Navigating the EB-1 Visa Landscape: Key Updates and Changes in 2024

Last Updated: 

June 26, 2024

The EB-1 visa, a coveted pathway to permanent residency in the United States, is designed for individuals who demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, as well as outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers. The EB-1 visa offers a unique opportunity for these high-achieving individuals to contribute their talents to the American landscape.

Recent years have seen shifts in U.S. immigration policies and priorities, prompting adjustments to the EB-1 visa process. Staying informed about these changes is crucial for both potential applicants and those already navigating the EB-1 journey. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the key updates and changes affecting the EB-1 visa in 2024.

Key Takeaways on Navigating the EB-V1 Visa:

  1. Increased Scrutiny: Adjudicators are applying greater scrutiny to all EB-1 categories, demanding stronger evidence of eligibility and exceptional achievement.
  2. Clarification of Criteria: Recent guidance has provided some clarity on specific eligibility requirements, particularly in the EB-1B category, emphasising the importance of demonstrating a clear connection to U.S. national interest.
  3. Premium Processing Availability: Premium processing remains an option for those who qualify, offering a faster path to resolution.
  4. Impact of Policy Changes: Current immigration policies have influenced processing times and approval rates, leading to longer waits and a higher incidence of Requests for Evidence (RFEs).
  5. Statistical Trends: Overall approval rates have experienced a slight decline, but specific trends vary within each EB-1 category.
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Overview of the EB-1 Visa Categories

The EB-1 visa is not a one-size-fits-all category. It comprises three distinct subcategories, each tailored to a specific type of high achiever:

EB-1A: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability

  • This category is designed for individuals who have risen to the very top of their field, demonstrating extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
  • Applicants must provide evidence of national or international acclaim, usually through a combination of awards, publications, media recognition, and other indicators of exceptional achievement.

EB-1B: Outstanding Professors and Researchers

  • This category targets academics and researchers who have achieved international recognition in their specific field of expertise.
  • To qualify, applicants typically need a job offer from a U.S. employer, as well as a track record of scholarly publications, research grants, and other evidence of their contributions to their field.

EB-1C: Multinational Managers or Executives

  • This category is for executives and managers employed by multinational companies who are being transferred to a managerial or executive position within the company’s U.S. operations.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a history of employment with the multinational company and meet specific criteria related to their role and responsibilities.

The specific requirements for each category can be complex and vary depending on individual circumstances. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is highly recommended to determine eligibility and navigate the application process.

Changes and Updates in 2024

The EB-1 visa landscape has experienced notable shifts in 2024, influenced by evolving immigration policies and legal interpretations. Some of the key changes include:

  1. Increased Scrutiny and Adjudication Trends: There has been a noticeable increase in the level of scrutiny applied to EB-1 applications across all categories. Adjudicators are paying closer attention to the details of each case, requiring stronger and more comprehensive evidence of eligibility. This heightened scrutiny is particularly evident in the EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability) category, where adjudicators are demanding more definitive proof of sustained national or international acclaim.
  2. Clarification of Eligibility Criteria: Recent guidance from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided some clarification on specific eligibility criteria for certain EB-1 categories. For example, in the EB-1B (Outstanding Professor or Researcher) category, USCIS has emphasised the importance of demonstrating a clear connection between the applicant’s research and the U.S. national interest.
  3. Premium Processing Availability: While not a new policy, the availability of premium processing for EB-1 petitions has become more consistent in 2024. This expedited processing option, for an additional fee, allows applicants to receive a decision on their petition within 15 calendar days, providing a faster path to resolution for those who qualify.

Impact of Current Administration’s Immigration Policy

The current administration’s immigration policies have had a discernible impact on the processing and approval rates of EB-1 visas. While the administration has expressed support for attracting highly skilled immigrants, the increased scrutiny and emphasis on rigorous adjudication have led to longer processing times and, in some cases, a higher rate of Requests for Evidence (RFEs).

Despite these challenges, the EB-1 visa remains a viable and attractive option for individuals who can clearly demonstrate their exceptional abilities and contributions to their field.

Challenges and Considerations

The EB-1 visa process is not without its challenges, and applicants often face various hurdles along the way. Here’s an overview of some common challenges and considerations, along with tips for navigating them:

Proving Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A):

One of the most significant challenges for EB-1A applicants is meeting the high standard of “extraordinary ability.” This often involves demonstrating sustained national or international acclaim, which can be subjective and open to interpretation.


