The basis of the Extraordinary Ability application is that you have to be able to show Sustained National or International Acclaim and be considered to be one of the few at the top of your field of endeavor. Based on this standard, if the applicant has to his or her credit a “major international recognized award”, then they would be deemed to have met the criteria. However, absent the "major international recognized award" (Nobel Prize, Pulitzer etc), an applicant can qualify by reviewing the ten listed criteria, of which you need to meet at least three (and then be in a position to allow for a review and evaluation of all your evidence to determine that you meet the overall standard).
Therefore, under the EB-1A visa category, individuals who have strong credentials can self-petition for permanent residence. This visa category is applicable to areas including the sciences (both academia and industry related professions), health, business, international relations/affairs, socio-economic careers, the arts and sports among others. As noted, an application in this category requires the individual to meet a minimum of three out of ten regulatory criteria, and an overall showing of sustained national or international acclaim. This visa category carries a highly restrictive standard, and an applicant should be prepared to provide significant evidence and documentation to substantiate their standing in their field.
The Kazarian Test Under a Court case (known as the "Kazarian" decision) a two part test, or approach, for purposes of reviewing and adjudicating an EB-1A, Extraordinary Ability application was set out. Firstly, you have to meet a minimum of three criteria. You must therefore present evidence and documentation to make the argument that you meet at least three distinct criteria. Once it has been determined that you meet a minimum of three criteria, the second part of the test takes over, and it must then be determined by an evaluation of the evidence as a whole, that the applicant can be considered to be one of the few at the top of their field of endeavor.
It is important to note that post-Kazarian, it is generally recognized that there should be a "plain reading" of the regulations. Certain criteria under the EB-1A standard can be objective. If you can meet the standard/requirement as written then you will meet those criteria. Others however, are more subjective. As an example, the criteria referencing ‘Publication in Professional or Trade Journals' is generally seen as "objective' in nature; ie, if one has published in a professional or trade journal, then one would tend to meet the criterion. However, the criterion ‘Original Scientific, Scholarly, or Business Related Contributions of Major Significance’ is, for the most part, much more "subjective" in nature. In this criterion for example, an evaluation and review of various factors by a USCIS officer can serve to determine the overall "major" significance of contributions to a given field. Furthermore, it is equally important to note that certain criteria can apply only to specific fields - for example, "Display of the Alien's Work at Artistic Exhibitions or Showcases" and "Commercial Success in the Performing Arts" generally apply to the Artistic Exhibitions, and the Performing Arts, as opposed to broader, unrelated fields.
So in the overall context of the EB-1A universe, how do USCIS review and more importantly, adjudicate these applications? At Frank & Delaney Immigration Law we feel that it is important for a potential applicant in this visa category to obtain a full and candid evaluation of their standing in the appropriate context of the EB-1A visa regulations. We welcome the opportunity to review your credentials and discuss your eligibility under this category. We have significant experience in successfully working with individuals from a range of fields, and will provide a professional, and on point evaluation of your credentials, and work with you to organize, structure and present the evidence in the strongest possible manner when filing your application. We can ultimately work with you with a view to filing based on a timeline that best suits your needs with regards to timing and strength of case.
Please contact us for additional details and information.