|Although it is technically classified as an employment visa, the Extraordinary Ability Visa is not tied to a job, but to an individual. Successful applicants are truly unique individuals that have a world-class mastery in a particular field.
According to the statute, the applicant must show “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.” To demonstrate “extraordinary ability” an applicant must either have won a top tier award, such as a Nobel Prize, Pulitzer, Oscar, or Olympic Medal, or provide 3 of the 10 items below:
Getting an Extraordinary Ability Visa is very difficult because the requirements are so exacting. During each of the past few years, only a few thousand Extraordinary Ability Visas were granted. Individuals may apply for an Extraordinary Ability Visa with or without a specific job lined up but must only intend to keep working in the field they are excelling in.
The immediate family members of people who are granted an Extraordinary Ability Visa may also apply for permanent residency. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are generally granted permission to accompany the visa holder, and may legally reside, work, and study in the United States. After five years, the visa holder and his or her spouse and children are typically able to apply for citizenship.
Applicants who are interested in applying for an Extraordinary Ability Visa but are not sure they can meet the demands should discuss their background with an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney can advise applicants about other types of visas that may be easier to obtain. Contact our office today for a consultation relating to your Extraordinary Ability Visa or other immigration matter.