EB-1A Extraordinary Ability

EB-1A Extraordinary Ability

Overview of the EB-1A

The EB-1A classification applies to foreign nationals who can demonstrate that they have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor. Because these individuals are viewed as being very valuable, a benefit is that they may apply for an EB-1A petition without having to file a PERM labor certification with the U.S Department of Labor or a job offer (i.e. an employer’s sponsorship).


Qualifying for the EB-1A

A foreign national living in the U.S. or abroad may apply for the EB-1A if he/she meets the following requirements:

  • Extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim
  • Achievements have been recognized in the field through extension documentation


To establish that the foreign national is a top member within his/her field, evidence of receipt of an internationally recognized award (such as the Nobel Prize) is accepted. However, in the absence of an internationally recognized award, the foreign national can establish Extraordinary Ability by providing documentation in any 3 of the following 10 criteria:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Membership in associations which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their field or discipline
  • Published material about the foreign national in a professional or major trade publication or other major media and relating to the foreign national’s work in the field for which classification is sought
  • Participation as a judge (either individually or as part of a panel) evaluating the work of others
  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Work displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Commanding a high salary or other significantly high renumeration in relation to others in the field
  • Commercial success within the performing arts, as shown by either box office receipt figures or cassette, compact disk or video sales


To learn more about your options contact our San Francisco law firm to speak with one of our immigration attorneys.