EB-1A Myths And Requirements

Common EB-1A Myths & Meeting The 10 Requirements

Categories: Resources
Published: February 28, 2023

Tags: EB-1A | Video | Visa

EB-1A Full Guide Video Summary

In this video, Joseph will clarify 4 of the most common EB-1A Myths. He will then go over the 10 key factors to help you prove to the USCIS officer that you are extraordinary and qualify for the EB-1A visa.

Clearing Up The Following Confusing Areas:

  1. You can get denied even if you meet 3/10 criteria
  2. You can get approved even if you don’t meet 3/10
  3. The EB1A filing process
  4. Sustained reputation & able to benefit US

 10 Key Factors On How To Prove You Are Extraordinary

  1. Awards for excellence
  2. Membership in organizations which require excellence
  3. Scholarly articles written by you
  4. Media publications about you
  5. Original contribution of major significance to your field
  6. Judgeship
  7. Leading and critical role
  8. Work displayed in artistic showcases
  9. High salary
  10. Commercial success in artistic endeavor
Full Video Transcript

I love EB-1A cases and in this intro video we’re going to talk about the key requirements but we’re not just going to talk about the key requirements because you can just read those online but we’re going to go a little bit more in depth and talk about things that only practitioners know and we’re going to talk business; talk shop about what it’s like to practice EB-1A because there’s actually so many scams and so many fraudulent applications out there and so there’s so many things I wish clients knew before venturing on this journey. Hopefully this one video that I could condense everything so you can walk away fully informed. Let’s go!


(Tsang logo splash)


Hi everyone. My name is Joseph. I’m the managing partner here at Tsang & Associates where we solve legal problems with creative solutions. So the legal problem is the EB-1A case category. If you can prove you are the best of the best, you’re extraordinary, then the United States will directly give you a green card. There’s so many things and so much confusion around this area partly because the web is just a confusing place that people are posting things that regulations change, so here I want to provide a bird’s eye view of the entire process and requirement but don’t worry I won’t spend a lot of time talking about things that you could easily find online. I want to provide the key things so you can walk away more informed.


4 Major Confusions About EB-1A Visa


(1:06) First confusion: I see a lot of people have is I just need to meet 3 out of 10 requirements and if I meet it then I qualify so tell me if I made it or not. Well that is kind of confusing because just because you meet 3 out of 10, you can still be disqualified.


WHAT?! Yeah. I know…


Because every field is different. Some fields, and I always like to use professors as an example, it’s very easy to meet 3 out of 10. It’s easy to be a judge when you’re a professor. You’re literally judging other students and grading papers and your editors of different magazines. And of course you’re playing a key and critical rule because you are a tenured professor at a particular University. And of course you have your publications you’ve been writing your whole life. So just because you meet those three requirements doesn’t mean you are the best of the best professor, right?


So some industries, it’s really, really easy to meet 3 out of those 10, and other industries, like if you’re a celebrity, of course you’re gonna have media publication, but does that mean you’re the best celebrity? That’s really hard to say, right? So just because you meet the 3 doesn’t mean you’ll get the green card, you still need to prove that in your peers, in your industry, you rise above the rest.


(2:03) The second major confusion is that out of these 10 requirements, I don’t meet any so I don’t qualify so I’m gonna give up hope. The U.S immigration law is extremely flexible, which we’ll go into detail a little bit later. Just because you don’t directly meet verbatim one of these things, doesn’t mean you are disqualified. These are extremely flexible criterions that if you can do your best faith effort to argue, you can still win it. We’re also making specific success story videos talking about how we use creative arguments to meet individual one of these requirements.


So the key point is just don’t be discouraged. If you feel like you are better than your peers and you do have things to show for but you just don’t know exactly how it match, well that’s our job isn’t it, right? We are supposed to take your background and see how it fits USCIS requirements to prove you are extraordinary. So don’t be discouraged by the rules that’s clearly laid out.


(2:51) A third big confusion is the process. A lot of people think well once I applied for the I-140 EB-1A approval then I immediately get a green card. No, getting the I-140 approved just means you are now qualified to apply for the green card and I know that’s really annoying for a lot of people. Like, why would I spend so much time and effort applying just to be qualified to apply for a green card? Doesn’t that mean I already want a green card? Yeah, but the U.S immigration system is confusing and they purposely split it up like that. So, just because you are granted an I-140, you are proving that you are extraordinary, but then they still have to do a background check, and make sure you don’t have any unlawful presence, and that you have financial ability…


So I-140 approval is just step one. You still have to go through the normal other Green Card process, which should be a lot easier, but you still have to get through this process first.


(3:39) The fourth big confusion is that people think once I’ve proven the three out of ten, that I’m set. There’s nothing else. The US requires that you need to prove that your extraordinary ability is sustained, that you are still currently extraordinary, and that you intend to come to the US to do something that’s related to your field. Or else, why are we giving you a green card? Yes, you did something amazing 20 years ago, but if you’re not of use now then, sorry buddy, you have to apply for a different visa category. 


