Persons of extraordinary ability are defined by statute as those who can show that they have 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.
Extraordinary ability is defined as a level of expertise showing that the individual is one of “that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.” It means generally that a person is a very well accomplished in his or her profession.
There are two ways to qualify for the Extraordinary Ability green card. First, a person would qualify if he or she is a recipient of a major, internationally recognized award. Laws do not define which specific awards would qualify. While some awards such as a Nobel Prize or awards of a similar caliber clearly qualify, there are a number of other awards that, if well documented and explained, might qualify.
Person may also be recognized as having extraordinary ability on the alternative factors. To satisfy the alternative requirements, evidence must show that the individual satisfies at least three of the following criteria:
- Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
- Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or major media relating to the alien’s work;
- Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others;
- Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their fields;
- Evidence of the alien’s original contributions of major significance to the field;
- Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or other major media;
- Display of the alien’s work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Evidence the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation;
- Evidence that the alien commands high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
- Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.
Major advantage of this category is that the alien may self-petition under this category; employer’s sponsorship is not needed. Person may apply from his or her home country or while in the United States.