The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has updated its Policy Manual to provide guidance on the type of “published material” that persons applying for an Employment Based First Preference Immigrant Visa category (“EB-1”) can present as evidence when applying for the visa category.

Persons with “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics” can self- petition for the “EB-1A” classification without a job offer or certification from the Department of Labor if they meet the requirements for that visa category.

A U.S. employer, including a university or institution of higher learning or private employer, may petition for an “outstanding professor or researcher” (“EB-1B”) who is internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific academic area to work in a tenured or tenure-track position or a comparable position to conduct research.

The USCIS has updated its guidance regarding the evidentiary criteria for persons of extraordinary ability and outstanding professors and researchers to more closely align with recently issued nonimmigrant guidance pertaining to O-1A nonimmigrants of extraordinary ability.

This guidance clarifies that for the extraordinary ability and outstanding professor or researcher classifications, “published material” about the person (or the person’s work in the case of an outstanding professor or researcher) in professional or major trade publications or other major media no longer must be a printed article; but rather, can be more varied forms of evidence including a transcript of audio or video coverage.

For an outstanding professor or researcher, a person may satisfy the “leading or critical role” criterion through a qualifying role for a distinguished department or division in addition to an entire organization or establishment.

It is always refreshing to see the USCIS issue guidance that helps both expand on qualifications and define more clearly criteria for any visa classification.  If you think you may qualify as a person with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or as an outstanding professor or researcher, and want to know more, contact us at and speak with a U.S. immigration attorney in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Taipei.


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