Permanent Visas: Extraordinary Ability

Extraordinary Ability Immigrants


Extraordinary Ability ImmigrantsThis category of the Employment Based First Preference quota is reserved for people of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in the field of expertise. These applicants do not need a labor certification nor a specific job offer. However, their work in the US must be in the field in which they have extraordinary ability. Applicants may file their own immigrant petition with the USCIS, without employer sponsorship. The applicant must be one of “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor,” to be granted this classification.

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  2. Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members;
  3. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  4. Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
  5. Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
  6. Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  7. Evidence that the alien’s work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
  9. Evidence that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
  10. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts.


The Immigrant Visa Petition, Form I-140, is filed by the applicant with the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If the applicant meets the requirements for adjustment of status, he or she may file an application for adjustment of status, Form I-485 concurrently with the I-140. In the alternative, the applicant may wait until the I-140 has been approved and then proceed with either adjustment of status or consular processing of an immigrant visa.

For more information, please contact us.