EB-1A Extraordinary Ability

Also called EB1-1. 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 and letters of reference from both collaborators and non-collaborators (i.e. “independent references”). No offer of employment is required. The EB-1A petition can be filed by the foreign national or a sponsoring employer.

Because this category is so selective, there is not typically a backlog . This means that foreign nationals who qualify for this category usually become immediately eligible to apply for legal permanent residence, regardless of the demand for visas by the rest of their home country.

When you start an EB-1A case with our firm, we’ll ask you to provide documentation of your achievements and contributions to your field. For many, this means evidence of the items listed on their CVs or resumes. Your legal team will research these achievements in the context of your field and craft an argument for why you have achieved status as a leader in your professional endeavor. An important part of our submission to USCIS will be expert testimony from others in your field or allied fields who can provide further context for your extraordinary ability.

Following the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in the case of Kazarian v. USCIS in December 2010, USCIS officers review EB-1A petitions using a two-prong analysis. First, foreign nationals must establish that they meet the specific EB-1A criteria.  (See “What are the criteria?” in our FAQ.) If the officer deems that the foreign national has established that they meet the requisite criteria, a final merits determination is then made. This requires that we establish that the beneficiary of the petition is indeed “extraordinary” in their field of endeavor (i.e. demonstrates that they are among the “top percentage” of those with similar education and training and have “sustained national or international acclaim”).

EB-1A petitions are very individual. We will work closely with you to carefully tailor the arguments for your qualification as an alien of extraordinary ability given your specific contributions and achievements in your field.

Our success rate can be found on our Approval Statistics page.

If you would like to discuss a potential EB-1A case with us, please go to our Contact Us page.

See our EB-1A FAQ for more information.