The EB-1A is a permanent immigrant visa in the EB1 category that is reserved for foreign workers with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.  The EB-1 extraordinary ability classification is for people who are recognized as being at the very top of their field and who are coming to the United States to continue work in that field.

Qualifications for EB-1A Visa

To quality for EB-1A visa, you must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in the field.  There are two ways to satisfy this criteria: (1) that you have received a major internationally recognized award, similar to a Nobel Prize; or (2) that you meet at least three of the ten requirements listed below and all your evidence, when evaluated together, shows that you are among the small percentage of individuals that have risen to the very top of your field.  Three of the following must be met:

1.     Receipt of a major nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards

2.     Membership in associations that require outstanding achievement (as judged by recognized experts)

3.     Significant published material (written by others) about you and your work

4.     Service as judge of the work of others in your field

5.     Major contributions to your field

6.     Authorship of scholarly articles or publications

7.     Artistic exhibitions or showcases

8.     Leading or critical role for distinguished organizations

9.     High salary or remuneration (compared to others in the field)

10.  Commercial success in performing arts


Qualifications in Detail:

1.     How to demonstrate that receipt of a major nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards?

Evidence that may be submitted may include documentation should state the criteria for receiving the award, the significance of the award, reputation of the organization or panel, the judging process, previous winners, how many awards are awarded each year and a copy or photograph of the award,  

2.     How to demonstrate membership in associations that require outstanding achievement (as judged by recognized experts)

Ordinary membership in an association that is easy to join will not help since it does not require outstanding achievement for membership. Some evidence that may be submitted to satisfy this criteria include:

(a) documentations describing the associations goals, mission, size, target membership and standing within the national or international community, documentation showing minimum requirements and criteria;

(b) documentation showing the minimum requirement and criteria used for membership; (3)  Evidence of national or international experts who make determinations about membership; (4) Other relevant requirements for membership.

3.     How to demonstrate significant published material (written by others) about you and your work

Evidence should include title, date and author of the material, and any necessary translations. Other evidence includes: copies of publications, documents showing significance of the published materials, circulation information for the publication, including the number of copies in the publication and frequency and any other published materials.  For example, articles referring to an applicant’s research or accomplishments on news websites such as CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo!, etc. or professional new websites such as ScienceDaily, NewsRX, etc. may be submitted.

4.     How to demonstrate service as a judge of the work of others in your field?

Evidence of that can satisfy this criterion include (1) documents about the event or panel and the significance of the work judge; (2) information about the criteria used to select the individual judges; (3) an explanation of how and why you received an invitation to be a judge.

5.     How to demonstrate your major contributions to your field?

Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance in the field. Generally, the best evidence are recommendation letters from independent experts who can discuss our achievements and how they are significant in the field.

6.     How to demonstrate authorship in scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media?

To demonstrate that you have authored a scholarly article the following evidence can be submitted: (1) other articles, letters, or affidavits that show the significance and importance of the articles in the field; (2) evidence that demonstrates the work was primarily created by you and (3) the significance and importance of the professional or major trade publications or major media in which your scholarly article was published.

7.     How to demonstrate that my work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases?

Some evidence to submit to demonstrate these criteria include:

(a) Documents showing that the displayed work was created by you;

(b) Documents showing that the venue (virtual or otherwise) was an artistic exhibition or showcase;

(c) Copies of promotional materials, with distribution information

8.     How to demonstrate that you have been in a leading or critical role for a distinguished organization?

Some evidence to submit to demonstrate these criteria include letters and documentation verifying the leading/critical role as well as information regarding the organization or establishment’s distinguished reputation must be submitted.  Additionally, any other documents that show a major contribution in a critical or essential role.

9.     How to demonstrate a high salary or remuneration (compared to others in the field)?

Evidence that can be submitted include copies of employment contracts, copies of payroll documents or tax returns, or evidence establishing that you have received other significant forms of compensation for services.

10.  How do I demonstrate commercial success in performing arts?

Some evidence to submit to demonstrate these criteria include box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk or video sales. This criterion is for singers, performing artists, musicians and movie stars.


Procedure for Filing  

The petition is filed using the form 1-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.  This petition and supporting documents are filed with the appropriate Service Center of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

Advantages of EB-1A

The EB-1A category for aliens of extraordinary ability has the following advantages:

·      Does not require a permanent job offer in the United States.

·      to obtain your green card through the labor certification process.  You can also receive work and travel authorization for your spouse and children.

·      More flexible than the labor certification process. Compared to the labor certification process, you may be able to change jobs much sooner and may be able to change to a much broader range of job opportunities.

·      You can self-petition. That is, the petition does not require the signature of anyone at the university or company where you work.

Disadvantages of EB-1A

The EB-1A category for aliens of extraordinary ability has the following disadvantages:

·      You have to be extraordinary – not just good. Not everyone qualifies.

·      Can be less predictable than cases filed through the labor certification process, although the labor certification process is itself not always very predictable.