Immigration Practice

In order to apply for permanent residency as an "alien of extraordinary ability", an applicant must show that he or she has “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. This category is intended for the small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor. The applicant must show sustained national or international  acclaim, and that his or her achievements have been recognized in his area of extraordinary ability. One of the benefits of this category is that, although the applicant must intend to pursue work in the U.S. in the area of expertise, no specific offer of employment is required. 


Evidence shall include either a one-time achievement such as a major internationally recognized award (e.g. Novel Prize, Oscar, an olympic medal, or a similar award), or documentation of any three (3) of the following:


·      Documentation of receipt of a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the applicant's field;

·      Documentation of membership in associations in the applicant's field that demand outstanding achievements of their members;

·      Evidence of published material about the applicant, in trade publications or media;

·      Evidence that the applicant has judged the work of others in the field;

·      Evidence of the applicant's original contributions of major significance to the field;

·      Evidence of the applicant’s authorship of scholarly articles;

·      Evidence that the applicant's work has been displayed at exhibitions or showcases;

·      Evidence that the applicant has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation;

·      Evidence that the applicant has commanded high remuneration in relation to others in the field; or

·      Evidence of the applicant's commercial success in the performing arts.


If the above standards do not readily apply to the applicant's field of extraordinary ability, the applicant may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility.  Furthermore, in addition to the above, the applicant must submit clear and convincing evidence that they are coming to the United States (or will remain in the U.S.) to work in their area of expertise.


Labor certification is not necessary for EB-1 petitions, so the applicant may proceed directly to filing an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140).  Also, because the EB-1 category is least impacted by immigrant visa retrogression, the applicant may concurrently file  the application to adjust status (Form I-485) with the immigrant visa petition. This allows the applicant’s spouse and children under 21 to apply for employment authorization documents and accept employment in the United States.

E. Adriana Kostencki, Esq.

Berger Singerman


EB-1: Persons with an Extraordinary Ability may qualify for Permanent Residency (Green Card) in the United States