Proudly Serving Charlotte & Surrounding Areas
EB-1A (Green Card)

EB-1A Attorneys in Charlotte

Helping Extraordinary Individuals Obtain Green Cards

Employment is one of the most common ways to become a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. It is no secret, however, that these applications are difficult to get approved, and a lot of information is required to be successful.

For extraordinary individuals such as athletes, musicians, film industry professionals, and more, applications for EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 visas often do not adequately articulate either the industry or the merits of the professional’s achievements. Successful petitions require substantial proof from credible sources, and it pays dividends to engage an immigration lawyer who understands the industry, has contacts within that industry, and can tell the applicant’s story through the green card application.

At Oakhurst Legal Group, we possess all these qualities. We are fully equipped to help you accomplish your immigration goals through an employment-based green card application. Each of our Charlotte EB-1A lawyers has extensive experience in a variety of industries, which makes us uniquely qualified to help you navigate this complex process.

Call (704) 288-1003 or contact us online to learn more. We proudly serve clients nationwide.

How to Obtain a Green Card

There are two paths for extraordinary individuals to obtain Permanent Legal Residence (i.e. a green card) through their profession:

EB-1 (also known as the Einstein Visa)

  • Self-sponsorship (does not require sponsorship from an employer)
  • Universal Employment Authorization during the process
  • High Bar (must prove extraordinary abilities)
  • 8 months for approval of EB-1 status
  • 6 months to obtain a green card

EB-2 or EB-3 (Foreign Immigration Skilled Worker Visa)

  • Requires labor certification
  • Promoter must sponsor the athlete
  • Position must be advertised
  • Requires job offer
  • Lower bar (must match job description for an employer)
  • Lengthy application process (can take about two years)

EB-1A: Self-Sponsored Green Card

The EB-1A visa is for foreigners with extraordinary abilities. One distinct advantage of this visa is that applicants do not need labor certification, which requires sign-off from the Department of Labor and for the position to be advertised to the public. The timeline, therefore, is much shorter than for EB-2 and EB-3 visas.

The first part of the process, which involves getting approved as an alien with extraordinary abilities, takes about 7-8 months. After obtaining approval, the applicant will receive their work authorization while USCIS adjudicates the green card portion of the application. This process can take another 6-8 months. Once complete, the applicant will be a permanent resident.

You must meet 3 out of the 10 listed criteria to prove extraordinary ability:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Membership in associations in the field, which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Adjudication of other professionals’ work, either individually or on a panel
  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Work displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • High salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Commercial successes in the performing arts

Uniquely Qualified to Serve You

We have an extensive understanding of both immigration law and the industries of the professionals we serve. Our goal is to provide every client with strategic counsel, efficient service, and invaluable legal resources. If you’re looking for extraordinary attorneys to support your extraordinary endeavors, look no further than Oakhurst Legal Group.

EB-2 & EB-3: Employer-Sponsored Green Card

EB-2 visas are for individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business (including athletics).

EB-3 visas are for either:

  • Individuals who qualify for permanent employment in positions requiring professionals who possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a field directly related to the prospective employment; or
  • Skilled workers who possess at least two years of employment experience or related training.

EB-2 Visas

This option typically requires the applicant to have college degrees in addition to their other skills and accomplishments. The degree is typically at the master’s level from a U.S. university or foreign equivalent. The petition must include an official academic record showing receipt of the degree, as well as letters from employers showing experience in the field.

The EB-2 process can be advantageous over the EB-3 because a limited number of people qualify, which is helpful during the labor certification process. Both EB-2 and EB-3 petitions require the position to be advertised to the public before hiring the foreign worker.

The adjudicating officer will use a 7-point regulatory qualification system to determine eligibility for the visa:

  • Official academic record proving successful completion of degree from a college, university, or other institution of learning related to the applicant’s chosen field;
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in the applicant’s chosen profession;
  • A license or certification to practice the chosen profession;
  • Evidence of a salary demonstrating exceptional ability;
  • Membership in a professional association;
  • Recognition from government entities or professional organizations for contributions made to the applicant’s chosen field; and
  • Other evidence of eligibility.

