Aliens who are Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees, or Aliens of Exceptional Ability
Any U.S. employer who intends to employ and alien who is a member of the professions, and who holds an advanced degree in his/her field, or who has exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, may file an I-140 Petition on his or her behalf. A Labor Certification is required under this classification except where the Director of the USCIS Regional Service Center having jurisdiction over the case determines that an exemption would be in the national interest. If an alien claims such as exemption, he/she, or any person may file the petition on his/her behalf. An advanced degree is any U.S. academic or professional degree above that of baccalaureate, or a foreign equivalent degree. An alien may also qualify for classification under this category if he/she holds a baccalaureate degree, and additionally have five years of progressive experience in the profession. The documentation required to be submitted with the petition includes the official academic record of the alien showing that he/she has been awarded an advanced degree or the foreign equivalent, or an official academic record showing that the alien has baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and letters from current or former employers documenting that he/she has least five years of progressive experience in the specialty. U.S. employers may also file petitions on behalf of aliens who claim exceptional ability in the sciences, the arts, or business. Exceptional ability is defined by the USCIS as a degree of expertise significantly above that which ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business. To prove this level expertise, the petition must be accompanied by at least three of the following:
- An official academic record showing that the alien has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from college, university, school, or other institute of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability;
- Evidence in the form of letter(s) form current or former employers showing that the alien has least ten years of full-time experience in the occupation for which he/she is being sought;
- A license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation;
- Evidence that the alien has commanded a salary or other remuneration for services, which demonstrates exceptional ability;
- Evidence of membership in professional associations; or
- Evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers. Governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.
If the above standards do not readily apply to the alien’s specialty, the U.S. employer may submit comparable evidence to establish that the alien is eligible for permanent residence under this classification.
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