7 Tips for Success of EB1 Extraordinary Ability Petitions
The Basics - Don't File this Petition Unless You Have ProofThe EB1 visa is available to individuals who are nationally or internationally recognized for their extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
No sponsor is required. You can self petition. You need to honestly evaluate the basics:
(1) a national or international award for excellence
(2) membership in distinguished organizations
(3) published material about you in major media outlets
(4) proof of judging the work of others
(5) original and significant contributions in the field of expertise
(6) authorship of scholarly articles
(7) displays at artistic exhibitions
(8) leading or critical roles with distinguished organizations
(9) commanding a high salary compared to others in the field
(10) commercial success in the performing arts
Tip #1: What is an "Award"?As you might have guessed, if you have won major international awards, such as the Nobel Peace Prize, do not need to provide evidence for any other criteria, as the award alone is enough to acquire EB1 status.
However, most of our clients come to us with lesser known international or national awards, and we still need to provide evidence under the other categories. Along with any award letters, photos of trophies, copies of certificates, etc., consider submitting further evidence to demonstrate that the award is international, national or prestigious: for example, you may wish to submit evidence concerning past recipients, the number of recipients, the history of the award, the organization behind the award, well-recognized judges, etc.
Tip #2: What Makes a Good Referee Letter?Reference letters are key to demonstrating extraordinary ability. Beware of letters that describe you as "competent, knowledgeable, capable, smart, likeable" etc. You might be all those things. But that is not going to prove your extraordinary ability.
We will help your referee describe you as someone who has risen to the top 1% of their field. Successful referee letters must be able to describe you as world renowned, internationally/nationally recognized, a leader in the field or a leading expert.
Tip #3: What is the "Impact Factor"?The impact factor, or influence factor, is a measure that reflects the average number of citations to articles recently published in scientific journals. Many look to the influence factor to determine the relative importance of a journal; the higher the impact factor, the more highly regarded the journal. Published scientists and scholars should be sure to include evidence of the journal's impact factor (along with the article itself), as proof that the journal is frequently cited helps demonstrate that the petitioner is well-respected, influential and at the top of his or her field. If you have a low impact factor or a low number of citations, don't despair. Sometimes it can simply be a measure of how cutting edge or state of the art your research is.
Tip #4: Judging the Work of OthersEvidence of judging the work of others in the same field can be quite compelling; this is more so if you are reviewing the work of world renowned scholars or scientists. Judging competitions or conferences, serving on the editorial board of a scholarly journal, participating on the board of scholarship or fellowship committees all are examples of activities that fall under this category.
Tip #5: Leading or Critical Role in Distinguished OrganizationsIt is best to separate this category into its two separate components; first, identify any organizations with which you are associated. Are they famous? Can you provide evidence of the work they do and their mission? How many members do they have? Does there website describe their annual revenue, past achievements or highly reputable members? Collect any and all evidence that could help prove that the organization has a "distinguished" reputation. Then, identify your role with these organizations: do you have a leadership role? What is your title? How many people have the same title? Even if you do not have a leading role, are you critical to the organization's success? Do you provide expert advice? Do you raise funds? As you can see, there are numerous ways to meet the requirements for this category. Furthermore, if you do not not have a leading/critical role, now is the time to seek one out, as it can only increase your odds of getting approved.
Tip #6: An Experienced Lawyer Can Avoid Poisoning the WellEB1 petitions have a denial rate of 42%. You have one bite at this apple and you don't want to waste it. For nationals of certain countries (i.e. China and India) the difference between and EB1 classification and EB2 classification can mean a decade of waiting. An experienced attorney will take an objective look at your evidence and help take your EB1 successfully through this process by identifying which criteria you can add, shore up and improve. An experienced and competent attorney will tell you when not to file.