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EB-1: How to Make Your Case as an Extraordinary Applicant

If you've never heard of the EB-1 program, it is essentially a special immigration process for applicants with extraordinary abilities. In short, USCIS offers this special path to citizenship in order to incentivize the brightest and most successful individuals.

How can you convince USCIS that you are an extraordinary applicant?

With a category for “extraordinary” applicant, there clearly has to be explicit guidelines for such a subjective trait. In other words, one trait/accomplishment that may seem extraordinary to one person, may seem completely ordinary to another.

USCIS understands that there may be areas of confusion, so they outline specific categories that they deem as “extraordinary”. These defining characteristics can be broken down into three main subcategories: applicants with extraordinary abilities, executives of multinational corporations, and outstanding professors/researchers.

Essentially, interested applicants should look at their credentials/accomplishments to see what category they resonate with. After finding a suitable category, the applicant should then look at the evidence supporting his or her claim.

Here is some questions applicants should ask themselves before approaching USCIS:

Extraordinary Talent

  • Have I received any notable awards for my proposed extraordinary abilities?
  • Have I ever been asked to be on a panel, judging works in my relevant field?
  • Am I part of any special organization related to my work?

If you are already a famous soccer star, the achievements may be much easier to showcase. However, there are many other types of achievements that you can still highlight.

It's good to elaborate on the difficult and rewarding process to get to the position you are in today. Maybe think about the exams, certifications, or other processes required to get into special clubs or organizations.

Multinational Executives

  • Is my petitioning employer in the United States?
  • How long have I been working in my current position?

The process for multinational executives is undoubtedly more rigid. There are many prerequisites that would immediately disqualify an executive, if not fulfilled. For applicants interested in this subcategory, it is highly advised to verify one's eligibility. This can be done by sending your credentials to an experienced immigration attorney.

Outstanding Professor or Researcher

  • Have I published works/research in my relevant field? Have those works been cited by other scholars around the world?
  • Have I received any international awards such as the Nobel or Pulitzer prize?
  • Am I a part of a judging panel that critiques work in my relevant field?

Many outstanding professors and researchers that are admitted into the United States each year are former teachers of accredited universities. In these cases, it is so important to explain and elaborate on one's achievements in the greatest detail. One country may hold a certain university in one regard, but another country may not. It is your job to explain how one's achievements will be relevant to the United States.

All these questions are great checkpoints to make sure you are on the right track. These types of evidence is extremely important to establish in every case. These moments are opportunities where the applicant can explain in greater detail to consular officers during the interview process.

When you create a narrative that is backed by tangible achievements, the right legal team may be all you need. The right legal team can help the applicant navigate through the entire process in order to create the cohesive, compelling application USCIS wants.

This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice.

For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.

Ms. Ramona Kennedy received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

She is licensed to practice in the United States Supreme Court, US Immigration Courts, California Federal Courts of Southern & Central District & All California Courts. Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing).

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