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EB-1: Extraordinary Ability

Employment Based Immigration: First Preference Visa (EB-1)

To be considered for an Employment Based First Preference (EB-1) visa, you have to meet specific requirements for three different categories:

This page covers Extraordinary Ability.

Who qualifies to self petition under employment, First Preference (EB-1)?

The EB-1 extraordinary ability classification is for people who are at the top of their field, have received international acclaim, and wish to enter the United States to work in their recognized field. Further, the applicant must prove that their entry will substantially benefit the United States.

To be eligible, you must prove that you possess "extraordinary abilities". This is discussed below.

What is considered an "extraordinary ability"?

Generally, the USCIS has provided guidance as to what is considered "extraordinary ability." The applicant must be the recipient of a major internationally recognized award, or, in the alternative, prove that you satisfy three of the ten requirements listed below:

  • Receipt of a lesser nationally or internationally recognized award;
  • Membership in an association requiring outstanding achievements;
  • Publication of your work in major publications or the media;
  • Serve as a judge on a panel related to your field;
  • Original contributions to your field that are of major significance;
  • Authorship of articles in professional journals or other media;
  • Work displayed in major artistic exhibitions;
  • Leading role for a reputable organization;
  • Receipt of a high salary;
  • Commercial success in the arts;

Each category can be further broken down into subcategories. In short, you must demonstrate that you are at the very top of your field and that you have achieved international acclaim for your work. An experienced employment immigration attorney will showcase each of your achievements in order to satisfy the "extraordinary ability" requirement.

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