EB-1 Visa for Extraordinary Ability

Individuals with extraordinary abilities in business, science, arts, education, or athletics who can demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim in their field may be eligible to become permanent residents in the EB-1 category. To prove extraordinary ability in their field, individuals must submit evidence proving that they have risen to the very top of their field. Absent receipt of a nobel prize or other major internationally recognized award, individuals must provide evidence of at least three of the ten categories below:

  • Evidence of any lesser known national or international prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Membership in associations that require outstanding achievements of their members as judged by recognized national or international experts;
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications about the visa applicant that relates to his or her work in the field;
  • Participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization either as part of a panel or individually;
  • Evidence of original scientific, scholarly or business contributions that are of major significance (intellectual property);
  • Authorship of scholarly articles, especially as first author, in professional journals or other major media;
  • Exhibition of work in artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  • Evidence of critical or leadership role for an organization with a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence the applicant has commanded a high salary or other remuneration for services as compared to others in his or her field;
  • Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts.

In addition to evidence of at least three of the ten aforementioned categories, letters from recognized experts in the field are expected and used to establish the individual’s standing in the field, the significance of the applicant’s original contributions, and to provide some documentary evidence supporting eligibility criteria that may not be easily documented, such as a leadership role within a distinguished institution.

While applicants under the extraordinary ability visa type do not require an employer to sponsor them, nor does a labor certification have to be performed, the individual must demonstrate he or she is coming to the U.S. to work in his or her field of endeavor, either through letters from prospective employers, evidence of future commitments such as contracts, or details of how the applicant plans to continue their work in the U.S.

More Information on Permanent Residence Options for Academics

If you have additional questions, we welcome you to contact an immigration attorney at Sivaraman Immigration Law to request a consultation.