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What Is The EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Process?


The “EB-1” extraordinary ability process applies to persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. It is a petition process through which a highly skilled immigrant can move to obtain lawful permanent residence, also known as green card status.

Is There A More Specific Definition That Applies To The Field Of Endeavor For This Process?

One of the most important parts of preparing the EB-1 petition is in defining the field of endeavor in which the applicant has risen to the very top of the field. If the field is too broad, the applicant may not be viewed as “extraordinary” among the many others included in the defined group. If the field is too narrow, the reviewing examiner may argue that the yardstick is too obscure and does not cover a recognized field. In defining the field of endeavor, it may be appropriate to consider whether conferences are held on the topic, whether schools grant degrees in the topic, whether books, or blogs, or websites exist on the specific topic.

Is It Possible To Apply For EB-1 If The Case Beneficiary Has Not Yet Won A Nobel Prize?

In lieu of a one-time internationally recognized award documenting extraordinary ability, most persons who apply under the extraordinary ability category work to document that they have met at least 3 of the 10 criteria listed in the regulation found at: 8 CFR § 204.5(h)(3)(i). Those criteria include: receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes; membership in associations which require outstanding achievements; published material about the applicant and his/ her work; participation as a judge of the work of others in the field; original contributions to the field; authorship of scholarly articles; display of work at exhibitions; performing a critical role in organizations with a distinguished reputation; high salary; performing art commercial success.

Is Documenting 3 Of The 10 Listed Criteria Enough To Secure A Petition Approval?

Obtaining an approval goes beyond merely checking 3 of the 10 available boxes.

How Does USCIS Determine Which Of The Criteria Have Or Have Not Been Met?

In determining which of the criteria have been met as well as the final merits step, discussed below, USCIS considers the quality of the submitted evidence is considered. The Buletini case refers to this as “specific and substantiated” evidence for each category the immigrant is trying to meet. Buletini v. INS, 860 F. Supp. 1222, 1233 (E.D. Mich. 1994).

What Is The “Final Merits Determination”?

Pursuant to the case Kazarian v. USCIS, 596 F.3d 1115, (9th Cir. 2010), USCIS now follows a two-part adjudicative approach. The first step is a “criteria analysis” to confirm that the beneficiary meets at least 3 of the 10 listed criteria. The second step is a “final merits determination” to review the record as a whole to confirm that the beneficiary is a person of extraordinary ability in the defined field.

Does A Person Have To Be In The Top 1-2% Of The Field To Qualify As A Person Of Extraordinary Ability?

Through liaison meetings and related dialog, USCIS has explained that there are some approximate ranking parameters that should be taken into account in making the final merits determination. Under the category of extraordinary ability, USCIS explained in the AILA/NSC Liaison Meeting Minutes of November 3, 2010, that being “one of that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor” does not mean that the person is “at the top 1% of the field, but rather officers are trained to look for the top 15% or 20% of the field.”

For more information on EB-1 Key Extraordinary Ability Process, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (619) 234-8875 today.

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