EB-1A Alien of Extraordinary Ability

What is an EB-1A Visa Petition for an Alien of Extraordinary Ability and Who Qualifies?

An EB-1A visa is an immigrant visa in the EB1 category. Due to EB-1A being a first preference visa, there is no visa backlog, making the overall process time relatively fast.  EB-1A visas are given to immigrants who possess an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. The one and only criteria for EB-1A applicants is that they must establish that they “sustained national or international acclaim,” and this is further established based on meeting at least three out of ten specific criteria which are as follows:

  • 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

EB-1As are given to those who have proven to be amongst the top few percent in their given field. There are certain strict criteria that one must follow when trying to prove that they fall within this category. The simplest way to do this is to show that you possess a major international award of the same caliber as a Nobel Peace Prize.

EB-1A petitions are considered “self-petitions,” meaning that you do not have to have a sponsor, rather you can file it on your own behalf. Not only does this mean that the applicant does not have to find a sponsor, but they also do not have to be employed while applying for the visa.  This is an advantage as compared to other employment visas, because no job offer is required.

What documents are required when filing an EB-1A petition?

In order to get an EB-1A, the petitioner must show evidence of their national or international acclaim and that they are recognized for their achievements in their field. This achievement may be a one time achievement. The issue with proving this achievement is that immigration services often times think that each piece of evidence on their own must show national or international acclaim; however, as we have seen with precedent, the evidence submitted must collectively support the national or international acclaim that is being claimed.

The EB-1A petition is one of the most open-ended employment based visa applications one may file, therefore, going over specific documents would be impossible, which is also likely why USCIS does not provide a document list in their form instructions.

Interesting Fact

The process to obtain an EB-1A visa is generally faster than employment-based categories since a Labor Certification is not required. If you have an employer company does not need to show that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the position to be filled by the applicant, however, self-sponsorship in this category is possible.

Why you need an attorney when filing an EB-1A?

Due to the difficulty in filing the proper evidence, it is very important to work closely with an immigration attorney on your case because they will be able to best display the supporting evidence needed to gain approval for your EB-1A visa. Furthermore, often times the petitioner might misinterpret the criteria and submit the wrong evidence; however, if you work with an attorney, they will be able to compile the proper documents, thus saving you time and money in the long run. It takes years of experience and countless hours of research to truly get a sense of what documents will prove eligibility in this criteria.

Contact Us

To discuss EB-1A petitions and other types of employment based petitions with an experienced immigration attorney from the American Visa Law Group, feel free click the contact us tab and fill out the inquiry form or call us at 510-500-1155.