EB-1 Priority Workers

Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
In order to qualify as an extraordinary ability alien under the INA, a petitioner must:

  1. have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation,
  2. seek to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability, and
  3. their entry into the United States must substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

The INS regulations define ''extraordinary ability'' as ''a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor,'' and requires evidence ''that the alien has sustained national or international acclaim and that his or her achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise. Such evidence shall include evidence of a one-time achievement (that is, a major internationally recognized award), or at least three of the following:

  • Documentation of the alien's receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Documentation of the alien's membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
  • Published material about the alien in professional or other major trade publications or major media, relating to the alien's work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;
  • Evidence of the alien's participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;
  • Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  • Evidence of the display of the alien's work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  • Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or
  • Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disc, or video sales.

Although ''extraordinary'' applicants do not need an employer or other sponsor, they must be coming ''to continue work in the area of expertise ... .'' Evidence recommended by the INS includes ''letter(s) from 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.'' It is enough to show that such aliens will continue to work in their ''field"; there is no requirement that they pursue the specific topics of research, for example, that brought them fame. That the alien's entry ''substantially benefit prospectively the United States'' is the most liberal of such demands: apparently, a substantial benefit to the United States in any of its aspects, interests or needs will do.

Outstanding Professors and Researchers
The Outstanding Professors and Researchers include has the following requirements:

  • the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area,
  • the alien has at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area, and
  • the alien seeks to enter the United States--
  1. for a tenured position (or tenure-track position) within a university or institution of higher education to teach in the academic area,
  2. for a comparable position with a university or institution of higher education to conduct research in the area, or
    for a comparable position to conduct research in the area with a department, division, or institute of a private employer, if the department, division, or institute employs at least 3 persons full-time in research activities and has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

Executive and Managerial Intracompany Transferees
To qualify as an Executive or Managerial Intracompany Transferee, the applicant must be an alien who:

  • during the 3 years immediately preceding the petition for EB-1 classification has been employed in a managerial capacity for at least an aggregate of one year by a foreign firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof (if the applicant is already in the U.S. in L-1 nonimmigrant status, the one year employment abroad may have taken place during the three year period immediately preceding the admission in L-1 status); and
  • who seeks to enter the United States permanently in order to continue to render services to the same employer or to a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that is managerial or executive.

In order to qualify as a petitioner, the U.S. entity must exist and be doing business for at least one year prior to the filing of the petition.