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I am a member of associations in my field of expertise. Do I qualify for the EB-1A Green Card? What evidence should I submit to prove this criterion?

By May 4, 2020April 9th, 2021Immigration
Image courtesy of Nguyen Hung Vu on Flickr (labeled for reuse)

To qualify for the EB-1A Green Card, you will need to prove that you are one of the small percentage of people who have risen to the very top of your field. To prove that you qualify for the Eb-1A green card, you will have to submit evidence showing that you have sustained national or international acclaim and that your achievements have been recognized in your field of expertise. The evidence can be either:

  • A one-time achievement – this is a major, internationally recognized award, or
  • At least three of these 10 criteria. One of the 10 criteria is documentation of “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”

What documents should I submit to prove the Membership criterion?

  • You should submit the association’s bylaws or some official document that explains in detail the admission criteria (you will need to prove that the association requires outstanding achievement in order to become a member)
  • You will have to prove that your outstanding achievements in the specific field were the basis for granting you the membership as judged by the national/international experts
  • The selection criterion is key and the more exclusive the better. The admission process should be extensively documented, and the expert opinion letters can also comment on the difficulties associated with gaining admission.  For example, membership to the Oscar Academy would qualify.
  • The association you are a member of must be related to your field of endeavor

What memberships do not meet this criterion?

A simple membership to an organization where you just pay a fee does not meet this criterion. Instead, the membership must be based on highly subjective criteria.  We have summarized some of the features below where the membership assist with supporting this criterion.

  • Your membership is based solely on level of education or years of experience in certain filed (for example, if the association’s only requirement is that you have a Master’s degree in Engineering and 5 years of experience, this would not meet the EB-1A membership criterion).
  • Your membership is based solely on the payment of fee
  • Your membership is based solely on subscribing to an association’s publications
  • Your membership is compulsory for employment in certain professions (e.g. NY Bar Association for NY attorneys)

Please click here and here if you want to read more about EB-1A visa.

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