Green Card for Extraordinary Abilities
Aliens of "extraordinary" ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics are able to qualify for green cards without a job offer if
Extraordinary ability means a level of expertise found only in that small percentage of persons who have risen to the very top of their respective fields. Normally this means top 10% in the filed. The key in this type of case is to define the "field" narrowly.
Aliens eligible for this category will have demonstrated a major achievement such as an internationally recognized award (e.g. Nobel Prize) or three of the following:
This type of case does not need to obtain "labor certification" from the US Department of Labor, so the process is relatively fast. In addition, the alien does not need a sponsor.
Step 1 is to file the INS petition (Form I-140). The INS at the California Service Center is currently taking about 1 year to process this type of application.
Step 2 would be to set up a green card interview in Tokyo since your mother lives in Japan. This takes approximately 4 more months after the INS approves the case.
If your mother does not qualify as extraordinary, she would have to find a US employer who wants to employ her and is willing to file a labor certification application on her behalf. Labor certification must prove that US workers were not available for the full-time job. This procedure will add at least another 6 months to 1 year to the above processing time.