The Employment Based First Preference Immigrant Visa Category (EB-1A) is available for persons who have received national or international acclaim for outstanding achievements in Science, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics.

Examples of persons who might qualify as having extraordinary ability might be an Olympic medal winning athlete, or a Nobel Prize winner, or otherwise be able to show achievement through documentation of three of the following areas of achievement:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  2. Membership in associations in the field that demand outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts;
  3. Published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications;
  4. Evidence that the applicant is a judge of the work of others in the field;
  5. Evidence of the applicant’s original contributions of major significance to the field;
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles;
  7. Display of the applicant’s work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Evidence the applicant has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation;
  9. Evidence that the applicant commands a high salary in relation to others in the field; or
  10. Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts.

Simply meeting three of the above criteria is not in and of itself a guarantee for qualification for this visa category. In making a case to show qualifications for an EB-1A visa, in addition to showing at least three of the above criteria, the individual must demonstrate that he or she has obtained “a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of a small percentage of persons who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor”. Although no offer of employment is required, the applicant must include with the petition convincing evidence that he or she is coming to continue work in the area of expertise and that the entry of the applicant will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.