EB1 Requirements

Documentation for EB1 Requirements

The EB1A green card is for aliens of extraordinary ability engaged in the arts, sciences, business, education or athletics. Many scientists, post docs, and PhD students utilize the EB1A category to self sponsor their permanent residency as no job offer or labor certification is required. The legal standard for the EB1A category is codified in INA Section 203(b)(1)(A) and states that how an applicant may qualify for EB1A classification.  The EB1 requirements are:

  1. the alien has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation,

  2. the alien seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability, and

  3. the alien’s entry into the United States will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

8 CFR Section 204.5(h)(3) states the EB1 requirements for how an applicant can show sustained national or international acclaim:

A petition for an alien of extraordinary ability must be accompanied by evidence that the alien has sustained national or international acclaim and that his or her achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise. Such evidence shall include evidence of a one-time achievement (that is, a major, internationally recognized award), or at least three of the following:

(i) Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;

(ii) Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;

(iii) Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;

(iv) Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;

(v) Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;

(vi) Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;

(vii) Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;

(viii) Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;

(ix) Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or

(x) Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

8 CFR Section 204.5(h)(5) discusses the absence of a job offer requirement:

No offer of employment required. Neither an offer for employment in the United States nor a labor certification is required for this classification; however, the petition must be accompanied by clear evidence that the alien is coming to the United States to continue work in the area of expertise. Such evidence may include letter(s) from prospective employer(s), evidence of prearranged commitments such as contracts, or a statement from the beneficiary detailing plans on how he or she intends to continue his or her work in the United States.

Over the years, there have been a variety of cases that made it into federal court which has allowed the judiciary to provide guidance and rules on how applicants can meet the EB1 requirements. In 1994, a federal district court ruled against USCIS when denied an EB1 petition filed by an NHL player and stated that published material about an alien is sufficient so long as there is “published material about [him] in professional or major trade publications or other major media.” Later in 1995, the court held in Racine v. INS that published articles about an applicant do not need to state that the applicant is “one of the best in his field.” Many other court cases followed since then but the court in Kazarian v USCIS offered the most sweeping review and provided major guidance that was adopted by USCIS.

Kazarian adopted a two part analysis which puts the onus on the applicant to establish that they meet three of the 10 criteria set forth in 8 CFR §204.5(h)(3)(i)-(x). Once this is established, USCIS will perform a “final merits determination” analysis to determine whether or not the applicant truly has “sustained national or international acclaim.”

Many immigration lawyers, myself included, feel the final merits determination to be a requirement contrary to any reasonable reading of the statutory language but multiple courts since Kazarian have upheld this reading of the law and USCIS, itself, has embraced it as well so we’re Kazarian defining the EB1 requirements. Because the final merits analysis is completely subjective and is open to a different interpretation by different service centers and different USCIS officers it is very important to present a structured case tailored to what USCIS wants to see. Our office has handled thousands of immigration cases and we have posted thousands of approval notices on our web site to back up that claim. We know what USCIS wants to see in this final merits determination and we can help you win your case. Send us a copy of your CV or give us a list of your accomplishments and we can help you win your green card through the EB1A category.

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 7:07 pm by Immigration Lawyer Peter Messersmith · Permalink
In: EB-1 Extraordinary Ability, EB1, Green Card · Tagged with: , ,

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