The Fate of Extraordinary Aliens Under the Immigration Bill

The Washington

Post is worried about the future of the EB-1 green card for extraordinary

aliens. It’s the green card which allowed the likes of John Lennon and Albert

Einstein into the country, and is awarded to foreign-born VIPs wanting to live

and work in the US. Under the proposed immigration reform, the EB-1 could be

abolished, which would be a bad thing.

But there are two things to note, here, which the Washington Post doesn’t mention.

Firstly, although it’s true that some truly exceptional people do get the EB-1

green card every year, it’s also true that some really rather normal people

do as well. It’s one of those things which is largely self-selecting: if you’re

confident in your own abilities, and you have a good lawyer, then there’s a

good chance your EB-1 application will be successful even if you’re not "one

of a half-dozen people in this world who is up to the job of heading a division

of a multibillion-dollar behemoth," to use an example from the Post.

Secondly, as far as I can tell, even if the EB-1 program is abolished, the

O and P visas will not be. O and P visas are basically exactly the same as EB-1

green cards, except that they’re temporary rather than permanent. But they can

be renewed as many times as you like, so there’s really not a huge amount of


It would be sad were the EB-1 green card to be abolished, yes. But it really

wouldn’t be the end of the world.

(Via Borjas)

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