How To Establish “Extraordinary Ability” For An EB-1A visa

Those who excel in their professions may qualify for an EB-1A visa.

Immigrants who are attempting to enter the United States on a path to citizenship have many options. For those who excel in their fields, the EB-1A visa may be a wise choice. If granted, those who hold these visas are considered “priority workers,” translating to a higher priority for U.S. green cards.

More On EB-1A Visas

EB-1A visas are employment-based, first preference visas. Although an offer of employment or employer sponsor is not required for approval of this form of visa, it does require “clear evidence” of an extraordinary ability. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides two main questions to aid applicants when attempting to determine if they qualify for an EB-1A visa:

  • Do you have an extraordinary ability? In order to qualify for this visa, the applicant must have an extraordinary ability in “business, science, arts, education or athletics.”
  • Do you have sustained national or international acclaim in your field? In addition to having this extraordinary ability, the applicant must also generally receive “sustained national or international acclaim” in the field.

If the applicant can answer yes to these questions and can establish that he or she intends to work in the area of extraordinary ability in the United States, an EB-1A visa may be an option.

Establishing That You Have An Extraordinary Ability

One way to establish that an applicant has an extraordinary ability is the presence of a major internationally recognized award, like the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer, Olympic Medal or Oscar. Applicants who do not have such an award can establish extraordinary ability by meeting three of the ten requirements provided by the USCIS. The requirements, as stated by the USCIS, are:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards of excellence.
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the files which demand outstanding achievements of their members.
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel.
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field.
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts.

The applicant must also establish that he or she will continue to work in his or her specialty upon entering the country. This can be done through the use of letters from current or prospective employers, copies of contracts or a detailed statement specifically outlining plans to continue this line of work in the U.S.

Applying For An EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Visa And The Need For Legal Counsel

The USCIS notes that the application process requires “extensive documentation.” As a result, it is wise for those pursuing an EB-1 visa to seek the legal counsel of an experienced EB-1 immigration attorney to better ensure a more favorable outcome.

Contact Our Law Office Today

Contact C.T. Lee & Associates, located in New York City, by calling 800-494-3809.