The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently taken a significant step forward by updating its Policy Manual to provide clearer and more comprehensive guidelines for the EB-1 immigrant visa classifications, specifically the Extraordinary Ability (E11) and Outstanding Professor or Researcher (E12) categories. Notably, this update places a strong emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The primary goal of this update is to assist applicants in effectively demonstrating their eligibility by offering guidance on the submission of appropriate evidence.

Key Points: 

      •  The new policy guidance goes beyond merely listing the types of evidence that USCIS will consider. It also provides explicit examples, eliminating potential ambiguities and giving applicants a well-defined path to navigate the application process successfully.
      • The updated guidance places a spotlight on STEM fields, recognizing the critical role these disciplines play in advancing society. It offers clear examples of evidence that are particularly relevant to STEM professionals, providing invaluable guidance to individuals in these specialized fields seeking to showcase their unique skills and contributions.
      • USCIS acknowledges that not all accomplishments fit neatly into predefined categories. To address this, the guidance defines what can be considered as “comparable evidence.” This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with unconventional achievements that may not align with traditional criteria but are undeniably significant.
      • The USCIS has included a set of considerations that its officers may use when evaluating the evidence submitted by applicants. This transparency empowers required, applicants can potentially expedite the review process of their applications.

About the Author

Elizabeth Garvish
Founder at Garvish Immigration Law Group | (800) 951-4980 | | Profile | + posts

Elizabeth L.A. Garvish founded Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC in 2011 after practicing immigration law in small boutique firms, big law and nonprofits. Elizabeth is a frequent speaker and presenter on entrepreneurship and U.S. immigration topics around the world. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves on various national committees and is the Past Chair of the Georgia-Alabama Chapter of AILA. Elizabeth is also a certified member of the EO Global Speakers Academy.