How I cracked the EB1A Green Card as a Product Manager in Health Tech

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EB1A Green Card visa requirements and immigration petition to USCIS

I thought a lot about putting this out there in the wild, but I know how helpful it would’ve been for me to have learned from a real person’s research and experience as opposed to the many legal websites that only provide cookie cutter information. And hence this article.

I came to the United States in 2009 and despite receiving two engineering degrees in the USA, paying a few hundred thousand dollars in college tuition, and kick-starting my tech career in the silicon valley in 2015, I knew so little about how complex the employment-based immigration process was. Right from failing to win the H-1B lottery a couple times to having an unfavorable EB2 ‘priority date’, I was basically told that I should let go of any desires of permanent residency in the USA simply because of where I was born. I couldn’t help but think I had to resort to fate and feel comforted in the fact that it was the one common frustration uniting me and several of my immigrant friends from India and China.

I’m writing this article not just to walk you through exactly how I strategized and positioned my EB1A petition, but also to hopefully break the myth that you have to be a nobel-prize-winning-researcher-turned-entrepreneur to crack the EB1A. Granted, it requires you to have a few merit-worthy achievements to your credit, but with the right mindset, research and legal team to guide you, you can have a pretty decent shot at it.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials in this article are for general informational purposes only.

EB1A green card requirements, letter templates, attorney recommendations
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Tip #1: Find your Niche.

Tip #2: Don’t overdo the criteria

Leading and critical role
For this criteria, you’re asked to present, at minimum, two different projects where you served in the capacity of a leading and critical role. Now, keep in mind that it’s not as simple as having “Lead” or “Manager” in your job title. You have to be able to get letters to demonstrate why (1) your role was considered a leading & critical role to the organization/team, (2) and how exactly your work impacted the organization/team in a positive way (i.e. think revenue/profits earned, customer growth, process efficiency, etc.). I spent a ton of time brainstorming and recalling every detail of past projects I undertook, and selected two roles that would serve as good candidates to discuss in these letters. As a PM, you’re always tasked with meeting and improving upon KPIs set for the product and company, and so it so happened pretty organically that I could present a few roles that would fit the bill here. Another popular myth is that you have to have worked at a large/well-known company to make a compelling case. This is not entirely true, and it’s way more important to be able to demonstrate that the company you worked at does meaningful work and how YOU made an impact on it (not your team or peers, but you).

High Salary
This is another category where I think there are a lot of misconceptions online on what indeed “high salary” is. To meet this criteria, you have to make sure that the job code you pick has to (1) closely meet your title and job description for other roles with the same or similar titles as stated by BLS and other labor bureaus considered as the gold standard by USCIS, and also be (2) one in which your base salary alone will be over the 90th percentile of the salary listed for that job code, ideally across BLS & O*NET, and for the specific location you work in. Another caveat to keep in mind here is that the evidence used to prove your earnings are W2 statements, so you indeed have to have earned the entire amount that you claim to be over 90% for the salary listed on the job code. It took a bit of finagling to find an SOC code that closely matched my title and job duties as a Product Manager (as there isn’t an exact 1:1 code for a PM yet), but with the right supporting evidence, I was able to justify the choice.

Judging the work of others in your field
This was a category that seemed very intimidating at first but is one of the rather “objective” categories you can conquer, especially being in tech. There are several organizations like the Stevie and CODiE Awards that hold annual contests to find and merit innovative products and services in tech, and are constantly on the lookout for product experts to volunteer their time and effort in judging the contestants. I applied to be a judge for a few of these organizations, and gathered evidence of providing my feedback and ratings on product pitches in my line of work, which was evidence enough to meet this category.

Scholarly Articles
This is another category, similar to judging, that can actually be worked on from scratch even if you don’t have noteworthy papers or articles to your credit. What’s asked of the candidate here is to showcase depth of knowledge in their field of expertise and in publications that have a wide reader/viewer base. For tech folks that are not doing active research & publications, what this means is getting your work featured in tech magazines like Tech Crunch, developer sites like GitHub, or even here on Medium. Note that the engagement on the actual article you write doesn’t matter but (1) the popularity of the site (views, ratings) and (2) the relevance of the site and the content of your article to your field of expertise does. Being an active product blogger myself and having a few well researched articles to my credit on noteworthy online publications helped make this criteria a bit more accessible for me.

Tip #3: Shine in all your glory on the Final Merits section

Putting it all together

Get the EB1A green card visa as a product manager and find out requirements
12 years of hard work and focus culminated here! Yours can too. Let’s connect.

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Head of Product @ Early stage Neuroscience venture | Ex @Roche @Samsung l Alumnus @UW @Dartmouth | EB1A Green Card Recipient & Coach @

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Anu Ramakrishnan

Head of Product @ Early stage Neuroscience venture | Ex @Roche @Samsung l Alumnus @UW @Dartmouth | EB1A Green Card Recipient & Coach @