Alien of Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)

Overview:

An Alien of Extraordinary Ability, or EB-1A is a self-petition for “aliens of extraordinary ability” in science, art, education, business, or athletics. This classification is for those individuals 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.

Procedure & Requirement:

To establish eligibility, USCIS applies a two-part adjudication approach laid down in a precedent decision, Kazarian v. USCIS, whereby after determining whether the individual has met at least three regulatory criteria, the adjudicator must consider all of the submitted evidence in totality to make a determination as to whether the foreign national meets the requisite level of expertise for the category.

In order for an applicant to qualify for EB-1A, the applicant must meet 3 of the 10 following criteria, and demonstrate sustained national/international acclaim and achievements recognized in the field through extensive documentation:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Membership in an association that requires outstanding achievement as a condition of membership in the field for which the classification is sought;
  • Published material about the foreign person or his or her work in professional, trade journals, or major media publications. (These items must include title, date, author, and must be translated into English);
  • The foreign person’s participation, on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or a related field;
  • Evidence of original contributions, usually through publication, of major significance in the foreign national’s fields of science, scholastic, artistic, or athletic;
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media (national newspapers, magazines, etc.);
  • Display of the foreign national’s work at significant exhibitions;
  • Performance in a significant role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Receipt of a higher salary or remuneration than is usual in the field;
  • Commercial success in the performing arts as shown by box office receipts or sales records, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

Related Issues:

  • There is no or very short waiting time for EB-1A category hence the Application for the Adjustment of Status (AOS) can be filed very quickly, unlike other employment based (EB) categories where an individual has to wait for many years to file AOS;

  • Applicant can change his/her employer at any time as long as he/she stays in the same research area;

  • Unlike EB1-B, EB1-C, or other preference categories, no offer of employment is required for EB-1A;

  • EB-1A petition can be filed within U.S. or from overseas. However, it requires applicants entering to continue to work in their chosen field and substantially benefit it prospectively in the U.S.