EB-1A vs. EB-1B

Although EB-1A and EB-1B petitions are both in the employment-based, first-preference category for permanent residency, there are several key differences between the two visas. We’ve consolidated the main areas of overlap and distinction below.


  • No labor certification is required.
  • The criterion at the heart of each petition is demonstrating one’s extensive achievements and abilities.
  • Supporting documentation that serves to demonstrate achievements and abilities of petitioners is essentially the same, generally speaking. Both EB-1A and EB-1B petitions typically include application materials like letters of recommendation and track records of publishing and reviewing the work of other professionals.


  • Broadly speaking, to be successful in an EB-1A petition requires a higher standard of achievement and ability.
  • An EB-1A designation can apply to various professional fields, ranging from the arts and business to athletics and education, whereas an EB-1B designation applies only to scientific or other scholarly fields.
  • An EB-1A petition does not require an employer’s sponsorship with a corresponding job offer, while an EB-1B petition requires both, i.e. either in the form of a permanent research position or a tenured or tenure-track teaching position.
  • An alien can self-petition for an EB-1A, but for an EB-1B, the prospective employer must petition on behalf of the alien.
  • Aliens applying for permanent residence by way of EB-1B petitions require at least three years of experience in the field specified in their applications. In contrast, there is no minimum work experience in any field required for EB-1A petitions.

According to guidelines established by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), if a candidate meets the requirements and demonstrates such with the appropriate documentation, then said candidate’s application will almost certainly be approved. That said, meeting the requirements is no small feat, and USCIS adjudicators have some discretion in determining the strength or validity of the supporting documentation provided.

For more information on the EB-1A visa, refer to the following links:

For more information on the EB-1B visa, refer to the following links:

Our experienced immigration attorneys are here to assist you in your EB-1 application. For more detailed information on the EB-1 category, including minimum requirements and USCIS policies, refer to the following links:

Updated 04/05/2017