Immigrant Visa without Labor Certification

Extraordinary Ability Alien (EB-1)

Workers of extraordinary ability are defined by statute as those who can show that they have “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.” The regulations define extraordinary ability as a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.” In other words, the worker should be the cream of the crop.

Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award, on its own, can qualify a worker for extraordinary ability classification, such as the Nobel Prize.  Other lesser awards might also qualify, but we will have to document that the particular award rises to the level of a Nobel Prize or similar awards.

The regulations provide for alternative evidence if the worker has not received a single high-ranking, distinguished, internationally recognized award. To satisfy the alternative requirement, the petition must include evidence that the individual satisfies at least three of the following criteria:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  2. Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their fields;
  3. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or major media relating to the alien’s work in his field;
  4. Evidence that the alien is a judge of the work of others in the same or allied field of endeavor;
  5. Evidence of the alien’s original contributions of major significance to the field;
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or other major media;
  7. Display of the alien’s work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Evidence the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation;
  9. Evidence that the alien commands high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
  10. Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

The alien may self-petition under this category.