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EB-1 Classification: Extraordinary Ability

The first Employment-Based preference category is for persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers and professors, and managers and executives of multinational organizations. 

Green Cards For Persons of Extraordinary Ability

One way to qualify for an EB-1, employment-based first preference visa, is show that you are a Person of Extraordinary Ability. If qualified, no offer of employment is required for you to immigrate to the United States. Because no PERM filing is required, applicants can directly file their I-140 petitions, which greatly cuts down the processing time.

Who Qualifies as a Person of Extraordinary Ability?

You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Your achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. The applicant must be one of “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor” to be granted this classification.

You can do this by providing evidence of a one-time achievement award (such as an Oscar, Pulitzer Prize, Olympic Medal, etc.), or by meeting 3 of the following criteria.

Extraordinary Ability Green Card Criteria:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement 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

Similarly, one can file EB-1 applications as an Outstanding Professor or Researcher or as an Executive or Manager. To qualify as an Outstanding Professor or Researcher, an individual must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field, possess at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in the field, seek to enter the U.S. for a tenured, tenure-track teaching or research position, provide evidence to support at least 2 of the following criteria; and the person must have a job offer from a U.S. employer.

Criteria Which Demonstrate that a Person is an Outstanding Professor or Researcher
  • Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  • Evidence of membership in associations that require members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
  • Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in the academic field
  • Evidence of participation (either on a panel or individually) as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
  • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
  • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field

To Qualify for EB-1 Preference as an Executive or Manager You Must Meet the Following Criteria
  • The petitioning party must be a US employer
  • Your employer must have been doing business for at least 1 year as an affiliate, subsidiary or as the same corporation or other legal entity that employed you abroad
  • You must have been employed by the foreign company/entity outside the United States for at least 1 of the 3 years preceding the time of your application for classification and admission to the US
  • You must be seeking to enter the United States to continue service for that firm or organization
  • Your employment outside the United States must have been in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, affiliate, or subsidiary of the employer