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EB-1(a) Extraordinary Ability

What is the EB-1 Visa?

The EB-1 Visa is an "employment-based" immigrant visa that enables foreigners with specific, documented "extraordinary abilities" to become permanent residents of the United States. To qualify under the EB-1 category, an applicant must demonstrate acclaim (nationally or internationally) in education, business, athletics, or the arts and sciences; and this acclaim must be documented thoroughly. Professors and researches considered “outstanding” in their fields of endeavor and multinational executives or managers can also qualify for EB-1 classification.

Three Categories of the EB-1 Employment Visas
  • EB-1(a) visas are for immigrants who can demonstrate "extraordinary ability" in education, business, athletics, or the arts and sciences.
  • EB-1(b) visas are reserved for outstanding professors or researchers.
  • EB-1(c) visas are intended for multinational executives or managers.
EB-1 Privileges

If you qualify for the EB-1 immigrant visa:

  • You can work and reside permanently in the United States and travel freely in and out of the country.
  • You do not need a labor certification.
  • Your children (21 years or younger) and spouse can obtain derivative status through your petition, or you can apply for immigrant visas on their behalf.
Defining and Proving "Extraordinary Abilities"

The legal definition of "extraordinary abilities" is purposely ambiguous. Typically, to meet this threshold, you must be in the upper echelon of your career or discipline. You must demonstrate sustained acclaim in your field. Although winning one award of international significance – such as the Nobel Prize or an Academy Award – might qualify you for EB-1 classification, winning one athletic competition or a single academic prize -- while impressive -- will NOT likely meet this threshold. You also must have documentation of your achievements, such as:

  • original contributions of serious significance to a business
  • evidence of commercial success of your artwork
  • papers published in prestigious national or international journals in your field
Applying For and Getting the EB-1 Visa

The process can be complicated and challenging. Fortunately, you need not deal with the hurdles alone. We at the law firm of Howard Law understand how to provide strategic direction for EB-1 Visa seekers. We can answer and resolve any questions you have about the immigration process. First consultations with our team are free; contact us at any time at 1-800-872-5925, or look over the resources we have here at our website,