What is an EB-1A visa?
The EB1A visa is a specialty immigrant visa for exceptionally gifted individuals in certain sectors.
What are the requirements?
To get an EB1A visa, you must prove that you have an extraordinary ability and that you will continue to work in your field of extraordinary ability upon coming to the United States.
The following categories must be proven for an EB-1A case for athletes and coaches:
· Being awarded smaller, less notable prizes that don't meet the criteria for a major award.
While major athletic awards are helpful, they are not necessary to meet the requirements for this visa category. minor championships and other achievements can still be included in the petition. Other Helpful awards include special recognition from reputable organizations, government-issued awards such as 'master of sport,' and other notable accomplishments.
· Memberships in prestigious associations require outstanding qualities from members.
If you're an athlete, this category can be helpful for you to argue to the USCIS. This includes things such as being a member of a national team or appearing on an all-star team, as well as media lists and recognitions, training invitations, and other opportunities. You could also meet the requirements for this category if you're part of a professional organization that's internationally recognized for coaches.
· Articles and published materials about the athlete in reputable media outlets
Media and news outlets that publish articles about athletes and coaches are very useful. The articles and published materials should feature the athlete (not just mention them briefly), come from a media outlet that has a good reputation, and it is best if the outlet’s audience is in more than one country.
· Having experience critiquing other athletes, either as an individual or on a panel
Coaches who spend the majority of their time grading and evaluating teams of athletes and other coaches may benefit from this one. This might be more difficult for sportspeople to fit into, but it is feasible. We've made the case that participating as a sparring partner in the training camp is an assessment of other athletes, for example.
· Major, significant scientific, academic, artistic, athletic, or commercial achievements in your field of expertise.
This is a type of eligibility that may be more beneficial to coaches than athletes. This status is verified through written training manuals, innovative approaches, new techniques, training films, and other inventive presentations from the athlete or coach.
· Having scholarly articles you wrote about your sport published in a major media outlet.
Coaches and athletes who enjoy writing may find this category useful for the EB-1A petition. This eligibility criterion could be met by writing essays, news articles, books, or other pieces that are authored by an athlete or coach and then published publicly in a reputable media outlet.
· The athlete's work has been shown in showcases or exhibitions.
Being inducted into halls of fame, appearing on TV for special moves or accomplishments, and holding clinics and seminars that are well attended are all useful information for this EB-1A category.
· Employment in a highly esteemed organization where your role is critical to the success of the company
If you want to be eligible for this category, it would help to have previously worked or currently worked for a prestigious organization where you had significant contributions. For example, if you coach or start playing for a national team that has once won or regularly wins world championships and/or Olympics competitions, that would be ideal.
· Getting paid more than other athletes or coaches in your sport
There are several ways to prove that an athlete or coach is paid higher than average, which can help establish the required remuneration category for EB-1A eligibility. This includes copies of contracts, confirmations from industry experts, reports from labor statistics, and more.
How do You Prove that You Have Extraordinary Ability?
To show that you possess exceptional ability, you must provide evidence of “sustained national or international acclaim” and that your “achievements have been recognized by experts in the field.” [8CFR Section 204.5(h)(3)]
What documents do I need to apply for this visa?
Depending on the type of case additional documents will be required, but here are some of the basics:
· CV or resume
· Passport copies
· Copies of your publications, evidence of any awards you have won, pay stubs displaying a salary higher than that of your colleagues, citations, and other such supporting documentation.
· Endorsements and letters of recommendation from professionals in your field.
· Written confirmation of the type of work you will do in America, which could include a job offer, work contract, or signed statement about your duties in the USA.
If you're planning on applying for an EB-1A visa, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the process. But don't worry! We have the experience and expertise to find the best legal strategy for you.
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