Extraordinary Ability

Aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (Employment-based, 1st preference, or “EB1”), are eligible to apply for a green card, or lawful permanent residence, without a job offer. In other words, they are permitted to self-petition so long as s/he is intending to work in the field of his/her extraordinary ability.

Extraordinary ability must be demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim, and the alien must have achievements recognized in the field through extensive documentation. Additionally, the alien’s presence in the U.S. must substantially benefit the country.

To qualify for the Extraordinary Ability category, an individual must show evidence that s/he has received a major, internationally recognized award, OR evidence in at least three (more are strongly recommended) of the following:

  • Documentation of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.
  • Documentation of membership in associations in the field of endeavor which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their fields.
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien and relating to the alien’s work in the field of endeavor.
  • Evidence of participation, on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization.
  • Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions of major significance in the field of endeavor.
  • Evidence of the authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or other major media.
  • Evidence of the display of his or her work in the field of at artistic exhibitions or showcases in more than one country.
  • Evidence of performance in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations.
  • Evidence of having commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in relation to others.
  • Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or CD/video sales.