Permanent Residence for People With High Skills or Extraordinary Ability

There are two permanent residence green card options here in the United States for people who possess high skills or extraordinary ability in a specific field or profession. First, there is the EB-1A visa, and then there is the EB-2 national interest waiver. If you have high skills or extraordinary abilities in a particular field or profession, you’re eligible to immigrate to the United States without a family member or employer sponsoring you. You can actually apply for a visa yourself, but we strongly recommend working with us here at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers in order to substantially reduce the possibility of your application being delayed in processing or even denied.

Determining Extraordinary Ability

The U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has certain criteria for determining wither a person has high skills or extraordinary ability in a particular field. The first way of demonstrating this is to provide evidence of a one-time achievement or internationally recognized award like an Oscar or Grammy award in the performing arts or an Olympic medal for athletic skills. The other way of demonstrating high skills or extraordinary ability is to satisfy 3 of 10 criteria. Here are a few of those criteria:

  • Evidence of published material in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
  • Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
  • Evidence that the applicant’s work has been shown at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
  • Proof of the performance of a leading critical or major role in distinguished organizations.
  • Showing the receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes for awards for excellence.

Ultimately, the USCIS will make a determination on the totality of the evidence that you submitted and your case in its entirety.

The EB-2 National Interest Waiver Visa

An EB-2 National Interest Waiver visa is another document that allows entry and permanent residence the United States without any type of a job offer. The candidate for an EB-2 visa must be able to show that his or her permanent residence in the United States is in the national interest and will benefit the nation’s citizens. As opposed to an EB-2 visa, the EB-2A doesn’t require an employer to act as the petitioner. The individual seeking the waiver can apply for it personally. Applicants for the EB-2A visa must first meet the criteria for the EB-2 visa. After that, he or she must show that the work they will do here in the United States is of national importance. You must be well-prepared to prove that proposition too. Then, you must show that it’s in the best interests of the United States that an offer of employment from a U.S. employer be waived.

The O-1 Exceptional Ability Visa

An O-1 exceptional ability visa is substantially similar to an EB-1A visa, but take notice that the O-1 is not an immigrant visa. The O-1 is temporary, and it doesn’t lead to permanent residency in the United States. Qualifying for an O-1 is much like qualifying for the EB-1A, so if an applicant qualifies for an EB-1A visa, it’s highly likely that he or she qualifies for an O-1 visa. O-1 applicants can’t apply on their own though. An agent or United States employer must apply on his or her behalf. O-1 visas are typically issued for three years with extensions available annually.

Our mission here at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers is to improve the lives of foreigners who deserve to live and work in a better place. In turn, their contributions improve the United States as a whole. If you believe that your skills or abilities are sufficiently high enough to obtain an EB-1A, EB-2 or O-1 visa, contact us for a consultation. We can determine the best permanent residence options for you and your family. We want to see you living, working and contributing to our country.