to speak truthfully about their application, their documents, and their plans in the USA.
What happens after the consular interview?
You will either learn that you have been granted a green card on the day of your interview, or shortly after. Once you are approved for a green card, you will receive a travel visa, as well as a sealed envelope which contains your file.
Be sure not to unseal the envelope containing your file, as only a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer should open the package when you are admitted to the USA. The travel visa will last for one year, so that you can enter and exit the United States during that time. USCIS will then send your green card to your address in the United States. Congratulations! You can eventually pursue U.S. citizenship if you would like.
An L-1 is a short-term visa that may be an appropriate choice for you if you work for a multinational company and are willing to enter the USA as an intracompany transferee. Congress created the L-1 visa in 1970, in order to allow employers to more efficiently transfer professionals within their companies from countries abroad to the United States.
The USCIS may award these nonimmigrant visas to executives, managers, or those with specialized knowledge. If you are interested in applying to USCIS for an L-1 nonimmigrant visa, it may be prudent to consult with a skilled immigration attorney who is familiar with this type of intracompany transfer.
Two Kinds of L-1 Visas
Noncitizens who work for multinational businesses may qualify for either an L-1A or an L-1B visa.
Executives or managers who have been working continuously for a company with multinational offices for at least one of the past three years may be eligible to receive an L-1A visa. The USCIS defines an executive as someone who has the authority to “make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight.” A qualifying manager should be in a role in which they supervise professionals, control at least a department of an organization, or manage an essential function of the business at a high level.
An L-1B visa may be a viable option for a professional with specialized knowledge relating to the interests of the multinational organization. In general, the USCIS may consider a foreign professional for an L-1B intracompany transfer if they possess advanced knowledge of the company’s processes and procedures or other interests that are applicable to international markets. With this type of visa, the holder may also be able to enter the United States to establish a U.S. office if they meet the criteria to do so.
Qualifying for an L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa
In order to establish eligibility with the USCIS for either an L-1A or an L-1B intracompany transfer visa, both the organization and the professional must meet certain requirements.
Qualifying as a Multinational Employer
Generally, an organization in the USA may be able to qualify as a multinational employer for L-1 visa purposes if it meets two criteria:
The L-1 visa executive, manager, or professional with specialized knowledge will need to meet several criteria. To become eligible for an L-1A or L-1B visa, the noncitizen employee should have worked continuously for a company with multinational offices for at least one of the past three years in a role that qualifies them as an L-1 executive, manager, or professional with specialized knowledge.
Benefits of Obtaining an L-1 Visa
An L-1 visa has several advantages over other types of temporary statuses. These include the following:
Going from an L-1 Visa to a Green Card
An L1 visa is a nonimmigrant, intracompany transfer for work in the United States. It is not a green card. However, an individual who obtains an L-1 visa may be able to qualify for EB-1C lawful permanent resident (LPR) status as an intercorporate green card holder.
A businessperson with EB-1C status is an intercorporate green card holder. An alternative to the EB-5 immigrant investor green card, this lawful permanent resident status may be a viable option for entrepreneurs who have established themselves in businesses abroad.
Having worked in an executive or managerial capacity in their foreign business, an entrepreneur may be able to purchase a similar business in the United States and gain a one-year L-1 visa to enter the country to develop the venture. After the U.S. branch of the company has flourished for a year or more, the entrepreneur might consider applying for a EB-1C intercorporate green card.
L-1 Visa Application Process
The L-1 visa application process starts with completing Form I-129 and submitting it with supporting evidence to USCIS. Applicants may seek the assistance of an L-1 visa attorney with assembling the documents.
The L-1 nonimmigrant transfer visa generally has an initial stay of one to three years, depending on the type of L-1 and the age and circumstances of the company. However, an L-1 visa holder may also apply to USCIS for an extension. As with the initial L-1 visa petition process, an applicant will need to complete forms and submit supporting documentation to USCIS.
L-1 Visa Blanket Petitions
Certain American companies that are engaged in commercial trade or services may be able qualify themselves as multinational companies via an L-1 visa blanket petition. If the organization has already obtained ten or more L-1 intracompany transfers for its noncitizen professionals within a year’s time or has qualifying size or assets, it could consider applying for an L1 visa blanket petition A visa lawyer who is well-versed in L-1 blanket petitions can advise foreign national professionals who believe they might qualify.