EB-1 (A) “Extraordinary Ability” Criteria

Foreign Medical Professionals

A USCIS Officer reviewing a Foreign Medical Professional’s EB-1(A) visa application will determine: (1) whether the FMP has demonstrated a credible national/international 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.”

The following criteria demonstrates the first step in determining your eligibility for filing an EB-1 (A) visa application. Therefore, it is critical that you consider all the following requirements. 

EB-1 (A)

In the first tier, the FMP must establish extraordinary ability by satisfying one of the following:

  1. FMP may present evidence of a one-time, major international award such as the Nobel Prize. If the individual satisfies this evidence, the FMP must also prove: (A) he/she is entering the United States to continue work in the field of extraordinary ability; AND (B) the FMPs work product will substantially benefit the United States.

  2. OR;

  3. In the absence of satisfying the above, the FMP must establish extraordinary ability by fulfilling relevant legal criteria. Please consider the following:

PART I. EB-1 (A)
  1. Major International Awards. Any major international award(s) that you have been honored with (i.e. Nobel Peace Prize).

  2. National or International Awards.  Any national or international recognized awards for excellence in the field of your profession/practice. 

  3. Memberships in Professional Associations.   Membership in professional associations requiring outstanding achievements of its members. [NOTE: Ordinary membership in an association that is easy to join will not help since it does not require outstanding achievement for membership. For instance, it only takes $50 to join the American Cancer Society whereas membership in the National Academy of Sciences as a Foreign Associate is currently limited to 18 individual per year, each of whom must be nominated by an academy member and in which membership is granted upon recognition of the individual’s distinguished achievements in original research].

  4. Published Material. Published material in reputable professional trade publications or other major media relating to your work.  Also articles referring to your research or accomplishments.

  5. Panel Participation and Judge. Participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of others’ work in the same or related field. Any expert review work for journals of international circulation within your field of expertise.

  6. Original Scientific, Scholarly or Business-Related Contribution(s). Contributions of major significance in your field. [NOTE: Evidence of contributions must be able to be supported by affidavits of independent experts in the field].

  7. Authorship of Scholarly Articles in Reputable Professional Trade Publications. Related publications (including the # of citations) and other publicity received from major media outlets in the field of expertise.

  8. Keynote Presentations and Display of Work. Conferences or major events in the field that you directly participated as a keynote speaker or spotlight individual for your work/research.

  9. Leading Role(s) within Distinguished Organization(s). Reputable organizations or establishments that you hold a leading and critical role.

  10. High Remuneration and Salary. Proof of remuneration that you receive for your services compared to others in the respective field. [Generally, an annual salary and bonus that is higher than $1,000,000 is considered significant].


If the Foreign Medical Professional successfully demonstrates evidence of Extraordinary Ability in Part I, the evidence submitted will then be considered “in its entirety” by the USCIS. Please answer the following.

  1. Area of expertise. Compelling reasons based on your accomplishments and recognitions as to how you have sustained national or international acclaim within your area of expertise.
  2. Sustained Acclaim. Recognition and acclaim in your area of expertise is maintained to the present date of this filing. This includes any future or prospective recognitions.
  3. Level of Expertise. Indicates how you are amongst a small percentage of experts that have risen to the very top within your field.
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