Immigration Section
April 2014 Issue
Content is updated daily

Unconventional Visa Allows For 'Best Of The Best' Entry Into U.S.

Recent media reports about a Canadian-born burlesque dancer who a received a green card based on her “extraordinary ability” have called attention to a little known immigration law, known as the E11, which grants green cards to individuals who demonstrate “genius” ability in their field — even if it’s an unusual ability.

Getting the visa isn’t an easy process, however. It can require heaps of supporting evidence and documentation — some of which may require a notarial seal.

The same unconventional visa that allowed John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and an international Miss Universe pageant winner green card entry to the U.S. is available to individuals within a wide variety of professions — fashion modeling, fine art, athletics, science, business, music and dance, to name a few.

Applicants must, however, be deemed by the USCIS as “individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics,” and be able to demonstrate that ability through ample evidence and paperwork.

As in all immigration cases, Notaries may never offer advice to petitioners, which could be construed as the unauthorized practice of law; they may, however, still serve an integral part of the immigration process. Specialized visas such as the E11 and the more popular H-1B skilled worker and EB5 investor visas often require support documents, such as affidavits, that require notarization.

Key Points:

  • E11 Visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in a certain field.

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