The EB-1 category is an invaluable path to permanent residency for qualifying foreign nationals of extraordinary ability because it avoids the often time-consuming PERM labor certification process and visa backlogs of other categories.  Although the EB-1 foreign national must be seeking work in the United States, there is also no specific offer of employment required for this category.   

Who is a person with extraordinary ability?
A person with extraordinary ability is someone who (i) has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, busienss or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation, (ii) seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability, and (iii) whose entry into the United States will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

Extraordinary ability means 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.  

The foreign national's profession - nationally and internationally - must recognize the individual’s merit.  

The regulations require evidence of the following in an EB-1 visa petition:

a) The foreign national received a one-time, major international award in his or her field, or
b) Three of the following:

 i) Documentation of the receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor; 

ii) Documentation of membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields; 

iii) Published material about the foreign national in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to his or her work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation; 

iv) Evidence of participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought; 

v) Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field; 

vi) Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media; 

vii) Evidence of the display of work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases; 

viii) Evidence of performance in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation; 

ix) Evidence of a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or 

x) Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

Wilson Law Group welcomes the opportunity to help you assess whether this path to residency or another option is a sound strategy for you.