So that is actually one of the most difficult things for doing all these EB-1A cases. And people don’t really talk about it, right? We’ve seen so many cases get challenged, other firms cases get denied, saying that they’re not extraordinary enough, or that they’re not doing something that’s related to their field. And so in doing these cases, well, you really need to see what you’re going to do in the future, help the client plan into the future on what they’re going to do, and how that’s going to benefit the US, as well as look into the past on what they have done, and make sure these two narratives are coherent and in sync. That is super important to building these type of cases. It makes sense. It’s just not really done often.

(4:39) Those are some of the big “myth busters” that a lot of people have confusions about so I just want to immediately talk about that. And so now I want to go through the  . Now, each individual one of these have a lot of confusion about as well so I’m just going to talk about the key confusion.


10 Key Factors on How To Prove You Are Extraordinary


(4:53) So number one: Awards

You know what? It doesn’t have to be from a crazy competition. An internal company award can also be argued. Now, you know you really have to argue that your company is the best of the best so getting an award from your company is pretty much like getting an award from the entire nation, right? You could make that argument for certain companies. 


Awards also encompasses like certificates of recognition from the government, right? So it doesn’t have to be just for like a normal competition like a singing competition and you beat out everybody. Well if only the best gets chosen for a job and then you did the job and then you get a certificate, well that kind of is like in a word. Do you see how flexible the word award is?


There was once where I just got a guy who took pictures with a whole bunch of presidents. Well, you gotta be quite famous and did something quite amazing in order to get all the heads of state to take pictures with you, right? So it’s not exactly an award, but it’s pretty praiseworthy.


(5:43) The second thing: Membership 

Western countries, Western civilizations have these prestigious royal academies where the best of the best gets to be hand-picked as an honorary to be able to be a part of this group. And so proving that you’re a member of this esteemed group of people means you’re quite extraordinary. Well other countries don’t really have that establishment. Does that mean they don’t have any memberships? No, but the idea is there. What’s the idea? To be a part of a small group of people that are the best of the best.


And so we made arguments where if you are selected by your country to do a particular project, and the country is only hiring and recruiting the best of the best experts, then that’s kind of like that small elite group of individuals to be able to do something. If you are representing your country to compete in a national competition, even though it’s not like a membership official like application form and you’re filling out and writing a check, you’re still being selected and judged by the best and to represent the best, to do the best thing that you’re doing. So we use that argument and we won lot of cases! So you see how flexible membership is?


(6:43) Third: Scholarly Articles on trade journals and unofficial publications

Well, in this day and age, blogs are pretty important. What about YouTube channels or Wikipedia page? Yes, they probably don’t fly… But if you can prove that your publication is widely cited and referenced and relied upon, and other professors recognize your conference, and your speeches, and your insights, then that is sort of like your authorship in your publication. 


The key idea of authorship on publication in trade journals is that this is an authoritative forum that people can officially rely on. If you create content and important information that other people in your field rely on, not everybody are scholars and read scholarly articles, if you create this content, that kind of qualifies as scholarly articles.


(7:26) Fourth: Media publication about you 

The key idea is that there’s these third-party outlets, if you made it into a history book, right? Let’s say, if you’re a chef and they’re talking about the best chefs in that region and they reference you and your work, that kind of is talking about you and how amazing you are, right? So it doesn’t have to be a dedicated fully, you know, cover page magazine article purely about you. These independent citations all help to contribute to this fabric that talks about how amazing you are. 


Again, these are factor tests, not element tests. If you know, you know.


(7:58) Number 5: Original scientific contribution to your field

This is my favorite because it’s the most creative. What does it mean that it’s original? And what does it mean that it had a significant contribution to your field?


Chefs have their own form of contribution. Scientists have their own form of contribution. If you’re a scholar or professor, you have your own contribution. If you’re an athlete, that also has these ramifications. So really understanding your background and what you contribute to your field, even if your case is weak, you would still want to make this argument because how are you extraordinary if you’ve made no contribution to your field, right? Even the weaker cases should have an original contribution and you want to lead with that.


In my opinion, this is the key heart of it. They bury it right in the middle so you might think, “oh I don’t have to talk about original contribution.” You should talk about original contribution. You should talk about your original contribution and you should talk about your intent and how those two are linked. Everything else needs to support that narrative. That’s a pro tip you should write that down right now!


(8:51) Number 6: Being a judge

That doesn’t mean you have to sit in a big competition and you’re judging who wins and who loses, but you just need to show that you are judging other experts in their field, right? If you are in a position where you’re reviewing, and you’re approving, if you’re judging, you see, these are all synonyms. The thesaurus is your friend!


And if you are in a position that does that, then you can potentially argue that that is a form of being a judge and in your industry that’s just how it is. So you can try to do that and every field is completely different so you need to make your best case argument.


