Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
Question: How do I know if I could qualify for a green card as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability?
Answer: There are several ways to become a Permanent Resident based upon your employment. One way is to show USCIS that you are an Alien of Extraordinary Ability. The benefit of being able to file under the Extraordinary Ability category is that it is one of the First Preference (EB-1) categories, so it does not require first obtaining a Labor Certification, and so far there is no shortage of visas available for the EB-1 category, so it is a quicker path to Permanent Residence.
However, not everyone is an Alien of Extraordinary Ability. As the name implies, it is only for those foreign nationals who can show that they are one of the shining stars, on the national or international level, within their field in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. In order to even be considered for this category, they must show that they have been the recipient of a major international award (for example the Nobel Prize) OR they must show they meet at least three of the following requirements:
1) That they have received lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards (awards from student competitions are not considered significant enough);
2) That they are members in associations in their field which require outstanding achievement in order to join;
3) That others have published articles or other materials about them in major trade publications or other major media;
4) That they have participated as a judge of the work of others within their field;
5) That they have made original contributions of major significance to their field;
6) That they have published scholarly articles on topics within their field;
7) That they have been in artistic exhibitions or showcases;
8) That they have performed in a leading or cultural role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
9) That they have a high salary or income in relation to others in the field;
10) That they have had commercial success in the performing arts.
It should be noted however, that meeting three out of these ten categories only allows USCIS to consider the applicant under this category. The applicant must still show that they have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor and that they have sustained national or international acclaim in their field.
If you think you may qualify for at least three of these categories, you should consult with an immigration law attorney who is experienced in filing I-140 Petitions under the Extraordinary Ability category to confirm whether you qualify.
If you do not meet these requirements, don’t worry. Most people don’t. There are a number of other paths to Permanent Residence through employment.