By Cecelia Thomas and Kisshia Simmons, Esq.
The EB-1 Employment-Based Greencard is available to an alien who can persuasively demonstrate an extraordinary ability. The alien must also be at the top of his or her field of endeavor. The advantage of this employment-based greencard as compared to others is that it includes the ability to self-petition, which eliminates the need for a Petitioner or employer.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Any alien living in the U.S. or abroad may apply if he/she has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.
How Do You Prove Extraordinary Ability?
To prove an extraordinary ability, an alien must show recognized achievements in the field. One option of showing an alien is at the top of his/her respective field is with evidence of receipt of an internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize or an Academy Award. However, most individuals cannot show they have received an award of such high caliber. This means most aliens must consider the second option of showing an extraordinary ability or proving any three of the following ten criteria:
•Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
•Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members.
•Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
•Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel.
•Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
•Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
•Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.
•Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field.
•Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts.
The next step is to consider the scope of the alien’s work and ask “How long has the alien been working?” If the answer is five years, for example, then it is very unlikely the alien can qualify for the EB-1 visa. Normally, meeting the extraordinary ability categories requires a broad scope of work experience. Keep in mind that the alien must be at the top of his/her field or endeavor, so five years of work experience is usually not enough. Hopefully this overview of EB-1 is an informative and a good first step for starting an application.