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EB1- High Salary or Remuneration

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EB1 Green Card – (ix) High Pay Editorial:

One of the more objective EB1 categories it the High Pay or Significant Remuneration category. For those individuals who are earning more than most in the industry, this is a category to consider.

In this presentation, we’re going to focus on the EB1 green card category of ‘High Pay’.

The actual official wording of this category is:

(ix) Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field;

The below question can be asked to determine if you may qualify for this category: –

(ix) High Salary – Could you provide or develop documentation to prove that you have been able to command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others your field?

The EB1 green card adjudicator will be looking objective documentation that enumerates your salary package and how it compares to other professionals in the field. Additionally, US Immigration will compare your earnings to other professionals working in the same country as you.

Determining whether or not your salary qualifies you to satisfy this category, we must undertake a methodical approach. Knowing that your salary is higher than most is not enough – we must be able to prove it with reliable documentation.

This presentation is unique as it will walk you through  a number of US resources you can use to independently verify that your earnings are indeed significantly higher than others working in your field.

If your income has in the past, or is now above the American top earners in your field then we know you will be in good shape in terms of satisfying this category as American wages tend to be higher than many others around the world. If your income falls below that of the top US earners because you are not currently working in the US, you can still qualify under this category if we can prove that your earnings are significantly higher than others in your home country.

EB1 green card adjudicators assess your earnings from your annual income statement; this could consist of your annual tax return, monthly pay stubs and/or an accountant’s letter of support if your financial affairs are less than straightforward. Once the adjudicator has established what your actual annual or per project pay is, this income is compared with a variety of independent salary bureau statistical reports that are available online, to see where your income measures on these charts.

EB1 Green Card – (ix) High Pay Commentary:

To provide you with a comprehensive review of this category, and how to evaluate your qualification, we have provided a few examples of determining how high your salary would need to be.

In the US, perhaps the most commonly used and most trusted independent salary bureau is O*Net Online.  There should be similar resources in your home country.

In this presentation we’re going to give you a working example and teach you to know how to use this excellent resource.

Once you’re in O*Net, if you click on the section called ‘Career Cluster’ you can search for almost any mainstream occupation.

Example 1:

If you go to the Career Cluster window there is a drop down window. Click on that and then select ‘Business, Management and Administration’.

Once you enter, you’ll then be given a list of jobs that come under that category. Select the first one listed ‘Computer Operators’ – (you will also notice that each job has a number. The reference number for a ‘Computer Operator’ is 43-9011.00. This number can be used on other similar websites.)

If you click on the ‘Computer Operators’ option, you will then be taken to a ‘Summary Report’ that basically describes in detail what ‘Computer Operators’ do.

Scroll down this page until you get to the section called ‘Job Zone’ and under that section you want to focus on these areas – the ‘Education’, ‘Job Training’ section and the ‘SVP Range’.

For the ‘Job Training’ section, you want to see some commentary that indicates that a BA degree is usually required for this job or extensive training/experience.  In this example, for ‘Computer Operators’ only one to two years training is required.

Under the ‘SVP Range’ section, this is an indicator as to the degree of skill required for the job. For BA level and above level jobs you really want the SVP range to be 7 – 8+. In this example the SVP range is 6-7.  Therefore, this is not a particularly skillful job.

For the ‘Education’ section, it says in essence that only a modest amount of education is required, perhaps an Associate Degree, which is half a BA degree.

For EB1 green card applicants whether or not your particular job requires a degree is not that significant, especially in the media and entertainment fields where many of the jobs rely more on talent and ability rather than academic qualifications. This outline has been drafted to cater to a broad spectrum of employment, but at the end of the day we’re looking to measure pay more than anything else for this EB1 green card category.

Example 2:

If you go back to the ‘Business, Management and Administration’ home page and this time select ‘Financial Manager’ (11-3031.02), you will notice that the reference numbers are not in numerical order. You will also notice that the entire list of job titles is not exactly in alphabetical order, so take your time and review the entire list carefully until you find what you are looking for.

Ok – select the ‘Financial Manager’ position and then scroll down to the ‘Job Zone’ section. You will notice under ‘Education’, it says “Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not’.

Under ‘Job Training Requirements’ the report provides some further information about the typical job requirements.

The SVP Range is a scale to highlight the degree of difficulty required for that job, and a score of greater than 8 denotes the highest level of difficulty. In this instance in this fairly senior role, the SVP is between 7- 8.

So you can research any job and see whether or not the job you’re doing now, or may have been offered, has a high skill level requirement.

Ok – let’s finally get to talk about measuring the actual prevailing wage.

If you scroll further down this page you will see a section called ‘Wages & Employment Trends’. This financial information is provided through an agency called “Career One Stop” – you can see their logo in this shot.

In this section, you can see that the median wage for a Financial Manager is $107,160. If you are earning at the median level, this will not satisfy this EB1 green card category. Instead, you need to be at the 90th or higher percentile, whether against this US salary scale index or you own home country’s salary index.

To find out what the range of salaries are, click on the ‘Select a State’ drop down. In this case we’ve selected California.

Here you can see that to be in the top 90th percentile you would need to have a remuneration package that exceeds $187,200.

Many employees at this level get paid a base salary plus an annual bonus depending on overall performance. This bonus can also be included in your EB1 green card remuneration package.  If there are other perks and benefits on top, then you may need to have an accountant produce a letter to confirm the full value of your remuneration package. However, to impress USCIS, if your base salary and bonus exceeds the 90th percentile, then you have a very strong case in this category.

I hope you found this presentation very helpful. Please don’t hesitate to now go and run a few tests on your own income levels. Be sure to try various similar job types and find the one that might best reflect your actual position. Try to steer away from generic titles like ‘Chief Executive’ unless of course you really are the Chief Executive of a very large company. Instead try to focus on your particular skill set like Software Developer, Accountant, Model, etc.

In the next presentation, we’ll examine the (x) ‘Commercial Success’ category.

If You Can Satisfy 3 EB1 Green Card Categories
from this List Please Contact us ASAP. 


US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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