This category is for individuals of Extraordinary Ability under section 203(b)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. To be eligible for EB-1 extraordinary ability classification, stringent statutory requirements showing that the individual has a high level of expertise, and that the individual is one of a small percentage who has climbed to the top of his/her field of endeavor, must be met.
An individual can request extraordinary ability classification by filing Form I-140 Immigrant Petition with the USCIS. Individuals who qualify to file for this classification do not require a permanent job offer in the United States as required for other classifications under the employment based preference categories; do not require a labor certification (PERM) from the department of labor; and this petition can be filed by a foreign national directly with the USCIS and does not require an employer to file on one’s behalf. Since filing for classification as an individual of Extraordinary Ability under section 203(b)(1)(A) process does not require a labor certification from the department of labor, obtaining permanent resident status is faster than other petitions which require labor certification.
Individuals with extraordinary ability are those 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.” In order to be eligible to qualify for permanent resident status under this classification an individual must be one of “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor”.
For example, if you receive a major internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, you will qualify for an EB-1 classification. Other awards may also qualify if you can document that the award is in the same class as a Nobel Prize. Since few workers receive this type of award, alternative evidence of EB-1 classification based on at least three of the types of evidence outlined below is permitted. The worker may submit “other comparable evidence” if the following criteria do not apply:
- 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 the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
- Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
- Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence that the alien’s work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
- Evidence that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
- Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts.
Letters of recommendation from experts in the field or peers can be submitted with the petition to verify the individual’s qualifications of extraordinary ability. Recommendation letters should include the writer’s qualifications to issue such a letter, and must address the foreign individual’s qualifications and achievements and how such original contributions are of major significance; and must detail the unique knowledge, skills, abilities and/or experience that sets the individual apart from his/her peers.
Evidence that the individual will continue to pursue his/her work within the United States is helpful. Supporting documentation may include a statement from the individual detailing his/her future work plans and other evidence of future work commitments and letters from prospective employers, if available.
Please contact our law firm if you believe that you qualify for the EB-1 category.
[Note: Please consult with an attorney specializing in Immigration & Nationality law for professional advice in specific situations.]
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