Frequently Asked Questions about
Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about permanent
residency options for Outstanding Researchers and Professors.
While there is some similarities between these
two areas, an analysis of the requirements of each category should make
it easier to determine which approach may be better for you. The
EB1 category requires "extraordinary ability," while the National
Interest Waiver requires "exceptional ability." Each of these
categories involve specific minimum requirements. To understand which
category may be appropriate for you, you need to know and understand the
minimum requirements detailed below.
You may qualify for the EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability category
if you can answer "Yes" to the following questions.
Does my field involve the sciences, art,
education, business or athletics?
Have I 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
- 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
publications about you and your work in your field;
- Participation as a judge of others
in your field;
- Major original contributions to your
- Authorship of scholarly articles in
your field published in major publications;
- Display of your work in exhibitions
- Playing critical role for
- Commanded very high salary compared
to others in your field;
- Commercial success in the performing
Can I provide extensive documentation of these
- 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 an EB-1 petition.
The regulations specifically provide that a
petition may be filed by anyone, stating "[a]n alien, or any person on behalf
of the alien, may file an I-140 visa petition for classification under
section 203(b)(1)(A) of the Act as an alien of extraordinary ability in
the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics."
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.
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."
You are required to prove that you
qualify for this classification,
by submitting evidence
accompanied by evidence that you have
sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements
have been recognized in the field of expertise. This evidence may
include documents showing internationally recognized awards and prizes,
your membership in associations which require outstanding achievements,
published material about your work in trade publications or other major
media, your participation as a judge of the work of others in the same
field, your original contributions of major significance in the field,
your authorship of scholarly articles in the field, displays of your
work at artistic exhibitions or showcases, a leading or critical role
for organizations that have a distinguished reputation. proof that you
have commanded a high salary or payment for services compared to others
in the field, or commercial successes or sales in the performing arts.
In addition to this list, there are
many other persuasive forms of evidence that may be submitted, depending
upon the unique facts of the case.
If you meet the above criteria, the
most important factor in obtaining approval is effective advocacy by an
immigration attorney. If the facts are well presented and
persuasively argued, a petition that meets the above criteria should be
approved routinely. Some petitions with excellent facts, however,
are denied because they are not presented well. Immigration
examiners do not have time to sort through the documents offered in
support of a petition and try to figure out what the petitioner is
trying to argue. Peng & Weber has tremendous experience in the
preparation of petitions in this category, and will work with and for
you to achieve a positive result.
Usually 7 to 12 months for
processing by the Immigration Service.
You may forward your resume or CV
to us for evaluation. We will thoroughly review your credentials and
give you our opinion as to your chances of success. If we believe
that you do not have a reasonable chance of success in this category, we
will tell you. We accept only those cases for processing that we
are confident that we can obtain approval.