(9:21) Number 7: Leading and critical role in a distinguished organization

You can’t just be a CEO of your own company and with no employees. You’re just “fun-employed.” You’re not playing… you are playing a leading role, but it’s not a distinguished organization regardless of what your mom thinks.


So the first step is proving that a company or non-profit or government or NGO, you see what I’m doing? Again, synonyms! In an organization, organizing that the people working together, prove that in this partnership or organization that you played a leading and critical role. These are ambiguous terms. Is a principal inventor a leading a critical role? Does it have to be the Chief Executive Officer? What if it’s just an investigator? Well, you’re playing the lead investigation in this crazy Watergate scandal. Well then that’s pretty significant, right?


They’re open to whatever organization you’re a part of and if you played a significant role and that organization is amazing and you played a critical role to help make that organization better, then they are willing to meet one of the factors. You don’t have to be super famous. You don’t have to publish a whole bunch of things. You just need to be part of these big organizations because that’s just how civilizing has developed. If you are part of a big enterprise, that kind of shows that you are quite extraordinary. USCIS loves deferring these kind of credential evaluations to other people, right? So if this organization attests your ability, then you know, it’s much easier for them.


(10:39) Number 8: Exhibits

Have your artistic expression been in display and showcases and exhibits? We are in a new cutting edge where things are virtual so you don’t have to have physical exhibits and showcases anymore. What if things are all online? What if you’re famous in the Metaverse? What if there’s a concert that’s live only on Amazon or on Netflix? Well, these streaming channels kind of replaced traditional movie theaters, but that’s kind of like a exhibit as a showcase. Maybe you’re not tracking how many tickets were sold so people went to see your show, but you can track how many people streamed it on the first day it was launched, or how many cryptocurrencies were used to purchase that ticket. So this isn’t a completely brand new space, but the idea is the same.


If you are a true artist with a good following and you release your expression, and a lot of people follow and subscribe, and see and watch it live, well, then that kind of shows that you are quite extraordinary. And the key thing is you’re really comparing to people other in your industry. So how many people typically join a WeChat conference that you presented live on? A couple thousand? That could be pretty amazing because most WeChat Hangouts are only a couple hundred.


So use your platform to your advantage. This is a very creative space


(11:50) Number 9: High salary

This is very capitalistic of America. One of the 10 factors of proving you are amazing is how much money you make. Why not how much money you give? But no… how much money do you make? How much, you know, when you sign a contract, what’s the dollar sign? How many zeros do you get? That’s how they judge it.


Now, the key thing is, you’re not comparing it with other people in the US. If you are from a different country, compare with people in your country. Maybe thirty thousand, forty thousand dollars a year could be a high salary for a journalist in your home country. Check it out!


(12:20) Number 10: Commercial success for your performance

This is not exactly the same as high salary. A lot of creative artists don’t get paid week by week, month to month, especially the celebrities. They get paid out in one big check for one big project, right? One movie showing and then they get paid like millions. Show how much did you make on your last big project. That could work to some advantage to some people in some industries because in their country it’s just not common to get paid on a week to week, month by month basis. In fact. if you get paid in one big bag of seashells, you might be able to prove that that is a high payment for your country. And you know, we have to be open-minded here.


(12:56) Now, I know I went really fast, but you could totally rewind and watch it again. I didn’t want to waste your time, but the key idea is this:


It is a very creative endeavor. There’s a lot of effort that you could put into it.


I know if you’re searching online and you’ll see like Olympians getting their cases denied. I’m just telling you, it is very creative. We won some crazy, crazy, seemingly impossible cases that I will share. And we made a lot of videos so you can watch and see how normal people can meet this requirement. Of course, they’re not exactly normal, but they’re also not what you would imagine to be the best of the best in the celebrity status.


In some cases, we take years to prepare and make the submission. And this is what really separates us from other law firms, right? There’s so many different practitioners out there doing EB-1A cases. And I just want to share with you who we are and what kind of cases we take.


We’ve been the backbone processing center for so many other law firms that we do EB-1A cases, just for the doctors, just for the PhD students, for the entrepreneurs, and we’ve seen all these different types, but we are not one of those firms. We don’t just take on the simple, narrow focus cases. Sometimes, our case, we take two years to prepare because our client is somewhat more ordinary. We start with the O-1, and then we eventually elevate them up to do the EB-1A. We don’t just focus on one type of industry and one type of nationality.


Now with all of that said, EB-1A is one of the best case categories because there’s concurrent filing and which means when you apply for the I-140, you can immediately apply for 45 and then if everything gets approved, then you just immediately get a green card. It’s the fastest. It’s called the Einstein green card because the US wants the best of the best to apply.


If you have a good story that you want to tell, if you want to do something that’s quite important, and if you are quite good at what you do, then this case category is something to consider. So if you have any questions, feel free to check out our other videos and then reach out. Would love to talk to you! 


Take care. Bye-bye.