This EB-1 work visa category is available to foreign workers with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, whose achievements have been extensively documented. This immigrant visa petition qualifies the beneficiary for permanent resident status if they can document their extraordinary ability and:

  1. they seek to continue to work the field of extraordinary ability; and
  2. their work will substantially benefit the United States.

Like the O-1A visa, the EB-1 “extraordinary ability” visa is intended “for the small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor.” Unlike the O-1 visa, however, an “extraordinary ability” EB-1 applicant can self-petition, and does not need an employer or agent to sponsor them. EB-1 petitions do not require PERM labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor and are filed on Form I-140 with the USCIS. Frequently, foreign workers applying for EB-1 status are eligible to file their personal application for a green card (I-485) concurrently with the I-140.

Evidence of Extraordinary Ability

A petition for a person of extraordinary ability must be accompanied by evidence that the foreign worker has sustained national or international acclaim in his field. Such evidence includes:

Evidence of receipt of a major, internationally recognized award (e.g., the Nobel Prize),


Evidence of at least three of the following:

  • Receipt of a nationally or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Membership in an association related to the classification, which requires outstanding achievements of members, as judged by national or international experts in their discipline or field;
  • Published material in professional or trade publications, or major media, about the individual, or relating to the individual’s work;
  • Participation in a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field;
  • Scholarly, scientific or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or major media;
  • Current or past employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments of a distinguished reputation; or
  • Past or future receipt of a high salary or other remuneration for services.

To speak with an immigration attorney about EB-1 visas for persons with “extraordinary ability”contact Grossman Young & Hammond.