extraordinary ability visa, green card

U.S. immigration law allows private companies to hire individuals from abroad and bring them to the United States if the potential employees benefit the U.S. and there are no available alternatives in the local labor market to do the same work.  There are different categories of employment-related visas.  Some of them are immigrant and others are non-immigrant.  Immigrant employment-related visas are also divided into different subcategories, which mostly differ from one another in terms of requirements and restrictiveness.  An applicant, through the assistance of a qualified lawyer, should examine his or her situation and choose which category of petition would be the most suitable for him or her.

The “extraordinary ability” preference classification is one of the immigrant EB-1 visa categories.  This classification is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics.  The Code of Federal Regulations defines extraordinary ability as follows: “Extraordinary ability means 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.”  For the purpose of this classification, a person with extraordinary ability must be from one of the professions listed above.  It is worth noting that this classification does not require a Labor Certification.

In order to obtain a favorable decision, a petitioner – who can be a sponsoring employer or a beneficiary – should demonstrate that the proposed visa beneficiary satisfies the following requirements:

  • The beneficiary has an extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education or athletics;
  • The beneficiary’s intent is to enter the United States and work in the field of his or her extraordinary ability; and
  • The beneficiary’s work will substantially benefit the U.S.

An extraordinary ability immigration petition is time consuming and paperwork-heavy.  A petitioner should therefore begin preparing documents several months in advance of submitting the application.  Documents showing that the beneficiary meets all necessary requirements include:

  • The beneficiary’s resume;
  • Evidence demonstrating beneficiary’s achievements and accomplishments in his or her field of expertise (this can be information regarding the beneficiary’s awards, prizes, publications, reports etc.);
  • Letters of endorsement by experts, along with those experts’ biographical information; and
  • A description of the work the beneficiary will do in the U.S.

The extraordinary ability classification is considered to be very restrictive.  It can be a difficult challenge for a beneficiary to demonstrate that he or she possesses an extraordinary ability that satisfies the requirements.

Note that the extraordinary ability immigrant visa classification is similar to the 0-1 Visa category, but the latter is a nonimmigrant classification.

Should you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact me by submitting the form or by calling me at (248) 900-3399.  I accept clients from across the U.S. and around the world.  My law office is conveniently located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan for in-person meetings.  For phone consultation, you can reach me from any part of the United States or abroad.