Jamaica Magazine

Immigration: Permanent Residence For Eb-1a, "Alien With Extraordinary Abilities.

Under Immigration law individuals can acquire permanent residence through family, their employer, and other specific categories that are too many to list in this present article. The main thing to know is that acquiring permanent residence under the EB-1A category is considered to be an employer-based green card process. As with family-sponsored permanent residence there are preference categories that determine the time frame in which certain individuals will receive their permanent residence and their eligibility for permanent residence, “green card.”  The same is true for the employer-sponsored permanent residence. In employer-sponsored permanent residence process Immigration has created specific preference categories and these categories will determine the processing time and the requirements of obtaining permanent residence.  The First Preference Immigration Petition (EB-1) is an employment-based petition for permanent residence reserved for those who are among the most accomplished in their respective fields within the arts, sciences, education, business, or sports. There are three (3) types of EB-1 petitions:  (1). Alien of Extraordinary Ability EB-1A, (2). Outstanding Researcher/Outstanding Professor EB-1B and (3). Managers and Executive Transferees EB-1C . The Unites States and Immigration have a long expressed an interest in providing short term employment via the O visa and permanent immigration status to such individuals who possess these extraordinary abilities. This month we will  focus on “Aliens with Extraordinary Ability” i.e., EB-1A. 

The Law Office of Safiya Byars has worked extensively with the EB-1A clients and we have developed a winning strategy of argument to position our clients in the best position to receive an approval. Among other things, we work diligently with our clients to develop and provide extensive documentation to Immigration. 

Benefits under EB-1A Category, “Alien with Extraordinary Ability”

1. Petitions under EB-1A category are not required to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor before the petition is filed. Obtaining a labor certification is a time-consuming and expensive process that seeks to determine whether a qualified U.S. worker is available to fill the position sought by the petitioning alien. In addition to the time and expense of the labor certification process, an alien risks being denied a labor certification if a U.S. worker with technical qualifications for the employment is found to fill the job vacancy.

2. Another wonderful benefit of the category of “Alien with Extraordinary Ability” is that no offer of employment is required. This simply means that individuals in this category can essentially self-petition for permanent residence on their own merit and they do not need a sponsor. The “Alien with Extraordinary Ability” is essentially sponsoring his/her own application for permanent residence. 
Criteria for Demonstrating Extraordinary Ability: Applicants must meet 3 out of the 10 listed criteria below to prove extraordinary ability in their field:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts.


At the Law Office of Safiya Byars, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to providing professional and fast service for our clients. We want your case approved as much as you do, and we will do everything within the law to advance your interests. We are available to discuss your case at your convenience. You may schedule your consultation by sending an email to sby[email protected] or via phone at 678-954-5809/404-992-6506.

Disclaimer: This article is a broad overview and is provided as a public service. This article is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Any reliance on the information contained herein is taken at your own risk. The information provided in this article should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed. 


About the Writer:
Safiya Byars ([email protected]) is the senior partner and owner in the Law Office of Safiya Byars (www.byarslawgroup.com). She is an active member of the Caribbean and International communities in Georgia. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Montevallo and received her law degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her office is located at 160 Clairemont Avenue, Ste. 200, Decatur, Georgia 30030.  Attorney Byars handles all immigration matters, deportation defense, family law issues, and business formation/litigation. To discuss you case, contact Attorney Byars at 404-992-6506 or 678-954-5809.

About the author

Safiya Byars, Esq

Safiya Byars is the founder and senior partner of the Byars Firm. Attorney Byars serves as the Chair of the Family Immigration Continuing Learning Education and the Vice-Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. She is a native of Kingston, Jamaica. The Byars firm is located at 3720 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Suite D2, Chamblee, Georgia 30341. The Byars Firm handles Immigration, Family, and Estate Planning matters. We can be reached at 678-736-5600 and email: [email protected].