Workers who seek permanent legal status in the US based on EB-1 approval (extraordinary skills, outstanding professor or researcher, or because they meet specific multinational executive and managerial criteria) can request an adjustment of status if they are already in the US.

EB-1 visa applicants who are not in the US must apply at a US Department of State Consulate for an immigrant visa.

If the EB-1 petition is approved and you live outside the United States (or live in the United States but want to apply for your immigrant visa abroad), USCIS will then send the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center. The petition will remain there until an immigrant visa number is available for you. The Visa Availability and Priority Dates website has more information on priority dates.

National Visa Center

The National Visa Center (NVC) is the agency that is responsible for collecting visa application fees and supporting documentation. The NVC will notify the person who self-filed and the person who is the beneficiary of an employer-filed application – when the agency received the visa petition and when an immigrant visa number is due to be become available. The NVC will also inform the foreign alien when they must submit the immigration visa processing fees (also called “fee bills”) and when they must submit any supporting documents.

After a visa is available and there is a current priority date (“earlier than the cut-off date listed in the monthly Visa Bulletin”), the consular office will schedule an interview for the applicant. After the interview, the consular office will review the case and determine if you/the applicant are eligible for an immigrant visa.

Applicants generally don’t need to contact the NVC. The NVC will let you know what information is needed. Applicants do need to contact the NVC if:

  • They move and have a different address
  • They were under 21-years-of-age when the file but have reached the age of 21
  • Their marital status has changed

The Department of State’s National Visa Center Contact Information page has the information on how to contact the NVC.

Visa Packet and Immigration Fees

Applicants who are granted an immigrant visa will receive an information packet from the consular office – commonly called a “Visa Packet.” Do not open this packet. Applicants will need to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee. This money is used to process your Visa Packet and to “produce your Green Card.” The fees can be paid online – “after you receive your visa packet and before you depart for the United States.“

Green card

“When you arrive in the United States, you should give your Visa Packet to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry. The CBP officer will inspect you and determine whether to admit you into the United States as a lawful permanent resident. If the CBP officer admits you, you will then have lawful permanent resident status and be able to live and work in the United States permanently.”

Applicants who have paid the USCIS immigration fee will receive their Green Card in the mail – after they arrive in the US. Applicants who don’t receive their Green Card within 45 days of arrival should contact the USCIS Contact Center. Applicants who haven’t paid the USCIS immigration will need to pay that fee before they can obtain their green card.

For applicants in the US, both consular processing and adjustment of status are options. The main pro and con issues (consular versus seeking an adjustment of status) revolve around processing time and travel issues.

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