Life Style

Guide to Live and Work in the U.S. Permanently

An EB-1A Extraordinary Ability (E.A.) is a subcategory of the EB-1 Employment-Based Green Card. Individuals who qualify for this type of visa is part of a “small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor.” They must be successful leaders in the field of Sciences, Arts, Education, Business, and Athletics.

Applicants must intend to continue working in the same field and be able to demonstrate how his/her expertise would benefit the U.S. If you are not sure what category you fit in for your application and before going through the EB1A Visa Procedure, it would be best to seek assistance with an immigration attorney to determine if you qualify.

What are the Requirements?

Individuals wishing to qualify for the EB-1A must be able to provide evidence of extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. They should be reputable in their field and have documented confirmation of their achievements and must obtain a national or international claim. They should continue to work in the recognized field if they are planning to work in the United States.


Many of the requirements for an EB-1A Extraordinary Ability (E.A.) Visa is much the same as an O-1 visa. This is why many foreign nationals who qualify for the O-1 qualify as well for the EB-1A.

The applicant should be able to provide evidence of national or international acclaim, which can be proven through documentation such as a Noble Peace Prize or even an Academy Award. If they do not possess any internationally renowned award, they can provide any three of the following:

  • A grant or prize of a slightly lesser national or international recognition.
  • Membership in prestigious associations and organizations which considers and perceives them as an expert in their fields.
  • Highly significant contributions of original artistic, scientific, or scholarly works in the field.
  • Achievements that were published in major trade and media announcements locally or internationally.
  • Displayed works in an art exhibition or show.
  • Performing arts recognition and media success that can be evaluated based on box office receipts or entertainment sales.
  • Proof of comparably high salary.

One of the benefits of applying for an EB-1A is that it does not require a PERM Labor Certification or a job offer from a U.S. employer. He should be able to process an I-140 form or a “self-petition” on the USCIS, which is the speediest method of receiving a green card.

After your I-140 has been approved and your priority date is set to current, you will need to submit your I-485 Application to Register Permanent Resident or an Adjust Status to change your status to EB-1A. Once USCIS approves this application, you will officially be considered a legal permanent resident in the U.S.

Processing Time

The processing time for an EB-1A is mostly expedited. This is one of the benefits of processing this type of application. With the EB-1A, you are not required to have an employer to go through the PERM process, which has backlogs that can substantially increase the wait time.

You are given a priority date based on when you processed or filed your I-140 petition. Each month, a visa bulletin that gives the “final action dates” for that particular month is released by the Department of State. A visa number will become available, and you can file your I-485 application if your priority date matches or passes the final action date in your country.

The EB-1A category tends to have all current dates, and some other green card categories must wait several years for their priority date to current. This means that you can adjust your status as soon as your I-140 is approved.

If you happen to be an applicant for the EB-1A category and you are outside the United States, it is advisable to seek assistance with your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy. You will be provided and scheduled for a one-on-one interview with a consular officer.

All the information you might need, such as the breakdown of costs that go along with petitioning and applying for a green card based on your country’s currency, will be provided to you at the Consulate or Embassy.

Atif Mallo

Atif Mallo is a freelance blogger with huge interest in technology, science, life hacks and health. He loves coffee, cheesecake and chess. Drop a line in comments to leave feedback for him.

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