Obtain Multiple Reference Letters for EB1 Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A) Application


Many EB1 Extraordinary Ability application include letters of reference. Certain testimonials written by other experts working in the alien applicant’s field may be submitted as evidence. But the letters of reference should not be the cornerstone of a successful application of EB1 Extraordinary Ability.


Be sure to include letters from experts in the field who have not collaborated directly with the alien beneficiary, or from "independent experts" in the field. However, it undermines the claim to an international reputation when the peer reference did not previously know the beneficiary, but is writing the letter simply after reviewing his or her resume and publications. Therefore, a combination of letters from collaborators and mentors who describe the beneficiary’s reputation in the field, along with a few other letters from independent references who know the beneficiary’s work via their conference presentations or publications, is the best recipe for success.


According to USCIS, the reference letter should come from independent and well-recognized expert, based upon his/her review of the documents that are submitted with the EB1 Extraordinary Ability petition. By "independent", the USCIS means an expert with whom the alien applicant has not worked before - not an employer, colleague, advisor, or client. By "well-recognized", the USCIS means a well-credentialed expert with lengthy experience in the field of endeavor. The experience should include an advanced degree, more than ten years of experience in the field, a lengthy publication and presentation record.