EB1 Visa Category - Extraordinary Ability

EB-1 first preference: priority workers

The first preference category is EB-1 (E1), which is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. This preference category also includes outstanding professors or researchers as well as multinational executives and managers. EB-1 applicants can self-petition for an Immigrant Visa for Alien Worker, If approved, such immigrant visa petition will result in a green card. To initiate the process, the applicant need to file Form I-140, with the USCIS.

Extraordinary ability

The Bureau of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services defines aliens with extraordinary abilities as individuals with “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.” An award such as a Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal, Nobel Prize or similar award would typically prove extraordinary ability.

However, there are other means of establishing an individual's extraordinary ability. An individual may be considered an alien with extraordinary ability if he or she can provide at least three of the following ten types of evidence: (1) receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence; (2) membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members; (3) published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media; (4) documentation that the alien has been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or as part of a panel; (5) documentation of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field; (6) authorship of scholarly articles in professionaH4>l or major trade publications or other major media; (7) documentation that the alien's work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases; (8) documentation of the alien's performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations; (9) documentation that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field; and (10) documentation of the alien's commercial successes in the performing arts.

It is important to note that being able to submit evidence in three of the above ten types of evidence is merely a threshold requirement for classification in this category. The Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will determine whether the individual has reached the top of his or her field by looking at the strength of the evidence submitted. The foreign national is compared to his or her peers, not to the population in general, in order to determine if he or she truly possesses extraordinary ability.

An Alien with extraordinary ability can self-petition for an immigrant visa by filing an I-140 Petition for Alien Worker with the appropriate supporting evidence with the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

Outstanding professor or researcher

To qualify as an outstanding professor or researcher, the foreign national must demonstrate international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. The individual must have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in his or her particular academic area. He or she must also be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure, tenure track teaching, or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. The outstanding professor or researcher is required to submit an offer of employment from his or her prospective United States employer. He or she must also submit evidence in at least two of the following: (1) receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement; (2) membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement; (3) published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field; (4) participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field; (5) original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field; and (6) authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation. The outstanding professor or researcher must be sponsored by an employer. The intended employer must file the I-140 Petition for Alien Worker with the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

Multinational manager or executive

A multinational manager or executive must have been employed outside the United States in the three years preceding the filing of the I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The alien must also have been employed for a period of at least one year by the firm or corporation and be seeking to enter the United States to continue service said firm or organization. The alien's employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of said employer. The petitioning employer must be a United States employer and must have been doing business for at least one year, as an affiliate, a subsidiary, or as the same corporation or other legal entity that employed the alien abroad. The multinational manager or executive must be sponsored by an employer. The intended employer must file the I-140 Petition for Alien Worker with the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.