Who is Eligible for E-B1 Visa?
You may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa:
- if you are an alien of extraordinary ability
- An outstanding professor or researcher, or are a certain multinational executive or manager
- Each occupational category has certain requirements that must be met
We will cover various aspects of extraordinary ability or EB-1A in this blog
What are the Criteria for Demonstrating Extraordinary Ability?
In order to demonstrate you have sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in your field of expertise:
- You must either include evidence of a one-time achievement (major internationally-recognized award)
- Or 3 of the 10 listed criteria below, or comparable if any of them do not precisely apply
Hence the Criteria for Absence of National or International Acclaim 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
What will Count as One-time Achievement?
- Examples of a one-time achievement are: the Nobel Peace Prize, an Academy Award, a Grammy, Booker Prize
- If you have one of these major, internationally recognized awards, this will likely be sufficient to prove that you have sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in your field of expertise
What is Comparable Evidence?
- Presume your field of expertise is not performing arts, but you are a renowned actor, model or Chef with no international acclaim, yet
- But you have written a book, or modeled for a renowned organization
- In this context, it is important to show why the criteria don’t apply to your case and to explain why the evidence you are submitted should be accepted as a substitute
What are the Steps for Denial or Approval by USCIS?
USCIS Uses a 2-step process when determining whether to approve or deny an EB1A petition:
Step-1: Evidentiary Threshold
Step-2: Final Merits Determination
- At this stage, USCIS checks to make sure that you have submitted evidence to satisfy at least 3 of the 10 categories listed above
- The quality and the caliber of the evidence you submitted is taken into account and measured during this stage
- If you do not meet at least 3 of the 10 criteria, then your application is denied at this stage
- At this stage, USCIS does not determine whether or not you are one of the select few that have risen to the top of your field
Final Merits Determination
- At this stage, USCIS evaluates all of the evidence you have submitted to determine if you are individual of extraordinary ability
- It is at this stage where USCIS determines whether you are one of the select few who has risen to the top of your respective field
- Here, USCIS is also evaluating whether you have “sustained national or international acclaim” and whether your achievements have been recognized in your field of expertise
- It is not sufficient to check off three of the evidentiary criteria listed above
- You should still meet the definition of extraordinary ability
“a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.”
This is a very high standard to meet, but not impossible to attain with the right amount of support from your lawyer if you have those abilities for real
How to Apply for EB1A Visa?
- You may apply for yourself by filing a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker
- If your I-140 petition is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States in E-14 or E-15 immigrant status, respectively
What are the General Documents Required to Start the Process?
- Your resume or CV
- Copies of your passport for you and your family
- Evidence of your extraordinary ability such as copies of your publications, evidence of your awards, pay-stubs showing a high salary compared to your colleagues, citations, and other such evidence
- Letters of recommendation and endorsement from experts and professionals in your field
- Evidence of the type of work you will be doing in the USA, including a job offer, a contract for work, or a signed statement regarding the work you will be doing in the USA
Letter of Endorsement
- Letters of endorsement from experts in your industry are highly important to your EB1A visa application.
- These letters should not be the primary evidence used to show that you have an extraordinary ability
- Letters of endorsement from experts in the field are very helpful to explain the importance of your accomplishments and contributions to the field
- Hence it is important to reach out early to the list of people who can give you a useful recommendation
Curious if you are eligible for EB-1A Extraordinary Category?
Sign up for our free webinar in less than two weeks on the same topic.
We will post the link to sign up, shortly.
Our free webinar will cover various aspects of the EB-1A, including:
1) Detailed Overview and Requirements
2) Application Process
4) Tips for submitting a successful application