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Extraordinary Ability

You may be eligible for a visa if you have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, which can be demonstrated by sustained acclaim and recognition, and you will be coming to the United States to start a business in your field. Extraordinary ability means you have a level of expertise indicating you are one of the small percentages of people who have risen to the very top of your field. If eligible, the initial period of stay in the United States is up to three years. The period of stay may be extended or renewed in increments of one year as necessary to complete or further the event or activity. If you have not received a major internationally recognized award, you must answer “yes” and submit evidence for at least three of the ten questions below. Violinist

Requirement to establish that you have extraordinary ability in your field: 

  • Have you received any lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor?
  • Are you a member of associations that require outstanding achievements of their members as judged by recognized national or international experts?
  • Is there published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about you which relates to your work in the field?
  • Have you participated on a panel or individually as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization?
  • Have you made original scientific, scholarly or business contributions that are of major significance?
  • Have you authored scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media?
  • Has your work been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases?
  • Have you played a leading or critical role for an organization with a distinguished reputation?
  • Have you or will you command a high salary or other remuneration for your services in comparison to others in your field?
  • Have you enjoyed commercial successes in the performing arts?

Note: If the criteria discussed in this section do not readily apply to your occupation, you may submit comparable evidence to establish your eligibility. However, there is no comparable evidence for the one-time achievement of a major, international recognized award.

Requirements to establish that you are coming to the United States to continue to work in your area of extraordinary ability:

  • Letters from current or prospective employers
  • Documents evidencing your prearranged commitments (e.g. contracts)
  • A statement detailing your plans on how you intend to continue working in your field in the United States