Extraordinary Ability Worker

The extraordinary ability worker category is an employment-based first preference immigrant category. This category is reserved for individuals who have risen to the top of their field in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Qualifying individuals for this category do not require a job offer or a labor certification, and may petition for their own permanent residency.

To be eligible for this category, the individual must show that she: (1) Seeks to enter the United States to continue to work in her area of extraordinary ability; (2) Her entry into the United States will substantially benefit the nation; and (3) That she has demonstrated extraordinary ability in her field. She can document her extraordinary ability by documenting that she is the recipient of an internationally recognized award (e.g. Nobel Prize). In the absence of this, she can establish her extraordinary ability by providing documentation of any three of the following:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  2. Membership in associations that require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their fields;
  3. Published material in professional/major trade publications or major media about the individual and relating to the individual’s work field;
  4. Participation as a judge (individually or as a part of a panel) evaluating the work of others;
  5. Original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions of major significance;
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media;
  7. Artistic exhibitions/shows;
  8. Leading role within an organization/establishment with a distinguished reputation;
  9. High salary/compensation for services in comparison to others; or
  10. Commercial success within the performing arts, as shown by either box office receipt figures or cassette, compact disk, video, or DVD sales figures.

PLEASE NOTE: Immigration law and regulations change frequently. In order to protect yourself you should make sure that you understand the laws and how they apply to you. If you have questions about your status, you should consult an expert. If you would like to be notified about recent changes to this website, or if you would like to receive Immigration Tips by email, please provide us with your email address. If you would like help from Ms. Chappell-Daly, please contact her.