Question: I have lots of years of experience and lots of publications and awards. However, I don’t have an employer to sponsor me. Is there any other option?
Answer: There might be. EB1-A or EB1-EA is a subgroup of first preference employment-based immigration (EB-1). This immigration preference category is for foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. According to federal immigration law, such persons are not required to have a prospective employer (unlike EB1-B and EB1-C, and other preference categories), but they must be entering to continue to work in their chosen field, and they must substantially benefit prospectively in the U.S. In addition, the petitioner has to show that the foreign person sustained national or international acclaim with recognized achievements. This is the requirement that is most difficult to prove.
Question: What is needed to prove this particular petition?
Answer: While it is not easy, there are a specified list of items upon which we can try to put the supporting evidence.
Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor. Membership in an association that requires outstanding achievement as a condition of membership in the field for which the classification is sought. Published material about the foreign person or his or her work in professional, trade journals, or major media publications. (These items must include title, date, author, and must be translated into English)
The foreign person's participation, on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or a related field. Evidence of original contributions, usually through publication, of major significance in the foreign national's fields of science, scholastic, artistic, or athletic
Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media (national newspapers, magazines, etc.) Display of the foreign national's work at significant exhibitions. Performance in a significant role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation. Receipt of a higher salary or remuneration than is usual in the field
Commercial success in the performing arts as shown by box office receipts or sales records, cassette, compact disk, or video sales, or other comparable evidence if the above types of evidence do not readily apply to the foreign national's occupations.
The meanings of these evidentiary criteria are ambiguous. Cases in front of AAO (Administrative Appeal Office) have indicated that not every criterion applies to every foreign beneficiary.
Question: Which field do I claim to be extraordinary ability?
Answer: You want to try to narrow down the field. Thus, if you were an engineer, you would narrow that to the type of engineer and then a sub-category within that type of engineer. For example, an aeronautical engineer specializing in flight systems on the F-16. The narrower the field, the higher the chance of success.