EB-1: Persons of Extraordinary Ability
EB-1: Persons of Extraordinary Ability
Persons of Extraordinary Ability is one category within the EB-1
classification. A special advantage of the Extraordinary Ability category is
that the applicant can self-petition, which means that he/she does not need to
be sponsored by an employer or have a specific job offer.
It is important to remember that the Persons of Extraordinary Ability
category is narrow, intended for the small number of people who are at the very
top of their field. This category is for individuals with extraordinary ability
in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. A personís
extraordinary ability must be shown by national or international acclaim and
their achievements must be recognized throughout their field.
How does an applicant meet this high standard?
- Received a major international award, such as a Nobel Prize.
- Otherwise, the applicant must document any three of the following:
- Received lesser national or internationally recognized prizes or
- Membership in an association in the field which requires outstanding
achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or
international experts. Common examples of such organizations are those
which require current members to nominate new members based on their
achievements, such as Sigma Xi. Organizations that allow any
professional to join upon payment of a membership fee do not meet this
- Published material about the applicant in professional or major
trade publications or other major media. Mere citations of an
applicantís work are not sufficient. The applicant and his/her research
must be discussed in the text of an article or book.
- Participation as a judge of the work of others. This is usually as a
peer reviewer of articles written by others. A recent federal court
decision found that reviewing a dissertation could also count as meeting
this standard. But grading student papers as a Teaching Assistant is not
- Evidence of original scientific, scholastic, artistic, or
business-related contributions of major significance. This category
often has more weight than the others, because it is so important to
showing national or international acclaim. One example of evidence that
is often submitted for this category is U.S. patents that are used in
the applicantís field or cited by other researchers. Most applicants
also request letters of reference from experts in their field to prove
that their contributions have major significance.
- Authorship of scholarly articles in the field. The government is
aware that, for many fields, publishing articles is something that all
professionals do. It is therefore best if an applicant can show that
his/her publication record is unique, perhaps because he/she is
published in prestigious journals, his/her publications have had a big
impact on the field, or he/she has published much more than the average
- Artistic exhibitions or showcases.
- Performance in a leading or cultural role for organizations or
establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
- High salary or remuneration in relation to others in the field.
- Commercial success in the performing arts.
Although officially an applicant only has to meet three of the listed
categories, this may not be enough to prove sustained national or international
acclaim. Additionally, weak evidence, such as only completing a single peer
review, may result in the government dismissing the evidence for that category.
Nevertheless, careful documentation and effective presentation can help an
applicant to achieve the Extraordinary Ability designation. The government will
judge all of the evidence submitted in light of whether or not it establishes
sufficient national and/or international acclaim.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Arjun Verma have successfully represented
individuals in this highly selective category. For an evaluation of whether you
would fit into the Extraordinary Ability category, please contact us.