EB-1 Extraordinary Ability

Permanent Residency: Green Card through Extraordinary Ability

EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Cards are available to individuals who are considered leaders in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Qualified individuals should have received international or national recognition for their achievements and evidence of at least three of the criteria listed below. While the standard for the EB-1 Green Card is similar to the O-1 nonimmigrant classification, USCIS’ standard of review is much higher, examining both the quality and quantity of the evidence submitted. You do not need employer sponsorship to apply for the EB-1 but it may be helpful to submit evidence of current job offers or potential engagements in the U.S.

General Requirements:

A strong EB-1 case should present strong evidence of at least 4 of the 8 criteria listed by USCIS (although only 3 criteria are required):

  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
  • Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field- paid memberships usually do not meet this threshold
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field for which classification is sought
  • Original scholarly or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
  • A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

Filing Process:

The EB-1 Green Card is a two-step process:

  • Step 1 is the I-140 Immigration Petition. USCIS processing time varies, but must cases can be filed with Premium Processing to request expedited adjudication.
  • Step 2 is the I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status, which is the individual’s application for the green card. If the individual is outside the U.S., he or she would process for an Immigrant Visa at the U.S. Consulate in their home country rather than filing the I-485.

Please note, some employment based green card categories are subject to visa backlogs, meaning there is a waiting period between Step 1 and Step 2. When an I-140 is filed, the applicant receives a “priority date” that establishes their place in line to apply for an Immigrant Visa or Green Card. Each month, the U.S. government issues a bulletin which lists the priority date for the cases that are currently being processed. Once an applicant’s priority date is listed on the bulletin, he or she may begin the Immigrant Visa process or submit an I-485: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html.


Once a Green Card is approved, it will be valid for 10 years. As long as you are maintaining your permanent residence and admissibility to the U.S., you may be eligible to renew your Green Card indefinitely. However, we always recommend clients to consider applying for U.S. citizenship through the Naturalization process.

At this time, we are committed to the health and safety of our clients, our staff and our community. The government continues to accept applications and process them as normal. We are equipped to continue to prepare and process all cases. Please keep in mind that most cases take months to process. We want to continue to prepare and process these cases, so that when we do get through this crisis, you will not have lost crucial processing time. We will perform all consultations over the phone and can be best reached through our contact form.