Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram


EB1 – Major Contribution – Innovation

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EB1 Green Card – Contributions of Major Significance Editorial:

Many professionals we work with have made original contributions of major significance to the industry. This is a quite a mouthful, but our goal is to simplify this for you enough to determine whether this would be a category you could satisfy.

In this presentation, we focus on the EB1 green card category – ‘Contribution of Major Significance’.

The actual official wording of this category is: –

(v) Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;

To help you better determine if this is a good option for you, we have re-phrased it as follows: –

(v) Innovation – Could you provide or develop documentation that could objectively demonstrate that you have made an original contribution of major significance in your field be it scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related?

For each industry, the innovation or significant contribution will be different. This could certainly mean patented technology that is currently in use or the latest hit mobile application. What US Immigration wants to see is that alien’s significant innovation is considered a breakthrough or game-changer in the field of endeavor. Not all innovations will be technology based, and how this plays out in practical terms will depend on the discipline under discussion.

In an effort to provide you with the most comprehensive information available, we will take each contribution – scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic and business-related – and discuss them individually.

EB1 Green Card – Contributions of Major Significance Commentary:

Ok – let’s talk about Major Contribution in the Sciences:

We work with a lot of academics / scientists who, in our opinion as non-scientists, are extraordinary individuals. The question is however, have they made an extraordinary contribution to their field of endeavor to satisfy this EB1 green card category? An easy question to consider is whether the alien has advanced, broken new ground, discovered, developed something new that has attracted scientific or academic press’ attention within the community or even beyond.  It’s not uncommon for scientific or academic studies to make the “news” for the general public.

Because Immigration officers are themselves lay-people, they cannot read an alien’s published scientific journal with any understanding or appreciation as to its real significance. Instead, Immigration officers look to see if there has been anything published about the alien’s work in a distinguished journal or other published material that explicitly states that the work done by the alien is a contribution of major significance in the field.

In fact, if the Immigration officer had a copy of any article that said words to that effect this would be great evidence in support of this EB1 green card category. No layperson, even an Immigration officer, would be qualified to argue to the contrary.

What is true is that we cannot make any claim on your behalf of having made a major contribution in the field unless the claim can be backed up from some independent source. If there are no published third-party references, then we’ll explore other effective ways to submit substantive comparable evidence.

As an experienced EB1 green card law firm we have discovered a variety of ways to present our client’s major contributions to the field. There are also various precedent legal cases that will also ensure that any Immigration officer gives our well-documented evidence its proper consideration.

Ok – let’s talk about Major Contribution in the Arts:

One could easily argue that in all fields of endeavor there is art, because within art we’re really talking about creativity and creativity is everywhere. In the arts, this area is so broad that it is difficult to know where to begin. We would first explore whether or not the artist is acclaimed – perhaps the artist is regularly in the press sporting some new cutting edge fashion style. Many artists are sometimes known more for their style than for their craft.

Imitation is a form of flattery. We’d also look to see if the alien’s work has in any way become iconic. Lady Gaga, Brittany Spears, Madonna, would certainly be regarded as iconic figures.

Again, for EB1 green card purposes we cannot simply claim that any artist’s work has had a major impact, we have to explore various ways to prove it in the published material we’re able to compile. If no published material exists, we then have to explore alternative ways to develop sufficient evidence to independently prove our submissions and claims.

Working solutions to these EB1 green card issues is what we do best as Immigration lawyers and as a result we have built a proven record of consistent success.

Some clients are like diamonds in the rough, and we are amazed that by the time we’re finished and ready to submit their case, they themselves did not appreciate how much they had accomplished in their careers that was quite spectacular and worthy of EB1 green card approval.

Ok – let’s talk about Major Contribution in Business:

There are many discoveries in business, most of which do not hit the headlines of any published media simply because the discovery might be proprietary. If an individual or team discovers a new way to beat the competition, it’s hardly going to brag about it in the press. In other areas of business it is quite safe for an individual or team to be written about in the media. In some cases, establishing that someone has made a major contribution within business might garner press or other publicity about how this new product, software, or process has impacted the market in a major way. Where no press is available, then companies using the product or that have been affected by the impact of the product in the market place, may be able to write letters of support, although these would be less persuasive than press coverage. If you feel you have made any kind of impact within your business community and beyond, then let us help you and show you how we can present these achievements to a skeptical EB1 green card adjudicator.

Ok – let’s talk about Major Contribution in Sports:

Tiger Woods has undoubtedly made a significant contribution in the world of golf, but how and why?  Is it because he’s won many titles and broken many records? Is it because of his color, his youth, the number of and dollar value of his endorsements?  Is it because of the number of column inches he commands in the press? The answer must be all of the above.

When looking at someone’s contribution to their sport we have to look at the degree of influence and standing they have within the sport. There is no simplistic approach to this and it’s basically a question of us spending the time to interview and discuss all that our client has done within their field or industry and see how they made their mark.


EB1 green card Immigration officers are looking for as much independent evidence as possible as to the alien’s contribution in their field of endeavor. It has to be major.

What constitutes a major contribution is a highly subjective issue. We have to develop as much objective evidence as possible, which often times is not obvious at first.

Deep down the alien knows whether they have done anything remarkable within their field, but more often than not, modesty holds them back. The key is to work with us so that we can explore this and the other categories with you and so that we can bring the best of you out to the fore in the most persuasive way.

We hope you have enjoyed this in depth presentation and discussion on the (v) ‘Major Contribution’ category.  In the next presentation, we’ll examine the (vi) ‘Scholarly Articles’ 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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