Alien with Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)
An EB visa is an employment based visa for aliens who can demonstrate that they have extraordinary ability, and can establish that they are the very best in their field of study.
According to Federal Immigration Law such applicants, living in the U.S. or abroad, are not required to have a prospective employer, however they must be entering the U.S. to work in their chosen field, and they must substantially benefit the U.S. in the future.
Requirements of EB-1A holder
The applicant of the EB-1A visa must be able to prove that they meet the following requirements:
- That they demonstrate an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim; and
- Their achievements have been recognized in their field through extensive documentation.
Advantages of the EB-1A visa
There are many advantages of the employment-based category EB-1A. First, a formal job offer is not required for a person in this category, as long as the petitioner is entering the U.S. to continue work in the field in which they have an extraordinary ability, therefore self-petition is allowed.
Secondly, a labor certification is not required and hence save the applicant a lot of time as applying for labor certification can be a lengthy and drawn out process.
The following are some major requirements for an EB-1A extraordinary ability application. For each requirement, the petitioner should submit evidence to meet the requirement. The evidence will be carefully evaluated in making a determination.
“Extraordinary Ability” Requirement #1
In order to establish that the applicant is indeed the very best in their field, they must be able to provide evidence of an internationally recognized award such as a Pulitzer Prize, Oscar, or Olympic Medal.
If the alien is unable to provide such evidence of an internationally recognized award they can establish their Extraordinary Ability by providing evidence of any three of the following:
- Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
- Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members;
- 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;
- Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
- High salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
- Commercial successes in the performing arts evidenced by either box office receipt figures or compact disk, video, or DVD sales figures.
Satisfying three out the ten above criteria does not automatically guarantee that you will be granted EB-1A status as an alien with extraordinary ability. The USCIS looks for quality as well as quantity. As in so many other aspects of immigration law, comprehensive documentation of your qualifications is crucial.
“Extraordinary Ability” Requirement #2
The second requirement of the EB-1A Extraordinary Ability applications is that you must establish that you are coming to the U.S. to continue to work in the area of your extraordinary ability. Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that you are coming to the U.S. to continue to work in your area of extraordinary ability includes:
- Letters from current or prospective employers;
- Documents evidencing your pre-arranged commitments (such as contracts);
- A statement detailing your plans on how you intend to continue working in your field in the U.S.
Family of EB-1A Visa Holders
The principal EB-1A visa petitioner can immediately provide permanent residency status to his or her spouse and minor children (under the age of 21 and unmarried). As permanent residents, the spouse and children will be able to work and study in the U.S. without much restriction. Additionally, both the spouse and children will be able to become American citizens after five years (if they otherwise qualify).