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Athletes Qualifying for a Green Card After Winning an Olympic Medal

You Won a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Olympic Medal.  Now it’s Time to go for the Green!

Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro

Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro

Now that the 2016 Rio Olympics have come to a close, thousands of talented athletes are returning home with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in hand. These athletes are among the most elite in the world – the best of the best. The United States covets these types of people and it just so happens that there is a way for those athletes who won an Olympic medal to immigrate to the United States.

A green card just for Olympic medalists, you ask? Not quite, the EB–1 green card is a specific employment-based category that allows applicants who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in certain fields, including athletics, to apply for a green card without having a job offer in the United States.

Generally, to qualify for an EB-1 green card, the applicant must demonstrate at least 3 of the following 10 criteria:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

However, USCIS explicitly states that in lieu of the aforementioned criteria, the applicant can also “provide evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal).”

So if you won Gold, Silver or Bronze at the Olympics, maybe it’s time to go for the Green? Contact Maximilian Law Inc. to see whether you are eligible to apply for an EB-1 green card.