Extraordinary Ability Green Cards (EB-1-1)

Summary

An alien seeking lawful permanent resident (green card) status in the United States, based on extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, must prove:

“a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor,” through “extensive documentation of sustained national or international acclaim” and “recognized achievements in the field of expertise.”

To demonstrate extraordinary ability, as defined above, USCIS requires evidence of either 1) a one-time achievement (that is a major internationally recognized award, with Nobel Prize cited as the quintessential example); or 2) evidence demonstrating satisfaction of at least 3 of the following 10 criteria:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards;
  2. Membership in organizations which require outstanding achievement;
  3. Significant published material regarding achievements in professional or major trade publications;
  4. Judge of the work of others;
  5. Original contributions to the field;
  6. Articles written and published in professional or trade  publications or other major media;
  7. Display of work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Performance of leading or critical role for organizations with distinguished reputations;
  9. High salary offer relative to the field;
  10. Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts;
  11. Comparable evidence, if the above are not readily applicable.

An I-140 petition filed on behalf of an alien with extraordinary ability does not need to be supported by a job offer; therefore the alien may “self-petition.”  The alien must demonstrate however that he or she intends to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability, and that such work will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

Extraordinary Ability Green Card (EB-1-1) Legal Resources

Immigration and Nationality Act

Regulations

Adjudicators Field Manual [with comments]

USCIS EB-1 Web Page

USCIS EB-1-1 Understanding Requirements Web Page

USCIS Request for Evidence Template 1-10-2011 [what USCIS adjudicators use when asking for more evidence before making a decision]

USCIS EB-1 Policy Memo 12-22-2010

Amicus Curiae Brief from AILA to AAO re: Final Merits Determination in Kazarian [Amicus curiae is an opinion of someone who is not a party to the case, and is a way to introduce concerns about the possibly broad legal effects of a court decision]

Amicus Curiae Brief from ABIL to AAO re Misinterpretation of Kazarian

Additional Amicus Briefs to AAO re: EB-1-1 and Kazarian

Kazarian v. USCIS

Buletini v. INS

Muni v. INS

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