No job offer required

EB-1A petition is one of the immigrant visa petitions for priority workers under the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. It belongs to the employment-based first preference. The benefit of the EB-1A is that it does not require a job offer from a U.S. employer before filing the petition. The foreign national can always file a self-petition EB-1A with USCIS. Additionally, there is no visa backlog for the employment-based first preference. Thus a foreign national may obtain the green card on the fast track through EB-1A petitions.

Small percentage in the very top

Extraordinary ability is defined as a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.

To qualify for EB-1A, the foreign national 1) must have extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation; 2) seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability; and 3) proves his or her entry into the United States will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

There are two ways to establish “extraordinary ability”. It can be proven by evidence of one-time achievement that is a major internationally recognized award, such as a Noble Prize, Oscar award, or gold medal for Olympic games.

Evidentiary Criteria

If the foreign national cannot establish the extraordinary ability through a one-time achievement, he or she may establish the extraordinary ability through submitting extensive documentation to satisfy three of ten following evidentiary criteria designated by the regulations:

  • Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field or endeavor;
  • Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
  • Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought.  Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;
  • Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;
  • Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  • Evidence of the display of alien’s works in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  • Evidence that alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence that alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field, or
  • Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

Kazarian and two-step approach

Since August 2010, USCIS has implemented a policy requiring a two-step analysis approach to adjudicating each EB-1A petition pursuant to Kazarian v. USCIS, 596 F.3d 1115, (9th Cir. 2010). According to the USCIS Memo, the immigration officer adjudicating the EB-1A petition will first “evaluate the evidence on an individual basis to determine if it meets criteria, and they must consider all the evidence in totality in making the final merits determination.”

In the first step, the adjudicator will evaluate the evidence to determine how many evidentiary prongs the petition has met. If the petition has met at least three of ten evidentiary prongs, then the adjudicator must proceed with the second step approach of “final merits determination” by reviewing the evidence, accumulatively, to decide if the foreign national has proven that he or she is one of the tops in the field of endeavor.

Processing Information

Nebraska Service Center and Texas Service Centers are the two USCIS centers accepting and adjudicating EB-1A petitions. Usually, it takes USCIS around four months to process EB-1A petitions. Premium processing service is available to EB-1A petitions. By paying an additional $1225.00 premium processing fees, EB-1A petitioners and beneficiaries can expect that USCIS will come up with either a decision or notice within 15 calendar days. Because employment-based first preference is a category where visas are always available, foreign nationals residing in the United States can file concurrent adjustment of status applications with qualifying family relatives at the time of filing EB-1A petition. Such concurrent filing will allow the foreign national and immediate relatives to obtain immigration benefits such as employment authorization and travel documents.


For a detailed discussion of EB-1A petitions, please refer to the EB-1A Frequently Asked Questions page of our website. The Law Offices of Yongbing Zhang has extensive experience in successfully representing talented foreign national professionals to file immigrant visa petitions before USCIS. As of yet, we have never received a denial on an EB-1A petition prepared and filed by our firm. Please click here to read some of our successful petitions.

Scope of our Services in EB-1A Petitions

Please contact us for a free evaluation of your EB-1A petition by filling out the initial online questionnaire and sending us your comprehensive curriculum vitae. After you retain us, we will provide the following quality services for your EB-1A petition:

  • Provide a list of documents and evidence you should collect for your petition;
  • Answer unlimited questions from you either through phone calls or emails regarding your EB-1A petition;
  • Review all of your documents and proposed evidence and advise as to whether reviewed documents should be included in the petition or replaced with other evidence;
  • Draft up to six letters of recommendation based on the information provided by you regarding the background and expertise of the recommenders;
  • Work with you or the recommenders to finalize the letters;
  • Prepare and finalize all the immigration forms and supporting documents for your petition, including the signed recommendation letters;
  • Draft and finalize a petition letter in support of your petition persuasively explaining to the USCIS service center why your EB-1A petition should be approved according to the law and the evidence submitted;
  • Organize, tab or paginate the petition package and file it with USCIS;
  • Monitor the status of your pending case after filing;
  • In the event of a USCIS Request for Evidence (RFE), Work with you to prepare (including drafting one additional letter of recommendation) and file the additional documentation in response to the RFE; and
  • Advise you of further legal steps you can take after receiving USCIS decision, which marks the end of our legal representation of your EB-1A petition.

We will advise you of any legal steps you may take in the aftermath of USCIS decision. We will inform you whether you are eligible for adjustment of status after your EB-1A petition is approved. If it is a denial, we will discuss with you the option and possible outcome of your next actions, such as appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or filing a new petition.

Rules for Clients Communication

At the Law Offices of Yongbing Zhang, client satisfaction is our priority. To better serve our clients, our office has implemented the following rules to assure the quality of our services:

  1. All unanswered phone calls during the regular work hours shall be answered within 24 hours of the business day;
  2. All emails shall be replied to within 24 hours of the next business day;
  1. All first drafts of letters, statements, affidavits or other documents shall be completed within 5 business days upon receipt of all the necessary information from the client;
  1. All revisions, amendments or additions to a draft of a letter, statement or affidavit shall be completed within five business days after the request by the client;

Contact Us

We suggest that you contact us today for a free evaluation. Our experienced attorneys will provide you with a detailed analysis of your case within 24 hours.