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US Immigration

Posted 7/02/2008

Faster Route To Green Card

With the unavailability of visa numbers this month in the employment-based third preference category (EB-3) and the backlog in the second preference (EB-2) for India and China, attention is focused on the first preference category (EB-1).

This category has rarely reached the numerical limitation since October 1991 when the current immigration law took effect.

The processing for EB-1 is quicker since apart from the availability of visa numbers, there is no requirement for a labor certification to test the job market.
There are three sub-categories under EB-1 and they are also known as priority workers: persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers and multinational executives and managers.

This column discusses only the first sub-category of persons of extraordinary ability.

For EB-1 priority workers of extraordinary ability, the individual is not required to have a petitioning employer. He/she may petition for himself/herself without a job offer.

But whether a petitioner is an employer or the individual, evidence should be submitted to show that he/she will continue to work in his/her area of expertise. Such evidence may consist of a letter from a prospective employer or an explanation of how he/she will pursue work in his/her specific field.

Extraordinary ability refers to expertise in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics as demonstrated by a major achievement of international or national renown

It is not limited to top awards such as a Nobel Prize. The requirement could also be satisfied by documenting recognition in other areas.

These include: lesser national or international award for excellence in alien’s field, membership in associations in a field that requires members to have shown outstanding achievements as judged by acknowledged experts, and published material about the alien in major publications or media.

Recognition could also include selection of alien to judge others in his/her field of expertise, original contributions of importance in his/her field, authorship of scholarly articles in major publications or media, display or exhibition of his/her work, performance of a leading role for distinguished organizations, comparatively high salary or remuneration in his/her field and/or commercial success in the performing arts.

Documentation must be in at least any three of the above. Other comparable evidence is also acceptable.

When filing Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker), either by an employer or by the individual, evidence of substantial benefit to the U.S. should be included. The form may be filed at either the USCIS Nebraska Service Center or the Texas Service Center.

has been practicing law for over 30 years and is included in the Marquis Who’s Who in American Law. A former law editor and professor, he is also the author of a book on immigrant experiences. He has spoken in international and national conventions and has been interviewed on radio and television, including the ABC Nightly News. He has participated in meetings with White House staff and the Immigration Commissioner to discuss immigration reforms. For his community service and advocacy, he has received numerous awards in the U.S. and abroad. For more information, you may log on to his website at or call (212) 695-5281
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