EB-1(A): Requirements & Procedures


A Foreign Medical Professional (FMP) may qualify as an individual with Extraordinary Ability for purposes of Employment Based immigration. A USCIS Officer reviewing an EB-1(A) visa application will determine: (1) whether the FMP has demonstrated a credible international or national acclaim; AND (2) that the FMP is part of a “small percentage who has risen to the very top of their respective field through his/her accomplishments.”

EB-1 (A) candidates may apply for EB-1 (A) petition without a labor certification or a job offer (i.e. an employer’s sponsorship) under certain circumstances. Any FMP living in the U.S. or abroad is eligible to apply if you meet the following general requirements (see C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3)):

  1. The FMP has extraordinary ability in the sciences (including medicine), education, or business that have been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim;
  2. FMP achievements have been recognized in the field of their practice and profession through extensive documentation. To establish that the FMP is an elite practitioner within his/her respective field, evidence of a receipt of an internationally recognized and acclaimed award is usually dispositive proof (i.e. Nobel Prize). However, in the absence of an internationally recognized award, the FMP can prove Extraordinary Ability by establishing any three (3) of the following:
    1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
    2. Membership in venerable associations that require outstanding achievements of their members (as judged by recognized national or international experts in these respective fields);
    3. Published material in reputable professional trade publications relevant to the FMPs area(s) of expertise;
    4. Participation as a judge evaluating the work of others;
    5. Original scientific, clinical or scholarly contributions of major significance;
    6. Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other established media outlets;
    7. Keynote presentations at reputable symposiums or conferences related area of expertise;
    8. Leading role within an organization or establishment with a distinguished reputation;
    9. High salary and compensation for services in comparison to others in the profession.
  3. In addition to the above criteria, the FMP must: (1) prove that he/she will continue to pursue work in the area of extraordinary ability in the United States; and (2) prove that his/her work is of substantial and quantifiable benefit to U.S. national interest.

Procedurally, the EB-1(A) requires a Form I-140 Immigration Petition, Petition for Alien Worker Application. The FMP may complete a self-petition by filing a Form I-140 with supporting documentation demonstrating that the FMP meets fundamental EB-1(A) criteria (see above).

NOTE: If the Foreign Medical Professional fulfills the EB-1(A) requirements, he/she may petition for permanent residency without an employer sponsor.

If you believe that you may qualify as a Foreign Medical Professional with Extraordinary Ability, please begin by requesting and submitting an EB-1 (A) questionnaire to our FMP Immigration Practice. We offer this preliminary service for free.