Establishing your “extraordinary ability” can be a complex and bewildering process. As a petitioner, you want your petition for an EB-1 visa to get approved quickly. Still, you are unsure what three criteria you should target to fulfill the requirement laid down by the USCIS to demonstrate your “extraordinary ability.” For that, you must know the basic meaning of all the criteria and how you can satisfy each criterion’s elements.
Sethi and Mazaheri law firm has started a series where they will be explaining the meaning of each criterion and how you can fulfill them. This article will focus on the criterion of ‘Artistic Exhibitions and Showcases.’ After reading this article, you will be able to decide whether your work falls under the requirement of this criterion or not.
What are artistic exhibitions and showcases?
Public display of your work may take a variety of forms. USCIS focuses on the display of work at artistic exhibitions and showcases to satisfy this criterion.
The regulation does not speak about what constitutes an exhibition or a showcase; you need to understand their meaning to satisfy the criteria. We can lean upon the definition provided by Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, which defines exhibition as “a public showing (as works of art).”
An example would be an art gallery exhibition where the artists are showing their artworks to the public, or the sculptures at the hall by the sculptors would constitute an exhibition. You can determine through this whether your work has previously been displayed at artistic exhibitions or not.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines showcase as “a setting, occasion, or medium for exhibiting something or someone especially in an attractive or favorable aspect.” For example, if you are a fashion designer and design clothes that go on a trend, an exhibition of your latest designs at the fashion show displayed by various models would be a fine example of a showcase event.
Dictionaries’ definitions do not act as a piece of evidence themselves, but the court may refer to them as aids of interpretation. Therefore, the burden to prove that the display of the petitioner’s work occurred at artistic exhibitions or artistic showcases remains on the petitioner. The petitioner has to satisfy all the elements of the regulation to satisfy the criterion.
Will my assisting role in the display of other’s work satisfy the requirement of this criterion?
It should be noted that the exhibitions or showcases should be of your work. Your secondary role will not add up to your advantage for this criterion. For example, if you are a manager at the art exhibition and responsible for the success of the event. You are not displaying anything at the exhibition; instead, you merely stand at the managerial position, which is not required for this criterion. You must be an artist having his painting displayed in the exhibition to qualify.
Does the USCIS look upon the prestige of the show?
To a larger extent, USCIS will undoubtedly look upon the prestige of the exhibition or showcase. The immigration officer assessing your application will examine whether the show was distinguished or not. For instance, if we look at an art exhibition, here are some factors to consider — location of the exhibition(whether in the main city or the outskirts), any famous art displayed in the past at the exhibition, and the popularity of the exhibition(whether media describes the exhibition or not).
A combination of these factors would serve as critical indications for the EB1 green card adjudicator in determining whether the exhibition or showcase was of sufficient quality to be considered proof of extraordinary ability. `
Do live performances such as dance count under exhibitions or showcases?
Many would argue that live performances such as dance are an example of exhibition or showcase, displaying the dancer’s talent in front of the audience. But does USCIS consider such live performances as a piece of evidence for this criterion? The answer is NO! The dance may be performed in front of an audience, but it is not similar to displaying abilities in the same sense as a painter or sculptor displays his or her work in a gallery or museum.
Not every performance is an art exhibition designed to showcase the performer’s art. It is worth noting that the ten criteria for an EB-1 visa are designed to cover different areas, and not every criterion will apply to every occupation.
A fashion show where the designs of clothes are displayed has been considered a showcase irrespective of the live nature of the event. This is because the petitioner is displaying his abilities in the form of tangible pieces of art while, at a dance performance, no such skills are demonstrated in tangible form.
However, at Sethi and Mazaheri, our attorneys successfully argued musical performances and compositions, when played for the public, to be considered exhibitions or showcases.
The language of the regulation “Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases” is plural, i.e., you should try to provide evidence of display of your work more than one time to fully satisfy the immigration office that your work is “extraordinary” and is displayed at exhibitions or showcases at regular intervals.
Suppose your work has been previously displayed at exhibitions or showcases, and you are trying to enter the US through an EB-1 visa under the “extraordinary ability” category. In that case, this category is worth including as evidence of your extraordinary talent in your field. If you need a piece of advice from an immigration expert, you can contact Sethi and Mazaheri law firm; our experienced immigration team will assist you in your application and guide you through the process.