An EB-1 is an employment-based immigrant category. Only aliens with extraordinary ability fall into this category. This includes abilities in science, education, athletics, business, or the arts. This ability must have been shown by national or international acclaim and must be extensively documented. As such, this classification is not granted to many people; one must typically be at the top of his/her field. Some awards, such as the Nobel Prize, show extraordinary ability.

What Type of Evidence Can Be Presented?

EB-1 classification must be based on at least three types of evidence, including (but not limited to):

  • The alien has judged others’ work
  • The alien has won or received a national or international prize for excellence
  • The alien has performed a leading role in distinguished organizations
  • The alien is a member in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement
  • The alien has had commercial success in the performing arts
  • The alien has authored scholarly articles
  • The alien receives a high salary relative to others in his field
  • There is material published about the alien in major media
  • The alien’s work has been displayed at art exhibitions or showcases
  • The alien has made original scientific, artistic, scholarly, business-related, or athletic contributions to his/her field

What about Professors and Researchers?

An outstanding professor or researcher, one who is internationally recognized for his achievements in a particular field, may qualify for EB-1 Classification. Such a professor must also meet other requirements:

  • He/she must have three years of experience teaching or researching in that field.
  • The professor or researcher must enter the United States in a tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or higher education institution.
  • If the alien is being employed by a private company, the department, institute, or division of the private employer must employ at least 3 people full time in research activities. These employees must also have made documented achievements in the field.

To prove that a professor or researcher is "outstanding," evidence must be presented. Such documentation may include published material written by others about the professor’s work, receipt of major awards, authorship of books or articles, membership in associations in which members are required to have outstanding achievements, original contributions to the field, and/or participation as a judge of others’ work. Multinational executives or managers may also fall under EB-1 Classification.

How Do I Apply for EB-1 Classification?

If you believe you qualify for EB-1 Classification, you should file USCIS Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker). You should fill out and file the form at the local USCIS Regional Service Center in the area of the U.S. where you will work. Make sure to include the necessary documentation and to follow the filing guidelines. For EB-1 petitions, no labor certification is necessary. A worker of extraordinary ability may petition on behalf of himself or herself, but an employer must petition for an outstanding professor, an outstanding researcher, or a multinational executive.

Do I Need an Experienced Immigration Law Attorney?

An immigration lawyer would be able to inform you of your options if you believe you qualify for EB-1 Classification. Your lawyer would also be able to guide you through any other immigration laws that you may encounter.