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EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa (Part 1): Immigration Eligibility Criteria for Occupational Categories

Posted by Ann Badmus | Oct 03, 2012 | 0 Comments

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), for a foreign physician to be eligible for employment-based immigration under the EB-1 extraordinary ability visa, they must either 1) have extraordinary ability in their field, 2) be an outstanding professor or researcher, or 3) be a multinational executive or manager. Each of these three occupational categories has certain requirements that must be met by the foreign physician. In this first of two articles we will discuss the general requirements of these categories.

Extraordinary Ability

A foreign physician must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field of medical practice through sustained national or international acclaim. Their achievements must be recognized in their field through extensive documentation so that the physician is considered to be one of the few who has risen to the top of his field nationally or internationally.  The foreign physician does not require an offer of employment to meet the requirement of this occupational category. Foreign physicians may petition for themselves by filing a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.

Outstanding professors and researchers   

A foreign physician must demonstrate international recognition for their outstanding achievements in a particular academic field, wherein they must have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research. They must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. An offer of employment from a prospective U.S. employer is required, and the employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.

Multinational manager or executive

A foreign physician must have been employed outside the United States for at least one year in the three years preceding the petition by a firm or corporation, and must be seeking to enter the United States to continue service to that firm or organization. Their employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer. The petitioning employer must be a U.S. employer and must have been doing business for at least one year, as an affiliate, a subsidiary, or as the same corporation or other legal entity that employed the foreign physician abroad.

In our next article we will discuss the specific criteria for demonstrating extraordinary ability, as well as list examples of documentary evidence.

About the Author

Ann Badmus

Principal and Managing Attorney


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