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EB-1A Extraordinary Criteria: What is evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media?

The EB-1A employment-based immigration visa can appear to be a daunting process. An applicant must either show proof of a one-time achievement (major internationally-recognized award) meet 3 of the 10 listed criteria:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

These criteria can make even very well qualified candidates nervous about their eligibility, but with the right experience, the right lawyer, and a little luck, an applicant can have their Green Card in as little as three months. This series of articles will provide a background on each of the 10 criteria, examples of documents that can meet them, and common pitfalls to avoid.

            The “publication about you” criteria is often lumped together with the “authorship of scholarly article”, however there are different requirements for each of them, and there is a very low chance that one article would meet both criteria. The “publication ab out you” criterion is best understood as an article which discusses an individual’s career. A published interview is a perfect example of an article that would meet this criteria. This interview can discuss your career, your education, or any wisdom you wish to impart to people who wish to follow in your footsteps. There is no requirement that the interviews must be published in U.S. publications, and in fact non-U.S. interviews can be easier to find.

            The main evidence you will need to meet this criterion is a copy of the published interview, background information on the publication, and any information on the publication’s circulation. The criterion itself lists three types of publications; professional or major trade publications or other major media. Professional and major trade publications are defined as niche publications that focus on a specific industry or profession. Major media is defined as other publications, such as newspapers.

            The most difficult part of this criterion will be trying to find ways to get published. Many people will try to contact a few newspapers or journals and give up after not receiving a response. The best way to get something published is to hire a PR professional who can contract with you and guide you through the whole process. PR professionals have years of experience in the industry and can assist you in finding publications that best match your experience and abilities. These PR professionals can often be hired to assist for both the “publication about you” criterion and the “authorship of scholarly article” criterion. These PR professionals will typically charge between one and three thousand dollars for these services. These services can sound expensive, but these criteria are some of the most straightforward to meet and they can get you a long way towards meeting the requirements of the EB-1A visa.

            The pitfalls for the criterion are straightforward; however they can be difficult to overcome. The most comment concern USCIS will raise is that the publication is not about the candidate, but is only quoting them. This isn’t really an issue for interviews; however it can come up when using articles where someone is quoted, even if the quotes are extensive. The best way to overcome this issue is to get support letters where the writer describes the articles as being about you. However, the most foolproof way of preventing this issue from being raised at all is to carefully review publications to ensure that they are framed in a specific way.

            The best guide through this entire process is an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney who has experience in filing petitions that use this criterion will know what to look for in articles and can even recommend PR professionals who can guide an applicant through the process. An experienced immigration will have the knowledge to understand how to present an interview effectively to avoid an RFE.   

By: Karim Jivani

Karim Jivani is a Special Attention Staff Attorney at Reddy Neumann Brown PC who focuses on employment-based non-immigrant visas. Karim’s practice covers all phases of the visa process including filing petitions, responding to Requests for Evidence (RFE), and drafting motions and appeals. He has completed over 30 RFE’s to date in response to H-1B, L-1, I-140, and VAWA petitions.