EB-1A for Acrobat

EB-1A for Acrobat

  • Applicant: Mr. Yang Wu
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Applying For:  EB-1A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability)
  • Profession: Acrobat and Circus Performer
  • Challenges:
    • Wu works in a field with little permanent evidence of his achievements
    • Wu studies a 2,000-year-old performance art that Tsang and Associates will need to prove that Mr. Wu has changed in a meaningful way
    • Previous denials from other attorneys
    • Wu cannot reach out to colleagues in China for letters of recommendation or photographic evidence because they do not want him to leave


Yang Wu can lift a man on a ladder into the air with one hand. He can balance a pole on the ground while climbing it without use of his legs. He can swing from the highest trapeze, flip through the air and catch another rope with a single leap. Yang Wu knows the feeling of flying through the air with nothing but the ground beneath him, but he was never truly free. His expertise as an acrobat and circus performer had brought him around the world, entertaining thousands. His wife had followed him through the constant traveling so Yang would be able to raise his first-born son on the road. But they had a second child on the way, and despite his job with the Cole Bros. Circus in the US, Yang and his family were forced to frequently return to his homeland of China. The constant traveling on the road and back to the homeland had become too much for his young family to take. Yang and his wife decided they wanted to raise their family in the United States.

Unfortunately for Mr. Wu, the People’s Republic of China viewed him as a possession of the government. His acrobatic schooling was government funded and his art-style is an ancient and highly-regarded national treasure. Worse yet, were Yang to apply for a visa, his Chinese colleagues would not endorse him nor would they provide letters of recommendation. Yang had won many awards and received many accolades, but proof of these feats were few and far between. Without the help of his Chinese colleagues and teachers, it seemed impossible for him to prove his expertise. The other law firms Yang had went to for counsel had told him there was no chance of him becoming a US resident but when he went to Tsang and Associates, we believed he had a chance, small though it may be, to file for a Petition for Classification as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability under INA 203 (B) (1).

At age 20, Mr. Wu had already achieved an accomplished career of acrobatic achievements and performances. He had been in specialty schools since he was four years old and had won his first award for his “Through Tubs” feat at the age of eight at the Henan Acrobatics Competition. By age thirteen, Yang had made an impression in the acrobatic community when he performed the “Balance Pipes” routine with five pipes instead of the usual three. At age fourteen, he had won the prestigious title of “The Golden Lion” performing “Lions Playing/Lion Dance”. Unfortunately, the evidence for these feats were hard to come by. Not only did they have to prove his expertise, but they had to prove that Mr. Wu had made a lasting and influential impression on the 2,000 year old ancient art of Chinese Acrobatic Performance. Through Tsang and Associates diligent research, they were able to find information on many of the competitions Mr. Wu had participated in and troupes he was assembled in. With this information, Tsang and Associates highlighted the many achievements of all those involved with the competitions and troupes, proving that Mr. Wu was a world class acrobat of the highest stature.



Acrobats don’t have the highly prestigious and individualized awards and attention that other artists do. A review written for a film may include quotes about each actor, the director, writer or others involved, but with circus performance, the ensemble is usually treated as a unit in their reviews. Yang referred to himself as “one of the crew”, never one to stand in the spot light but someone integral to the team. So Tsang and Associates treated Mr. Wu’s performance troupes as a unit representing the potential and caliber of Mr. Wu’s abilities. While Mr. Wu may not have been the individual who performed during a scene in a movie, his troupe did and Mr. Wu was a valued and necessary member of that team even if he wasn’t always the featured performer.

Even though much of Mr. Wu’s career was in the People’s Republic of China, he had performed all around the US, in Italy, Algeria and Japan. Reaching out to his American colleagues, they gave Yang Wu glowing letters of recommendation that helped firmly establish Mr. Wu’s influence on the ancient art form of Chinese Acrobatic Performance. His colleagues argued that Yang Wu added a new level of theatrical flair never before seen in his field (which was supported by his achievement of winning ‘The Golden Lion’ so many years before). Theatrical flair is a concept that’s very difficult to pinpoint but incredibly crucial to a field of entertainment that’s dwindling in popularity.

Lastly, Tsang and Associates argued that in the US, there is a dearth of acrobatic schools and performance; it is indeed an art form that does not thrive like it once did in the 21st century. While in China, his type of acrobatic performance is popular and well-regarded, but in the US, it is mostly unknown, with very few who understand it fully or teach it. Having Mr. Wu in the US could lead to generations of growth in this field because of his mastery of the art form.



Despite his strength and balance, his skill and superior ability, Yang Wu didn’t understand paperwork or legalese. He simply doesn’t have the ability or time to wrap his brain around the complicated landscape of the American immigration system. Thankfully, Tsang and Associates does and because of them, Mr. Wu was approved for his visa. Mr. Wu and his family still live in the United States to this day and Mr. Wu travels the country with the Cole Bros. Circus. Mr. Wu may have swung from the high trapeze, soaring over the roaring crowd, but never before had he been truly free until now.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity.

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