Call us: (847) 763-8500
Select Language

Immigration Law Associates, P.C. logo

EB-1A: Scientists with Extraordinary Ability


One of three first-preference categories, EB-1A is very restrictive. The foreign national must show he or she is at the top of the field of endeavor, both by meeting certain criteria and by meeting an overall standard of "top few percent." Typically foreign nationals self-petition in this category, as neither job offer nor labor certification is required. However, the beneficiary must show he or she will be active in the field of extraordinary ability after admission to the U.S.

EB-1A Standards

A foreign national of extraordinary ability must be able to show "sustained acclaim" on a national or international level. This can be shown outright if the beneficiary has won a major, internationally recognized award (such as the Nobel). In the absence of such achievement, the individual must have – and be able to document -- at least three of the following:

  • Lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Membership in prestigious associations in the field (National Academies and the like.);
  • Published material about him or her personally in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to work in the field.
  • Participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization
  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  • Past display of work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  • A record of performing in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • A high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field
  • Commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

EB-1A adjudication standards are very high, and beneficiaries must be able to show significant achievement and widespread recognition in their fields. Individuals considering an EB-1A petition should evaluate their credentials with a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney, to see if their case is approvable, especially with respect to the "final merits" determination. Our immigration attorneys and dedicated science team have many years of experience assisting foreign scientists in submitting approvable EB-1A petitions. Please don't hesitate to email your CV for a confidential pre-evaluation of your immigration options or call 847-763-8500 to schedule a consultation.