U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its Policy Manual to expand acceptable evidence under the published material criteria for EB-1 Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Researcher/Professor petitions, as well as acceptable evidence to meet the “leading or critical role” performed for a “distinguished” institution criteria as applied to EB-1 Extraordinary Ability petitions.
- With respect to “published material” about the beneficiary as applied to EB-1 Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Researcher/Professor petitions: such evidence need not be a printed article or book/chapter, and more varied evidence is acceptable, including a transcript of audio or video coverage of the beneficiary or the beneficiary’s work.
- With respect to evidence to establish the beneficiary played a “leading or critical role” for a “distinguished” institution as applied to EB-1 Extraordinary Ability petitions: such evidence need not be limited to roles reflecting the beneficiary is (or was) a leader within the whole organization or establishment. The beneficiary may instead show they held a leading or critical role for a division or department thereof.
The expansion of acceptable evidence for these EB-1 petitions is a further step taken by the Biden-Harris Administration to recognize the diverse and dynamic ways that extraordinary ability professionals and outstanding researchers/professors distinguish themselves in their professional arenas. While these policy updates are not limited to professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), they closely follow a recent policy update by the Biden-Harris administration to provide clarity and flexibility for EB-2 National Interest Waiver petitions related to STEM fields. Together, these policy updates provide greater access to EB-1 and EB-2 petition approvals and ultimately, towards obtaining a green card.