An individual may qualify for a green card if his/her extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics has been demonstrated by:
1) Sustained national or international acclaim as evidenced through extensive documentation;
2) The individual seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability; and
3) His/her entry will substantially benefit prospectively the United States. No offer of employment is required for this category
Extraordinary ability immigrants fall under the first preference employment-based immigrant visa category.
USCIS defines “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,” as proven by “sustained national or international acclaim” and that one’s achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise.
For this elite category, one may qualify by either demonstrating a one-time achievement such as the receipt of a major internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize or an Academy Award, or more commonly, on the basis of a career of acclaimed work in the field of endeavor.
To prove extraordinary ability on the basis of a career of acclaimed work in the requisite field, one must submit voluminous documentation.
The USCIS considers the following types of evidence in evaluating whether an individual qualifies under the extraordinary ability category:
1) Documentation of the receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
2) Documentation of 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;
3) Published material in professional or other major trade publications or major media, relating to the one’s work in the field;
4) Evidence of one’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field;
5) Evidence of one’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
6) Evidence of one’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
7) Evidence of the display of one’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
8) Evidence that one has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
9) Evidence that one has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field;
10) Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disc, or video sales; or
11) In circumstances where the above standards do not readily apply to an occupation, immigration regulations permit comparable evidence to establish eligibility.
It is insufficient to simply meet three of the ten regulatory criteria, if sustained international acclaim is not proven.
The overall evidence must demonstrate that his/her achievements in his/her field have been recognized as extraordinary.