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EB1A - Evaluating Published Material About You

Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media


The purpose of this post is to provide tools that help you evaluate whether you could make an argument that you satisfy the 3rd of the 10 EB-1A criteria, that material has been published about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media.


In my opinion, this is one of the most underutilized criteria for an EB-1 and presents a great opportunity for potential EB-1 applicants to boost their profile. EB-1 green card applications are more likely to be successful if you have been written about in the press or if you have written articles that are published in major media. In my opinion, USCIS adjudicators are likely reasoning that if a journalist thinks you are worth writing about then what you have to say or what you have done is important enough that it represents a major contribution of significance to your field. Your profile is further boosted by having journalists from prestigious news media write about you or your work.


You can hire a publicist to make sure trade journals or news media write about you. You can reach out to newspapers and offer your services for free to write a column. You can volunteer to appear on a popular podcast with a widespread audience. You should begin to court press coverage about your work in whatever media is a good fit for your field of expertise.


The adjudicator may view the amount of publicity you have gained as a big deal when reviewing your case.


When reviewing publications about you, USCIS adjudicators will ask questions such as the following:

  • Whether the published material was related to you and your field of expertise?

  • Whether the media publication is one of the major media publications

  • Whether the published material qualifies as a professional or major trade publication?

  • Is the circulation (either online or in print) high, as compared to other circulations?

  • Does the publication have a significant national/international distribution?

  • Who is the intended audience of the publication?

Preparing evidence in advance to answer these questions is critical to a good published media about you or your work argument. Here are some examples of evidence you can prepare from professional or major trade publications or other major media relating to your work in the field:

  • Documentation showing your name

  • Circulation statistics

  • Evidence regarding the intended audience

  • Translations of the publication if not originally in English

  • Title, date, and author of the material

One issue we consistently run into is published material that focuses on a specific project that doesn’t specifically address the contributions of the applicant. The USCIS adjudicator reviewing your petition needs evidence that the written work is about you. In some instances, we have been able to overcome this issue by providing a letter stating your contribution to the project (as long as your contribution was significant). In other instances, this material just hasn’t been that helpful for a petition since we couldn’t provide evidence about how the applicant contributed to the project.


Another issue is that USCIS regulations don’t keep up with technological trends. Thus, USCIS adjudicators are having great difficulty weighing the significance of online media. Print media is more prestigious in the eyes of an adjudicator in my opinion because it is more expensive and time consuming to produce a magazine or newspaper than online content. Print media also normally has statistics such as circulation numbers and demographic information which are harder to produce for online media. Also, some websites are not very credible or it is difficult to verify the credibility or following. Either way, you should carefully consider all publications about you or your extraordinary accomplishments to determine if they could be used in your EB-1 application.


In a lot of cases someone will possess only one article that was written about them in a major media outlet. This is great! USCIS doesn’t specify how many articles are required to meet this bullet and one can suffice. That said, we generally suggest that if you are relying on this bullet for your EB-1 application to try and get at least a couple of articles published about you that are related to your area of expertise in major media outlets or trade publications.

In addition to the information above, a lot of clients and potential clients ask for examples of media outlets that could possibly work for bullet 3 of the EB-1 criteria. Here is a list of some media outlets that work and some that likely don’t work:


Publications:

  • National bar organization publication,

  • Game Informer magazine

  • The Stage

  • Journal on:

    • space technology

    • Biotechnology

    • Software Engineering

    • Biology

    • Medicine

Major media (Mainstream Press)

  • Famous newspapers

    • TechCrunch

    • Wall Street Journal

    • New York Times

  • Famous websites

    • CNN

    • MSNBC

    • Yahoo!

    • ScienceDaily

    • NewsRX

  • Well known podcasts

Things that don’t normally work:

  • Your personal social media posts

  • Articles written about you that aren’t related to your field of expertise

  • Advertising or marketing materials from your employer

  • Articles that are extremely old

  • Articles about organization or projects you are involved in that only mention your name in passing

  • Articles with one quote from you

  • Articles with your name in one photo caption

Please remember, USCIS adjudicators complete a 2-part review in evaluating these petitions. If an officer believes you satisfied 3 out of the 10 criteria, the applications must then be judged to decide whether you are extraordinary. In practice, this means that what worked for your friend might not work for you and sometimes what didn’t work for a friend might work for you. I constantly hear people say that they were told by a friend that their achievement wouldn’t work because it didn’t work in their case. Sometimes, it is just a matter of getting your case before the right adjudicator on the right day. Because of the second level of review determining if you are extraordinary using Kazarian standards, there is a higher percentage of RFEs, NOIDs, and denials in this category. The reality is, USCIS has an extremely high standard for EB-1 visas.


Our firm won’t charge you just for reaching out! We are offering free consultations through the end of January for aspiring EB-1 and NIW candidates. If you would like your qualifications evaluated (to see if you qualify or to get ideas on what you can do to improve your EB-1 or NIW resume) please contact our firm at blisonbee@lisonbeeimmigrationlaw.com with answers to the following questions:

  1. What is your area of expertise (in 2-5 words)?

  2. What nationally or internationally recognized awards in your field of endeavor have you received?

  3. What memberships in associations in your field do you possess that require outstanding achievements from members?

  4. Have you or your work been featured as published material in trade publications or other major media? If so, who published your work?

  5. Have you judged the work of others (i.e. peer review of journal articles, judge at competition, dissertation committee member, peer review for government funding program)? If so, how many times?

  6. Has your work been used by someone to make money (commercialized)? If so, explain:

  7. Have you obtained any patents or similar achievements because of your research? If so, explain:

  8. Link to Google Scholar (if not available, researchgate could work):

  9. Current Wage:

  10. Have you been employed in critical capacity? If so, where and in what capacity?

For more information see prior posts about EB-1 criteria:

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