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What You Really Want to Know | Episode #14 | Am I Eligible For an Extraordinary Ability Visa?


Transcript: Hi, I’m Attorney Shaffer, Today on “What You Really Want to Know,” we answer the question, “Am I eligible for an extraordinary ability visa?”

The answer is, it depends! Eligibility for an Extraordinary Ability, (hereinafter, “EA”), visa is fact specific and must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. These visas are reserved for the best of the best. This means that you must be at the tippy-top of your field, and the fields that you can be in are: the sciences, the arts, athletics, education or business.

These visas are highly coveted since there is generally no wait time to get a Green Card and you can file for yourself rather than having to find an employer to file for you, which is generally required for most employment-based visas.

Before we look at the extraordinary ability factors, it is important to note that there are 2 types of EA visas- the O-1 nonimmigrant or a temporary visa and EB-1 immigrant or permanent visa. If you are looking to get a Green Card, you are only going to be able to get one if you have an EB-1 immigrant visa.

There are other important differences between the two visas that are outside the scope of this episode, but may be important in guiding our decision when advising a client whether to file for one or the other.

But when a client comes to us and says “I would like to file for an extraordinary ability visa,” we do not tell them to file for an O-1 instead of an EB-1, or vice versa, because that person is less extraordinary or has less evidence of his or her EA. That is because, generally speaking, the type and level of proof of the EA needed for both types of visas is the same.

So when a client comes to us, we may look at these other factors but the first thing we have to do is determine if this person even qualifies for an EA visa.

And I do not want to lump the two together because there are important differences between the type of evidence that must be shown and I highly recommend that you contact an experienced immigration attorney for more information because in today’s episode we are really just going to focus on EB-1 immigrant visas.

So if you are applying for an EB-1 immigrant visas, you must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in your field of expertise.

So to prove to USCIS that you are truly the best you must have either won a major international award like the Nobel peace prize or be able to show 3 of the following 10 factors:

  1. Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in your field of endeavor;

  2. 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;

  3. Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the you or your work in the field for which classification is sought;

  4. Participation either on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or a similar field of specialization in which classification is sought;

  5. Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;

  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media in the field in which classification is sought;

  7. A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence;

  8. Evidence that you have performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have distinguished reputations;

  9. Display of your work at artistic exhibitions or showcases, and;

  10. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or music or video sales.

And remember, you need to show 3 out of the 10 [factors] that I just listed.

We love filing extraordinary ability visas here at The Shapiro Law Firm because we get to meet fascinating people who are exceptional, accomplished and impressive. And we are extremely successful at filing these visas, in fact we have never filed an EA visa that has been denied!

If you think that you are eligible for an EA visa or you would like to learn what other visas that you may be eligible for, contact us today!

That is all for this episode of “What You Really Want to Know,” thanks for watching!

**Attorney Advertising** Please be advised that that all information provided above is general in nature and does not create an attorney-client relationship.**Attorney Advertising**