Extraordinary Ability vs. NIW

If the Employer does not sponsor, then one can qualify for Extraordinary Ability (EB-1 A) or National Interest Waiver (NIW) (EB2) .  The difference between Extraordinary Ability and National Interest Waivers is one of degree, ie the requirement is far higher for Extraordinary Ability. The higher the preference, the more visa numbers are available, and the shorter the time to get the Permanent Residency. Labor Certification is not required for any of these categories, and one jumps straight to the I-140 stage. (See generally Green Card-Employment in this web site)

Extraordinary Ability aliens must have at least 3 of these factors:

  1. Nationally or Internationally recognized prizes- Not just local or school based prizes
  2. Be members in association which requires outstanding achievements–Associations that need recommendation to enter
  3. Published material in major journals-list all publications-Need the impact factor of journals
  4. Citation of your work by others, or any other publication about the alien
  5. Participate in a panel or judge the qualifications of others-participation in peer review
  6. Evidence of original scientific or artistic contributions-For example Patents and copyrights
  7. Evidence of a High Salary

National Interest Waivers must have a Master’s Degree or higher and must meet ALL THREE OF these qualifications:

  1. Work must be of SUBSTANTIAL INTRINSIC MERIT-ie not an esoteric field of law.
  2. The scope of the work is NATIONAL and not merely local. For eg. Published in National Journals not local
  3. The work benefits the national interest to a “substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.”, ie it SIGNIFICANTLY EXCEEDS THE NORM. It must establish that there is no need to protect normal US workers through a labor certification process.

Reference letters from professors and other researchers in the field is very useful for all of these categories. 

Outstanding Professors and Researchers

Professors and  Researchers can qualify for First Employment Based Preference ( EB-1 B) if their Employer sponsors them.

Requirements are:

  1. demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field.
  2. Have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area.
  3. Must have tenure or tenure track teaching or permanent research position at a university or other institution of higher education.