EB1A - Extraordinary Ability

Program Overview

  • EB-1 is a type of Employment-Based Immigration program in the United States (US), it is also called First Preference Visa.
  • There are three occupational categories under EB-1 with different requirements:
    • EB-1A Extraordinary Ability
    • EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers
    • EB-1C Certain Multinational Manager or Executive
  • EB-1A applicant must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.
  • EB-1A applicant must:
    • provide evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal); or
    • meet at least 3 of the 10 evidence criteria below:
      1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
      2. Their membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
      3. Published material about them in professional or major trade publications or other major media
      4. They have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
      5. Their original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
      6. Their authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
      7. Their work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
      8. Their performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
      9. They command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
      10. Their commercial successes in the performing arts
  • EB-1A applicant must provide evidence showing that they will be continuing to work in the area of their expertise.
  • Spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for green cards.
  • Processing time is estimated within 24 months based on 80% of cases. It may change at the sole discretion of the US government.

Program Requirements

  1. Advantages of EB-1A program:
    1. No need of a job offer from a US employer
    2. No need of labour certification process
    3. Flexible with job changing option
    4. Faster processing with concurrent filing of petition and permanent residency application
    5. Premium processing option is available.
  1. Applicant must:
    1. be at least 18 years old;
    2. have no criminal record; and
    3. be able to provide evidence documents to support their extraordinary ability.

Application Process

Applicant submits required documents such as Passports with Visa Stamps, Birth Certificates, Photo IDs, Photos, Evidence Documents, Financial Documents, Letters of Recommendation, Bank Statements, Snippets from Publications, Published Articles as well as Questionnaire Forms.


  1. I-140
    1. Applicant can file a “self-petition” on the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) I-140 form without any job offer from a US employer.
    2. The immigrant applicant can choose either I-140 regular processing (US$700) or premium processing (for an additional US$2,500). The premium processing guarantees faster response (15 days) from USCIS whereas the regular processing will take up to more than 6 months to be processed. Processing time varies and is solely up to the US government.
    3. Applicant can file I-485 form concurrently with I-140 form.


  1. I-485 / DS-260
    1. Applicant in the US can file I-485 form (US$1,140) for adjustment of status.
    2. Applicant outside the US can file DS-260 form (US$220) online for an immigrant visa upon the approval of the I-140 application.
    3. After submitting the DS-260 application and required documents, the immigrant petition will be forwarded to a US consulate of the Applicant’s country. An interview is usually scheduled within a month from the issue of an Interview Notice.