Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram


EB1 – Invited Membership

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EB1 Green Card  – Membership

EB1 Green Card – Membership – Editorial:

The invited membership category can be one of the more difficult categories in the EB1 Green Card application process, and in this presentation we’re going to focus on exactly what is required to satisfy the category of Invited membership.

The actual official wording of this category is: – 

(ii) Documentation of the alien’s 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;

It can be difficult to interpret the legal wording of the category, so we have provided a rephrasing of the category as follows: –

(ii) Invited Membership – Could you provide or develop documentation that you have been honored by being invited into an elite membership of any distinguished organization, guild or association; where invitation to such membership could only arise from recognition of your outstanding achievements, as opposed the mere payment of dues?

This category can be a bit deceptive because most industries have professional organizations with varying levels of membership. However, many of these memberships can be acquired simply as a result of passing an exam or because you have experience in a given field. In fact, all you have to do is pay your annual membership dues and you’re a member. The EB1 Green Card Memberships category is based on much more than aptitude, rather it requires a specific level of achievement.

EB1 Green Card – Membership – Commentary:

All attorneys, once they pass the bar exam and automatically eligible for admission to the state bar Association and upon establishing that they are of good standing and the payment of dues can be admitted to the state bar.  Doctors, Accountants, Engineers, and IT professionals all gain admission to various prestigious associations for having passed certain exams. Again, such memberships are not what US Immigration is looking for in order to satisfy this category.

There are also memberships in the Entertainment world that similarly do not qualify in this category. For example Actors in America need to be a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in order to work on certain projects and get paid union rates. In order to qualify for a, SAG card the actor is required to have work on a variety of minor projects and build enough credits if you will in order to qualify for a SAG card. The same is true in England   for English actors; they need an Equity card and British actors have to work their way into one. However, for both the SAG and Equity cards the level of achievement required in order to obtain one of these cards is very minimal indeed; the exact opposite of having to demonstrate any kind of extraordinary ability.

The types of memberships US Immigration is looking for are very prestigious exclusive memberships that can only be joined by special invitation, peer review recommendation and by way of recognition of your outstanding achievements in the field that goes beyond the passing of an exam or completing minimal hours of service in the field.

There are many guilds and associations that are extremely difficult to get into, but once a member you can claim national and international recognition for having been inducted into the guild or association. For example there is The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) is a very highly respected guild and few cinematographers are able to put the coveted ASC after their name. There is also the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC).

Many guilds and associations will have several levels of membership and whilst the lowest level of membership might be dues-based, the more senior levels are certainly not. Where this is the case US Immigration will be looking for you to be able to demonstrate that your particular level of membership within the organization is based primarily on your outstanding contributions to the field and will be looking at the by-laws of the guild and association for corroboration as to how each level of membership is determined.

Surprisingly, we have member clients how are highly qualified who never thought to seek membership to an organization that might granted them a coveted level of recognition. Whilst these elite memberships may be by invitation only, some allow you to submit an application showing the body of your work and by having letters of support from other eminent people in the industry, perhaps already elite members within the guild or association. We’ve certainly had our fair of clients who were able to satisfy this category after we began working with them.

We hope you have enjoyed this in depth presentation on the (ii) Invited Membership category.  In the next presentation, we’ll examine the (iii) Published Material About You category.

If You Can Satisfy 3 EB1 Green Card Categories
from this List Please Contact us ASAP. 


US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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