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How to Meet the EB-1A Requirement of Major Internationally Recognized Prize or Award

Hi William,

What constitutes a major internationally recognized prize or award and lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards?


USCIS has indicated that a major, international prize is an award such as Nobel Prize. USCIS also
indicated that f one-time awards which enjoy truly international recognition may include the Pulitzer Prize, the Academy Award, and the Olympic Gold Medal. USCIS concluded that these prizes were household names recognized immediately even among the general public as being the highest possible honors in the respective fields.

Although evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards is a lower standard than evidence of a major internationally recognized prize, the EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) petitioner still has the burden to submit substantial evidence proving the prizes or awards are nationally or internationally recognized ones.

With regard to the receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards, evidence should be submitted regarding the number of person nominated, a description of the prize or award and whether it is for team work or an individual performance. USCIS has made the following rulings concerning this evidence requirement:
  • Academic scholarships or grants do not suffice;
  • Evidence should be submitted regarding how many individuals were nominated for an award or prize and the criteria for eligibility;
  • A team award is less valuable than individual award; and
  • Local awards do not suffice.

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