If you are interested in migrating to the United States, you will need to have a sponsor or petitioner. A sponsor or petitioner is a US citizen, lawful permanent resident or company sponsoring an immigrant – or beneficiary – for a green card. The petitioner is responsible for submitting the required forms and supporting documentation to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Another option is to get a self-sponsored green card. This route involves demonstrating your merit based on certain criteria specified by the USCIS. To apply, you’ll need to fill out forms, submit supporting documents within specific deadlines and participate in an interview with a USCIS office. It’s advisable to seek guidance from a qualified US immigration lawyer to help you navigate the process and ensure that you meet all requirements.
Types of Self-Sponsored Green Cards
Multiple types of self-sponsored green cards are available, each with its own set of eligibility requirements and application procedures. They include:
Employment-Based First Preference Category (or EB-1A Visa)
This visa classification is designed for those who have attained mastery in fields such as the sciences, art, education, business or athletics. To qualify, the applicant must satisfy at least three out of 10 of the criteria outlined in the C.F.R. Section 204.5(h)(3), which can include providing evidence of recognition of their work through awards, published materials or media recognition. The applicant must be applying to work in the field of their expertise, and it should add value to the United States.
The application process is unique to each applicant. The timeline and cost hinge on several factors, such as the applicant’s country of origin and the processing times of the USCIS. This type of visa is also subject to an annual cap.
An EB-1a visa does not require applicants to have a job offer; they can self-petition for it. Once obtained, the visa permits the individual to work, live, and bring their immediate family members to the country. They can also apply for a green card for themselves and their family.
It’s important to note that the EB-1A visa is highly competitive, and it’s recommended to seek guidance from an experienced US immigration lawyer to ensure that the application is comprehensive and demonstrates the applicant’s extraordinary ability and benefit to the US.
National Interest Waiver Visa (or NIW)
This employment-based visa applies to individuals who qualify for an EB-2 visa but allows for self-petition without an approved labour certification from a US-based employer. The applicant must hold an advanced degree from a US-accredited institution or a foreign equivalent. They should also be able to demonstrate at least 10 years of experience and exceptional ability within their field. Furthermore, they must prove they can excel in their field of work while providing substantial benefit to the US.
Similar to the EB-1A visa, successful National Interest Waiver (NIW) visa applicants can live and work in the US and apply for a green card for themselves and their immediate family, paving the way for US citizenship. Your US immigration lawyer will review and ensure there is detailed evidence of your expertise and how your work is of national interest and benefit to the US.
The EB-1A and NIW visas offer applicants a path to permanent residency through self-petition without requiring a job offer. However, the EB-1A visa focuses more on individual achievement or recognition and is intended for individuals who have achieved international acclaim in their field of study.
The NIW visa places more emphasis on the impact of the applicant’s work and is designed for individuals with exceptional ability in a field of national interest.
Your US Immigration Lawyer in Montreal
At Silver Immigration, our lawyers stay up-to-date with USCIS updates to ensure your application complies with all the requirements. We are dedicated to delivering quality work and building a trusted relationship with you to effectively advocate on your behalf.