Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability: EB-1(A)

USCIS has defined extraordinary ability as a level of expertise such that the foreign national is one of “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.” Although the foreign national can have an employer or potential employer sign the I-140, the foreign national can also self-petition. There is no need for a labor certification in EB-1(A) category. As supporting documentation, the foreign national must submit that s/he will continue to work in the United States in his/her area of expertise.

This category can be a good fit for scientists, athletes, artists, and performers.


If the foreign national has received a major, internationally-recognized award (such as a Nobel Prize or similar caliber award), then this alone can suffice to support the petition. Otherwise, the foreign national must submit evidence of having met at least 3 criteria from the following list of 10 suggested types of evidence:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

How We Can Help

You can email your CV to for a free initial evaluation. You should hear back from us within one business day. If you do not hear back from us within that time period, please call us at 301-263-4516.

In an EB-1(A) case, we will:

  • advise you on strategies to enhance your credentials for increasing your chances of eligibility under this category;
  • conduct a thorough analysis of your area of expertise to highlight your achievements in the field;
  • draft and edit strong reference letters to support your petition;
  • guide you in preparation of necessary documents;
  • file the petition and required documents with the USCIS;
  • respond to any subsequent USCIS request for evidence, if necessary;
  • and walk you through the final stages of obtaining a green card, either via adjustment of status or consular processing.