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Extraordinary Ability

Neither a labor certification nor an offer of employment is required for this classification. Individuals can self-petition and typically benefit from an overall shorter permanent residence process. Because a labor certification and job offer are not required, there are shorter waiting times, and concurrent filing of the petition and the application to adjust status is more commonly available.

This classification is available for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics and is similar to the O-1 nonimmigrant classification described below, but a grant of an O-1 does not guarantee that the petition will be approved. Extraordinary ability is defined as a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor and reserved for aliens whose credentials and accomplishments place them at the very top of their field and is extremely restrictive.