Obtaining a U.S. Green Card through EB1-A

We present updates of recent legal developments and track hot legal topics. We offer seamlessly integrated legal services to our clients on a global basis.

Tell us about Your Case


Obtaining a U.S. Green Card through EB1-A

Update date:

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 20:13

Part II:  Proving National or International Recognition  

This is the second installment in our series on obtaining a green card through the EB1-A classification.  You can find our entire series on this topic at http://mtlawllc.com/en/news.  The EB1-A subcategory is an easy way for many types of talented professionals in the arts, sciences, business, education, and sport to obtain green cards. To qualify for the EB1-A classification, the successful visa candidate must prove that he or she has achieved national or international recognition in their field. This article will explain what kind of evidence can be used to show this.

For some extremely accomplished individuals, proving national or international recognition is as simple as showing the award of one major internationally recognized distinction, such as a Nobel Prize or an Olympic Gold Medal. However, there are many other ways to establish recognition in your field. To establish recognition, a successful EB1-A candidate can show a combination of three of the following:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in your field of endeavor.  This distinction does not itself need to be awarded from a national or international body.  Rather, it only needs to be a distinction that is widely known about and respected in the national or international community in the particular field of endeavor.  Examples include, but are not limited to the award of a competitive grant, residency in a prestigious art institution, winning an exclusive professional, business or educational award, admission to attend a selective conference or training, award of an exclusive music contract, or earning a medal in a respected and competitive sporting event. 
  2. Membership in an association that requires outstanding achievement in your professional field as a condition of membership. Qualifying memberships are those that require approval from nationally or internationally recognized experts. This includes professional associations, societies, exclusive clubs, and all-star teams where membership requires nomination, election and recommendations from nationally or internationally respected individuals. 
  3. Published material about your work in professional or major trade publications or other media. Publications about your work should contain the title, date, author, and must be translated into English.  Qualifying examples include biographies in exclusive print or on-line publications, professional newsletters that describe achievements or contributions, and articles about your work in newspapers, magazines, journals, books, and other media.  
  4. Participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or a related field.  Examples include peer reviewing scholarly journals, serving as a member of a Ph.D. dissertation committee, evaluating the work of artists, musicians, and other performers, auditing or reviewing prestigious companies, judging competitions, and reviewing the work of junior level professionals to determine their promotion.   
  5. Original contributions of major significance to the respective field. This can vary widely depending on the field and what you do. Evidence of original contributions can be peer reviewed presentations at academic symposia, peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals that provoked wide commentary or received notice from others in the field, entries in a citation index that cite to your work as authoritative in the field, opinion letters from experts in the field, innovative products that have influenced industries or markets, widely acclaimed artistic creations or athletic performances, coaching high achieving athletes, descriptions of clinical procedures that involve a high level of danger, and published research and findings that contribute new knowledge to your field.  
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media.  This distinction includes articles that you have written and that have been circulated in national newspapers, magazines, or and professional trade journals that are read by people in your field.  Although not exactly determinative on its own merits, lectures and reports that target a more limited audience within your field may be useful when combined with other evidence.  
  7. Display of work at artistic exhibitions or showcases. This includes displays at museums, universities, schools, government buildings, libraries, public spaces, and other settings.
  8. Performance in a leadership role or other critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation.  This requires showing evidence of your unique role and the distinguished nature of the organization, institution, team, group or company that you served in.  The nature of the leadership or critical role can be established with letters from individuals with personal knowledge of your work. While the distinction of the organization or establishment can be documented by its reputation, ranking, composition, and performance.    
  9. Higher salary or other significantly high remuneration in the field. This can be shown with geographical or position-appropriate compensation surveys and organizational justifications to pay above the compensation data.
  10. Commercial success in the performing arts as shown by box office receipts or sales of records, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.  This can include the commercial success of a movie, theatre, music, or dance production, or the sale of songs, records, videos or other performance art. 
  11. If the above types of evidence do not easily apply then other comparable evidence may be used.

As this list shows, many types of evidence can be used to establish national or international recognition. The key is to show the competitive nature of the distinction and the extent of its respect in the field.  You can learn more about qualifying evidence by contacting MT Law LLC and speaking with one of our experienced attorneys at 1-800-345-1899.


Stay tuned for our next installment in our EB1-A series on how to establish your intention to continue working in the United States. 

About MT Law LLC:  We are an experienced, client focused immigration law firm with offices in Massachusetts, New York, California, and China. You can learn more about our legal practice and our talented attorneys by visiting http://www.mtlawllc.com or by contacting us at 800-345-1899 or info@mtlawllc.com.

The information provided is not intended as legal advice. This article contains general information and is intended for informational purposes only. If you have a question about your situation please contact an attorney directly.