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EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Green Cards

EB-1A Green Card|EB1 Visa

EB-1A green cards|EB1 Visa (s) are available to those who can demonstrate that they have made it to the very top of the field of endeavor. Applicants in the EB-1A category are eligible to “self-petition” - which means no sponsor, petitioner, or job offer is required.

To determine whether you’re qualified, USCIS will use a two-part analysis. In the first part of the analysis, they will evaluate your work history based on 10 criteria. If they determine that you meet 3 or more of the 10 criteria, then they move on the second part of the analysis where they ask themselves, “does the totality of the evidence demonstrate that this applicant is at the very top of his or her field of endeavor?”

The criteria they will consider are:

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

(ii) Documentation of the alien’s 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 alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s 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 the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specification for which classification is sought;

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

(vi) Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional

or major trade publications or other major media;

(vii) Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;

(viii) Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;

(ix) Evidence that the alien has commanded 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.

If the above standards do not readily apply to the applicant’s occupation, comparable evidence may be used  to establish the applicant’s eligibility.

How can you meet each of these criteria?


  • You must be the winner. Nominations don’t count.

  • The award must be given to you personally, or else given for your work

  • Press about your win

  • Photos of award or copy of award certificate

  • Printout from organization website listing you as winner

Membership in Exclusive Organizations

  • Proof of your membership

  • Must provide detailed membership and evaluation requirements (either from website or letter from the organization)

National or International Recognition

  • Articles discussing your awards, nominations, or other recognition

  • Each article must include English translation (if not in English), name of publication, name of article, date of publication, name of the author

  • Must provide circulation figures/viewership statistics for each publication along with background information

Judging the Work of Your Peers

  • Proof that you were a judge at a non-student competition in your field

  • Proof that you served as a peer reviewer of scholarly articles

  • Proof that as a VC you judged which companies received funding

  • Letter of recommendation confirming that you were selected due to your standing in the field

Original Contribution of Significance to Your Field

  • Press discussing your original contribution (if you are the first or only one to do something in your field, which is then emulated by others in your field)

  • Testimonials from experts or published articles discussing the importance of your contribution to your field or society at large

Authorship of Scholarly Articles in Publications

  • Copies of articles you have written that have been published

  • Citation information about your article

  • Background information about the journal or other publication where your article appeared

Exhibition at Showcases

  • Marketing materials announcing your show/performance

  • Published reviews of your exhibition/performance

Lead and Starring Role in Distinguished Productions or Events

  • Press about your past work with specific companies or organizations

  • Letters of support from previous employers or high-level executives or managers you work(ed) with at the organizations discussing your duties and importance to the organization

High Salary

  • Comparative information about earnings your profession in your home country

  • Past or future contracts showing an income that is in the top 25% according to US Dept of Labor (ask an attorney)

  • Pay stubs showing you earned a high salary


Commercial Success in the Performing Arts

  • Articles stating box office figures, strong TV ratings information, sales information, sold out performances

  • Letters from producers or theater management stating ticket sales were sold out, strong sales, engagement was extended due to popular demand, etc.

Any evidence that is impressive but doesn’t fit squarely into any of the 10 criteria above should be included in the “Final Merits Determination” section, such as award nominations, being named in a Top 10 list, being an invited speaker at a conference, or quoting testimonials from industry experts within your field.

Don't let the complexities of the EB1 Visa process stand in the way of your dreams. At Global Talent Immigration Law Group, our knowledgeable green card lawyer is eager to support you in attaining your objectives. Contact us today for expert guidance on visa requirements and a thorough understanding of the processing time. Take the first step toward realizing your potential in the United States by scheduling a consultation with our knowledgeable legal professionals now.

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