EB-3 Visas

A relatively broad range of workers can qualify as EB-3 employees, including:

  • Professionals (with a degree, which is required for the job)
  • Skilled workers (with at least 2 years of job experience or related training/education)
  • Unskilled/other workers (with less than two years’ experience)

For each of these categories, the employer must demonstrate that qualified and willing workers are not already available in the United States. The employer will also have to demonstrate that they have the financial ability to support the applicant.

Labor Certification Process

The most difficult part of either the EB-2 or EB-3 process is the labor certification, which must be performed with special care and attention. The purpose of this process is to prove that the employer cannot find available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers for the position. Adjusting qualifications for the position is where there is room for an attorney to help the EB-2 or EB-3 be successful. The job description and requirements must be tailored to match the skills and experience of your target employee.

The labor certification process is facilitated through the U.S. Department of Labor. The U.S employer must prove that they will not discriminate against the foreign worker by promising to pay the prevailing wage. This process takes about 6 months to adjudicate, and the EB-2 or EB-3 process cannot continue until the certification is approved.

Government Fees & Application Timing

For EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 visas, the government fees are $700 for the I-140 and $1,225 for the I-485 Adjustment of Status. The PERM labor certification does not have government fees.


Let us help you share your extraordinary talent with the world. We can get started as soon as you call (704) 288-1003 or reach out to us online.


Real Clients. Real Reviews.

  • I am forever grateful.

    “I have been a client for Darlene Harris for about 3 years. She goes above and beyond to get the job done.”

    - Jarrell
  • Darlene is flat out AMAZING.

    “I’m a community activist and get arrested regularly—there isn’t another person in Charlotte I want to defend my civil rights. She has won every one of my cases!”

    - Jennifer
  • Attorney Darlene Harris has been a trusted legal guide for many years.

    “I am assured that she is always defending and advising me with integrity and a thorough understanding of the law!”

    - Robbie
  • This Firm Pays Attention to Detail and Is Always Accessible.

    “This firm pays attention to detail and is always accessible. They are willing to go above and beyond for their clients.”

    - LaFarran Durman
  • Best in the Business!

    “Best in the business! Was having issues getting a sports visa approved and ever since day one after we switched and started working with Sherrod, the experience was outstanding.”

    - Andre Berenzon
/

Our Victories Speak for Themselves

  • Successful Petition for E-2 Visas Auto Investor Ari Heikkinen and Wife Kaarina Received E-2 Visas

    Sherrod Seward of Oakhurst Legal Group successfully petitioned for E-2 investor visas for Finland national Ari Heikkinen and his spouse, Kaarina Heikkinen.

  • Successful Not Guilty Verdict DUI Charge

    Client was found not guilty at trial due to a successful litigation strategy crafted and used by Attorney Harris.

  • Successful Case Dismissal Felony Charge

    Client charged with felony inciting a riot. After disputing the evidence presented by the D.A. and noting their obvious lack of evidence, this case was dismissed prior to trial.

  • Successful Case Dismissal Felony Possession of Marijuana Charge

    Client charged with possession of marijuana for edible foods. After disputing the lack of evidence and proof in the case, charges were dismissed prior to trial.

  • Successful Case Dismissal Local Ordinance Violation

    Client charged with violating a local ordinance. Attorney Harris argued that the ordinance itself was unlawful therefore, in the interest of justice the case should be dismissed prior to trial.

  • Three-Year Visa Approved Obaika Racing, LLC President and CEO Approved for Three-Year Visa

    We effectively petitioned for a three-year approval for Obaika Racing, LLC superstar Victor Obaika’s L-1A status.

/
Put High-Quality Representation to Work for Your Case

Reach out to our firm to schedule a consultation today!

Call Us 24/7