The EB-1A green card is the first subcategory of the EB-1 employment-based first preference immigrant visa (green card). Eligible EB1A green card applicants are aliens of extraordinary ability who demonstrate an extraordinary ability in their profession or field and have been recognized for their accomplishments.

EB1A applicants should demonstrate that they intend to continue their endeavors in the United States and eventually contribute towards benefitting the US national interest. USCIS may deny Adjustment of Status or even revoke permanent residency status to applicants who are granted employment based green card based on extraordinary ability and change their profession after reaching the US.

Some of the benefits of the extraordinary ability green card category are that a Labor Condition Application (LCA) is not required to apply, and that applicants may self-petition for this category.

EB1A Green Card Eligibility

Foreign nationals of extraordinary ability who belong to the following professional fields are eligible for EB1A immigrant visas.

  • Arts, science, education, business, and athletics
  • Recipients of internationally acclaimed awards like the Nobel Prize, Oscars, and Pulitzer

Additionally, 3 out of 10 of the following criteria listed below must be met in order to demonstrate “extraordinary ability,” according to USCIS. Applicants must be able to provide evidence of at least 3 of the following.

  • Receipt of nationally/internationally recognized prizes/awards for excellence
  • Membership in associations that require achievement in their field
  • Material published about them in professional or major trade publications or media
  • Have been asked to judge others’ work
  • Original contributions made in their field of major significance
  • Scholarly articles written by them and published in professional or major trade publications or media
  • Work has been showcased at exhibitions
  • Performance of a significant role in distinguished organizations
  • Receive a high salary compared to others in the field
  • Commercial success in the performing arts

Applicants are also required to prove that they are coming to the US to continue working in the area of their extraordinary ability. Evidence of this includes:

  • Letters from employers (current or prospective)
  • Documents that show prearranged commitments or employment (such as a contract)
  • Personal statement explaining your plans to continue working in your field upon entering the US

Will recommendation letters help?

Yes, they do. Even though you are not required to submit recommendation letters, a good recommendation in support of your talent and achievements from renowned experts in your field of extraordinary ability will greatly support your case when it is reviewed by USCIS.

It is also not mandatory to obtain recommendation letters from your current employer (if you are employed at the time of submitting your petition). The letters could be from anyone who is highly reputed in your professional field. 

Applying for EB1A Green Card

The EB1A green card is a self-petition green card category, meaning that unlike most employment-based green card categories which require the employer to petition on behalf of the employee, EB1A applicants may file their own petition.

EB1A applicants do not need a job offer or labor condition application (LCA) to file their petition. Foreign nationals are eligible for this category may apply for an employment based immigrant visa by submitting Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, to USIS along with all the required evidence and fees.