An EB1 Extraordinary Ability visa is self-petitioning and available for individuals who are nationally or international recognized for their extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. If you have not won an Oscar, Pulitzer, Olympic Medal or Nobel Peace Prize, then you must fit into at least three of the following ten categories to qualify:
- Proof of an international or national award for excellence
- Membership in distinguished organizations in your field of expertise
- Published material about you in major publications or other media
- Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others
- Original and significant contributions in your field of expertise
- Authorship of scholarly articles in major publications or other major media
- Displays of your work at artistic exhibitions or showcases
- Proof of your leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
- Evidence that you command a high salary in relation to others in your field of expertise
- Commercial successes in the performing arts
Defining an Award
Supporting evidence of an international or national award may include award letters, photos of trophies or certificates, etc. It is important to provide evidence that this award is prestigious. This may include the awards historical significance, the organization and/or recognized judges behind the award, past recipients of the award, and number of recipients.
A “Good” Reference Letter
Reference letters are a crucial component to demonstrating extraordinary ability. These letters must identify you as an expert in your field. Your referee must describe you as internationally or nationally recognized, a leading expert, or in the top percent of your field of expertise.
The Influence Factor
The impact, or influence factor measures the number of citations to your recently published scientific journals. This influence factor helps to determine the importance of a published article. This evidence submitted along with the published article helps to establish proof that the article is highly influential and demonstrates that the petitioner is well-respected in their field.
Judging the Work of Others
Proof of reviewing the work of other well-known scholars or scientists is one category to demonstrate extraordinary ability. Some supporting evidence may include information about the competitions or conferences, serving on a scholarly journal or editorial board, or participating on fellowship committees or on the board of scholarship.
Leading or Critical Role in Distinguished Organizations
First the petitioner must identify that the organization they are involved with is “distinguished.” This is done by providing evidence of the organization’s mission and work, number of members and any highly recognized members, past achievements, and annual revenue. Next, the petitioner must identify their role within the organization. They must provide evidence about their role or title, how many other members have the same title, and how they are critical to the organization’s success. They should identify if they provide expert advice, raise funds, etc.
Get the Help of an Experienced Lawyer
An experienced attorney is important for EB1 petitions, which have denial rates of 42%. An attorney will help you to identify which criteria you fall into, how to improve on your supporting evidence, and help to determine when you should or should not file.