The EB-1A Visa grants individuals who possesses nationally or internationally recognized extraordinary ability in the fields of the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, which may substantially benefit the United States, accesses to lawful permanent residency to live and work in their specialized fields in the United States. The EB-1A holders’ spouses and children under 21 would be approved for permanent residency under the same visa status. EB-1A Visa is subject to the annual numerical quota limitation of 40,000, which simultaneously shares with other EB-1B and EB-1C petitions. A cutoff date is also imposed to petitions for certain nationals, including China and India.
To qualify for EB-1A Visa, the petitioner must demonstrate that:
Individuals who hold nationally or internationally recognized extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics may be eligible for this type of EB-1A Visa.
EB-1A Visa is reserved for foreign individuals with extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics to bring their expertise and substantially benefit the United States. Extraordinary ability is defined as a level of expertise which demonstrates that the individual is one of that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor, which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation. Once the following evidence is submitted, USCIS will proceed and enter into adjudication if the sustained national or international acclaim and a high level of expertise requirements are met. Acceptable evidence may be an one-time achievement of major, national or international recognized award, such as an Pulitzer, Oscar or Olympic Medal. In the event of absent such evidence, documentation supporting at least three of following criteria may qualify:
Although EB-1A falls under the first preference category for United States employment-based permanent residency, EB-1A petition does not require an employment as sponsorship. Instead, as long as the individuals with extraordinary ability show their intention to continuously work in their specialized field, as evidenced by documentation such as prospective employer(s), evidence of prearranged commitments such as contracts, or a statement from the beneficiary detailing plans on how he or she intends to continue his or her work in the United States, self-petition for EB-1A Visa is allowed.
The abovementioned evidence, together with the individuals’ intention of continuous working, would be considered to determine if such extraordinary ability and the work applied would bring substantial prospective benefit to the United States, such as improving the United States culture, economy, science markets and other developments.
Noted it is essential to retain experienced consultants and seek for their professional opinions when strategizing your EB-1A petition due to the USCIS’ subjective adjudication and strict documentation requirement.
The individuals’ spouses and children under the age of 21 are eligible to receive permanent residency under the EB-1A Immigrant Program to accompany or follow the individuals with extraordinary ability through the adjustment of status or consular processing. However, the Common Law marriage is not acceptable and a derivative beneficiary relationship would not be recognized accordingly.