How to secure the US Extraordinary Ability Green Card (EB-1 category)

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This visa category is designed for those who excel in their field, whether it be in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics.

The United States offers a variety of visa options for individuals looking to live and work within its borders, one of the most coveted being the EB-1 visa, also known as the Extraordinary Ability Green Card.

This visa category is designed for those who excel in their field, whether it be in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics. For Nigerians with remarkable achievements and a desire to expand their horizons in the US, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to secure an EB-1 visa.

Understanding the EB-1 Visa

The EB-1 visa is divided into three sub-categories: EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability), EB-1B (Outstanding Professors and Researchers), and EB-1C (Multinational Manager or Executive). This guide focuses on the EB-1A, which does not require a job offer in the US, meaning applicants can self-petition.

Eligibility Criteria for EB-1A

To qualify for the EB-1A category, applicants must demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field through sustained national or international acclaim. This can be evidenced by receiving a major internationally recognised award, like a Nobel Prize, or meeting at least three of the following criteria:

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognised prizes or awards for excellence.
  2. Membership in associations that demand outstanding achievement of their members.
  3. Published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
  4. Being asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel.
  5. Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance.
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
  7. Display of your work at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
  8. Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organisations.
  9. Commanding a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field.
  10. Commercial successes in the performing arts.
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Application process

  1. Evidence Compilation: Gather evidence that demonstrates your extraordinary ability. This includes awards, letters of recommendation, publications, and other relevant documents.
  2. Form I-140: File the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140). As an EB-1A applicant, you can self-petition, meaning you do not need an employer to sponsor you.
  3. Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing: If you’re already in the US on a different visa, you can adjust your status to a permanent resident by filing Form I-485. If outside the US, you’ll undergo consular processing in your home country.

Tips for a successful application

  • Strong Documentation: Your application must be backed by strong evidence showcasing your extraordinary abilities. Letters of recommendation from experts in your field can significantly bolster your case.
  • Professional Help: Consider hiring an immigration lawyer who specialises in EB-1 applications. Their expertise can guide you through the complex process and improve your chances of success.
  • Detail Your Impact: Clearly articulate the significance of your contributions to your field and how they have had a national or international impact.


Securing an EB-1 visa is a challenging process that requires thorough preparation and exceptional credentials. For Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in their professional fields, this visa category offers an unparalleled opportunity to pursue their careers on a global stage. With the right preparation and support, your dream of living and working in the US could become a reality.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.


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