Persons of Extraordinary Ability E-11


A petition that requests permission to adjust to permanent resident status (which is the first stage in the employment-based permanent residency process) may be filed if it can be shown that the foreign national possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. This petition, known as the I-140, can be filed by either the foreign national him or herself or by an employer on behalf of the foreign national.

To qualify for this category you must be able to show that you are among the very few people in the world who have reached the top of their field. This extraordinary ability must be demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim, and through achievements that are recognized in the field. This recognition may come from independent experts, through internationally competitive awards and other criteria such as an extensive publication and presentation record. A researcher who applies under the extraordinary ability category must be able to demonstrate that he or she has contributed significantly to his or her field of specialization.

A specific job offer is not required for a foreign national in this group as long as the foreign national is entering the U.S. to continue work in the field in which he or she has extraordinary ability.

In order to show that the foreign national is a person of extraordinary ability, he or she must show that they received a one-time major, internationally recognized award OR show evidence of at least three of following:

  1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;
  2. Membership in academic associations which require outstanding achievements of their members;
  3. Published material in professional publications written by others about the foreign national’s academic work;
  4. Participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
  5. Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field;
  6. Authorship of scholarly books or articles in the academic field;
  7. Display of foreign national’s work at exhibitions, etc.;
  8. Performance in a leading or critical role for organizations with a distinguished reputation;
  9. High salary or other remuneration; and
  10. Commercial successes in the performing arts.