Self Petitioning for a Green card: Extraordinary Ability

Most applications for permanent residence require an individual or an employer to submit a petition on your behalf. However, there are a few ways you can petition for yourself. This article focuses on the EB-1 Immigrant Visa Category. This is also called the Extraordinary Ability Immigrant Visa.

EB-1 Visa Requirements

An alien with extraordinary ability in areas of sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics can submit a petition to apply for this type of immigrant visa. The extraordinary ability must be recognized nationally or internationally. Your achievements which show your extraordinary ability must be extensively documented. If you have such applicable extraordinary ability you do not have to secure an employer to submit the petition on your behalf nor is there a requirement to acquire labor certification. However, the applicant’s credentials are scrutinized extensively, making it difficult to get approval. In order to demonstrate extraordinary ability, you must show a significant one time achievement such the Pulitzer prize, nobel prize, a Grammy, Oscar, or Olympic Medal. If you don’t have such a significant one time achievement, you can still show extraordinary ability by meeting at least 3 of the following criteria.

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • 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 that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

EB-1 Immigrant Visa Process

Step 1: Submit self petition I-140 Petition to the USCIS, with supporting documentation and applicable fees.

Step 2: Upon approval, do Adjustment of Status process (if in U.S. and applicable) or consular processing.

Step 3: Attend Final Interview

NOTE: As always this is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular circumstances.

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