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EB-1 Alert: USCIS Updates Criteria to Prove EB-1 Green Card Eligibility

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Those applying for either EB-1A extraordinary ability or EB-1B outstanding researcher and professor green cards should note positive changes in the way USCIS evaluates two eligibility criteria. Recently, the USCIS updated its guidance to its EB-1A and EB-1B policy manual as follows:

  • Published material about the person in professional or major trade publications or other major media relating to the person’s work in the field  now can include more than print articles.  Specifically, the USCIS will consider “documentation such as print or online newspaper or magazine articles, popular and academic journal articles, books, textbooks, similar publications, or a transcript of professional or major audio or video coverage of the person and the person’s work. This change applies to both EB-1A and EB-1B applicants. Previously, the USCIS would often reject media attention on TV, radio, or internet sources.  With this change, applicants can qualify for this criterion by submitting transcripts of these types of media coverage.
  • The performance of a  leading or critical role for distinguished organizations now includes a leading or critical role within a  department or division of the organization.  Specifically, the USCIS will consider “whether the person has performed in a leading or critical role for an organization, establishment, or a division or department of an organization or establishment…For a leading role, officers look at whether the evidence establishes that the person is (or was) a leader within the organization or establishment or a division or department thereof…For a critical role, officers look at whether the evidence establishes that the person has contributed in a way that is of significant importance to the outcome of the organization or establishment’s activities or those of a division or department of the organization or establishment.”  With this change, applicants who head or lead departments could meet the leading role criterion, and applicants who contribute significantly to a department or division of their distinguished organization could meet the critical role criterion. This change applies only to EB-1A green card eligibility.

We believe these evidentiary changes are appropriate and could lead to more approvals of highly qualified EB-1A and EB-1B applicants. For expert evaluation of your eligibility for an EB-1A or EB-1B green card, you are invited to email or fill out our contact form on this website.


 Policy Alert – Qualifying Published Material and Scope of Leading or Critical Role in      Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Professor or Researcher Visa Classifications

USCIS Policy Manual – EB-1A Criteria

USCIS Policy Manual – EB-1B Criteria

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances.  For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to email  or complete our contact form.

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