  • Gather Extensive Evidence: Compile a comprehensive portfolio of evidence that showcases your achievements, including awards, publications, media recognition, and other indicators of your exceptional contributions to your field.
  • Obtain Expert Testimonials: Seek letters of recommendation from recognised experts in your field who can attest to your extraordinary abilities and the impact of your work.
  • Highlight Sustained Acclaim: Focus on demonstrating a consistent pattern of achievement over a significant period, rather than isolated successes.

Dealing with Bureaucratic Delays:

Processing times for EB-1 applications can vary significantly, and delays are not uncommon. These delays can be frustrating and disruptive for applicants who are eager to move forward with their plans.


  • Be Prepared for RFEs: Requests for Evidence (RFEs) are common in the EB-1 process. Prepare for the possibility of an RFE by ensuring that your initial application is as thorough and complete as possible.
  • Consider Premium Processing: If you qualify, premium processing can expedite the review of your petition, potentially reducing processing times significantly.
  • Consult with an Attorney: An experienced immigration attorney can help you navigate the bureaucratic process, monitor your application’s progress, and respond effectively to any delays or challenges that arise.

Other Challenges:

  • Obtaining a Job Offer (EB-1B): In the EB-1B category, securing a job offer from a U.S. employer can be a challenge, particularly in competitive fields. Networking and highlighting your unique qualifications are essential.
  • Meeting the Multinational Executive/Manager Requirements (EB-1C): In the EB-1C category, demonstrating the specific requirements for executives and managers can be complex. It’s crucial to clearly define your role and responsibilities within the multinational company.

Navigating the Challenges:

While the challenges of the EB-1 visa process can be daunting, it's important to remember that many successful applicants have overcome these obstacles. By being well-prepared, proactive, and seeking expert guidance when needed, you can increase your chances of achieving your EB-1 goals.

Case Studies

Examining successful EB-1 visa applications provides valuable insights into what works in the current climate. Here are a few examples highlighting diverse fields and the factors contributing to their success under the new regulations:

Case Study 1: EB-1A – Extraordinary Ability in the Arts

  • Applicant: A world-renowned concert pianist with an extensive record of international performances, awards, and critical acclaim.
  • Success Factors: The applicant’s case was bolstered by a comprehensive portfolio of evidence, including concert reviews from prestigious publications, recordings of sold-out performances at major venues, and testimonials from prominent figures in the music industry. The applicant also highlighted their sustained international recognition and the significant impact of their work on the field of classical music.

Case Study 2: EB-1B – Outstanding Researcher in Engineering

  • Applicant: A leading researcher in the field of renewable energy with numerous published papers in top-tier academic journals, patents, and invitations to speak at international conferences.
  • Success Factors: The applicanT’s case was strengthened by a strong job offer from a reputable U.S. research institution, demonstrating the clear national interest in their research. Additionally, the applicant provided detailed evidence of their research’s potential impact on addressing critical environmental challenges.

Case Study 3: EB-1C – Multinational Executive in the Tech Industry

  • Applicant: A senior executive at a multinational technology company with a proven track record of managing large teams and driving significant business growth.
  • Success Factors: The applicant’s case was supported by a detailed organisational chart outlining their position and responsibilities within the company, evidence of their leadership in expanding the company’s global presence, and testimonials from colleagues and subordinates highlighting their exceptional managerial skills.

Common Themes in Successful Cases:

  • Comprehensive Documentation: Successful applicants consistently provide extensive and well-organised documentation to support their claims of extraordinary ability, outstanding research, or multinational executive/managerial experience.
  • Focus on Impact: Successful cases often highlight the significant impact of the applicant’s work on their field, industry, or the broader community.
  • Expert Testimonials: Letters of recommendation from recognised experts in the applicant’s field are crucial in establishing credibility and reinforcing claims of exceptional achievement.
  • Clear Connection to U.S. National Interest (EB-1B): In the EB-1B category, demonstrating a clear connection between the applicant’s research and the national interest of the United States is increasingly important.

By studying these successful cases and understanding the factors that contribute to their success, potential EB-1 applicants can gain valuable insights and strategies for navigating the evolving landscape of this visa category.


The EB-1 visa remains a significant pathway for individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers, and multinational executives to contribute their talents to the United States. However, as we’ve explored in this article, the landscape of the EB-1 visa has been evolving, particularly in 2024.

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