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Expensive Sophie: Inform me extra in regards to the EB-1A extraordinary means inexperienced card

Right here’s one other version of “Expensive Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at know-how corporations.

“Your questions are very important to the unfold of information that permits individuals all around the world to rise above borders and pursue their desires,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether or not you’re in individuals ops, a founder or in search of a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

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Expensive Sophie,

I’m a postdoc engineer who began STEM OPT in June after failing to get chosen within the H-1B lottery.

A colleague prompt that I apply for an EB-1A for extraordinary means inexperienced card, however I’ve not received any main awards, a lot much less a Nobel Prize. Would you inform me extra in regards to the EB-1A?


— Bashful in Berkeley

Expensive Bashful,

Thanks for reaching out to me! Most individuals who get inexperienced playing cards by means of the EB-1A course of are removed from reaching a Nobel Prize — don’t fear, it’s nonetheless attainable!

My legislation companion, Anita Koumriqian, not too long ago talked with Lanie Denslow, a cultural competence and enterprise protocol guide who helps corporations and professionals navigate cultural variations in immediately’s advanced, fast-moving and world enterprise atmosphere. Within the Immigration Regulation for Tech startups podcast episode, they talked about how tradition drives conduct and the way we have to perceive the tradition a person comes from with a view to perceive their actions and approaches.

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

Alongside these strains, I usually discover that many worldwide professionals and college students who qualify for an EB-1A are extraordinarily modest and underestimate their talents and achievements. In American tradition, professionals are anticipated to advertise their talents and accomplishments or private branding. Whereas that follow is accepted in the USA, it’s frowned upon in lots of different international locations, the place modesty is extra culturally valued.

Meaning many worldwide professionals and college students — even perhaps you — might really feel out of their consolation zone when submitting an software for an EB-1A extraordinary ability green card and gathering the 5 to eight suggestion letters from people who’re certified to evaluate their work and achievements.

Earlier than I dive in additional, I counsel you seek the advice of an skilled immigration lawyer who can assess whether or not you’d be a powerful candidate for an EB-1A or if different choices would higher fit your state of affairs and targets. You must think about speaking to your employer about sponsoring you for a inexperienced card, and know that you would be able to additionally file a petition by yourself. The EB-1A and EB-2 NIW (Nationwide Curiosity Waiver) are two employment-based inexperienced playing cards for which the beneficiaries can self-petition (with out an employer sponsor).

{Qualifications} for an EB-1A

To qualify for an EB-1A, you need to meet any three of the next:

  1. You could have obtained nationally or internationally acknowledged prizes or awards for excellence. These awards needs to be post-university stage and may be capable of embrace things like VC funding, pitch competitions and worldwide hackathons.