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Insights to Help Establish the Ten EB-1 Extraordinary-Ability Factors (PART ONE)

Last updated on Oct 16th, 2017

A non-citizen who wants to qualify as an immigrant of extraordinary ability can qualify by submitting evidence of his or her receipt of a major and internationally recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize. But, without that evidence, the non-citizen must provide three of following ten types of documentation/evidence:

  1. Documentation that the non-citizen has received a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the non-citizen’s field of endeavor;
  2. Documentation of the non-citizen’s membership in associations (in the non-citizen’s field) which require of their members outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their fields;
  3. Published material about the non-citizen in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the his or her work in the field for which classification is sought;
  4. Evidence of the non-citizen’s participation as a judge of the work of others in the field of in certain related fields;
  5. Evidence of the non-citizen’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  6. Evidence of the non-citizen’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  7. Evidence of the display of the non-citizen’s work (in the non-citizen’s field) at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Evidence that the non-citizen has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  9. Evidence that the non-citizen has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or
  10. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sale.

In this post, we will look with more depth at two of the entries on this list. More specifically, we will look at the first two. In future posts, we will look at others.

Lesser prizes
When it comes to the receipt-of-lesser-prizes factor, some things worth noting will probably not be apparent to many non-lawyers wondering if they belong in the EB-1 classification for immigrants of extraordinary ability or to individuals who take statutes literally and at face value. Someone who seeks to satisfy this factor should submit evidence regarding the number of individuals whom the awarding organization nominated for the prize and also the criteria for eligibility. In addition, the individual who seeks to satisfy this factor should establish that he or she actually received the award and was not only a finalist or nominee. Further, he or she should submit evidence about the extent to which, internationally, people recognize the award.

Still more, it is important for the individual seeking to satisfy this factor to recognize that USCIS adjudicators will generally give little weight to local, as opposed to national or international, awards, that the government has taken the position that academic scholarships and grants are not significant prizes or awards for purposes relevant to the factor, and that the government has taken the position that a non-citizen’s selection for a top job in a admired organization is not a prize or an award.

Memberships
Similar to how it is with the receipt-of-lesser-prizes factor, some things worth noting about the membership factor will be hidden to many non-lawyers who wonder if they merit inclusion in the EB-1 classification and hidden to individuals who take statutes literally and at face value. It is important for the individual seeking to satisfy this factor to recognize that USCIS adjudicators will not give any weight to membership in provincial organizations. It also important to recognize that membership requirements based on employment or activity in a given field, a fixed minimum of education or experience, standardized test scores, grade point averages, recommendations by colleagues or current members, and payment of dues also would be insufficient to satisfy the criteria.

We hope these insights into the factors prove helpful to individuals pondering whether they likely fit the EB-1 classification for immigrants of extraordinary ability.

 

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