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Frequently Asked Questions

Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

1. Would I qualify for the EB-1 "Extraordinary Ability" classification for permanent residency?
You may qualify for the EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability category if you can answer "Yes" to the following questions.

Does your field involve the sciences, art, education, business or athletics?

Have you received sustained national or international acclaim in the form of either?

Receipt of a major one-time achievement award (such as a Nobel Prize, Olympic Gold Medal, Academy Award)

  • Or

At least three of the following:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally/internationally recognized prizes/awards for excellence in your field;
  • Membership in associations in your field which require outstanding achievements in your field as judged by recognized experts in your field;
  • Publication in major, recognized publication about you and your work in your field;
  • Participation as a judge of others in your field;
  • Major original contributions to your field;
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in your field published in major publications;
  • Display of your work in exhibitions or showcases;
  • Playing critical role for distinguished organizations;
  • Commanded very high salary compared to others in your field;
  • Commercial success in the performing arts.
  • Can I provide extensive documentation of these minimum requirements?
  • Am I entering the U.S. to continue working in my area of extraordinary ability?
  • Will my entry into the U.S. substantially benefit the country?

If you can meet these requirements, you may be able to successfully file EB-1 petition.

2. Who can file a petition to classify someone as an alien of extraordinary ability?
The regulations specifically provide that a petition may be filed by anyone, stating an alien or any person on behalf of the alien may file an I-140 visa petition for classification as an alien of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics."

3. Is a job offer in the United States required for the Alien of Extraordinary Ability category?
No, a job offer is not required for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability. However, the petition must be accompanied by clear evidence that the alien is coming to the United States to continue work in the area of expertise. This evidence may include letters from prospective employers, prearranged commitments such as contracts, or a statement from the beneficiary detailing plans on how he or she intends to continue his or her work in the United States.

4. What does "extraordinary ability" mean?
The immigration regulations define extraordinary ability as "a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentages who have risen to very top of the field of endeavor."

5. How does one prove "extraordinary ability"?
You are required to prove that you qualify for this classification, by documenting evidence accompanied by documents that you have sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise.

6. How difficult is it to get an approval as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability?
If you meet the above criteria, the most important factor in obtaining approval is effective advocacy. If the facts are well presented and persuasively argued, a petition that meets the above criteria should be approved routinely.

7. What is the difference between O-1 and EB1-Extraordinary Ability?
The requirements for O-1 visa are very similar to those for the EB1(Alien of Extraordinary Ability) employment based permanent residence category. The difference is that the O-1 standards apply to those seeking a non –immigrant status, while the EB1-EA standards are for those seeking permanent immigrant status.


The information contained on this site is offered only for general informational and educational propose and does not constitute a legal advice or opinion. All efforts are being made to keep this information current, but it may not be guaranteed that it applies to your specific case, and should not be relied upon or acted without seeking the advice of qualified attorney.