We are back with another criterion in the EB-1 (alien of extraordinary ability) series. In this article, we will discuss the criterion, “Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields” and mark out the essential elements you need to focus on to satisfy the criterion requirements.
What is an alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought?
USCIS recognizes this criterion for demonstrating an alien’s extraordinary ability in the field for which classification is sought. But why so? You must be thinking that I can be a member of an association related to my extraordinary ability and efficiently satisfy the criterion requirements.
Well, it is not that easy, my friend. To establish that membership in an association meets this criterion, you must show that the association requires outstanding achievement as an essential condition for admission to membership. That is, you are invited to become a member of the association based on your exceptional achievements and recognition in the field for which classification is sought, and you have not entered the association on other grounds which are not related to your extraordinary ability.
What membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought does not satisfy this criterion?
It is to be noted that basic membership in associations does not satisfy the criterion requirements. The membership must be based on outstanding achievements or recognition as an essential condition to become an association member. A more selective standard for admittance to the organization must exist for a membership to qualify. The following grounds of membership do not satisfy the criterion:
- If the membership requirements in an association are solely based on employment or activity in a given field or,
- Suppose the membership requires minimum education or experience as the only condition to become a member. For example, some education qualification makes you eligible to become a member of an association based on your degree. For example, attorneys can become a member of a state bar association once they have passed the bar examination. Such membership does not satisfy the criterion requirements or,
- Other factors such as test scores, grade point average, recommendations by colleagues or current members, or payment of dues do not satisfy this criterion as such requirements do not constitute outstanding achievements.
If you are a member of an association and want to check whether you qualify for this criterion or not, make sure to consult an immigration attorney who can better guide you in fulfilling the criterion requirements.
Immigration Attorneys at “Sethi and Mazaheri” law firm are experts in their fields and have immense experience dealing with immigration cases. You can contact us to get your status check and whether you qualify for this criterion or not.
Does the reputation of the association in which I am a member matter to satisfy the criterion requirements?
The overall reputation of an association is immaterial; that is, the USCIS official assessing your application will see the association’s membership requirements, whether it is based on your outstanding achievements or not. The issue here is membership requirements, not the association’s total reputation. Therefore, you do not have to worry if the association you are a member of is not recognized on a larger scale.
Should the association be related to my field of endeavor?
The association must be related to your field of endeavor. You cannot satisfy the USCIS assessing officer that you possess extraordinary ability in the field for which classification is sought if the association you are a member of is unrelated to your field.
How can I satisfy the criterion requirements?
You know that USCIS will see the conditions of membership in the association to be satisfied that you have fulfilled the criterion requirements. Here are the few cases where to meet the USCIS:
- Providing evidence that the membership in the association is exclusive and limited to only those who have outstanding achievements in their fields. Your outstanding achievements can be determined by your peers or your recognition in your field.
- Providing evidence of the association’s constitution or bylaws that provides the selection criteria requirements.
- Providing evidence of the association’s constitution or bylaws providing the educational qualifications of the peers or review panel of the association.
- Providing evidence that the persons judging you are recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields. That is, you cannot just say that you are judged by someone who barely knows about their field and is claiming that you are an expert in your field. USCIS will reject your application in that case. The person judging you must be an expert and recognized individual in their field of expertise.
If you are some recognized and expert individual in your field of endeavor, and you are invited to join an association based on your talent, you have partially fulfilled the criterion requirements. All you have to do is provide evidence of the same in support of your application for an EB-1 visa (alien of extraordinary ability). We at Sethi and Mazaheri law firm aim to help individuals enter the US if they possess the talent. You can contact us if you need any assistance related to your visa application. Our experienced immigration attorneys will be delighted to reach you and guide you to enter the US.