Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram


O-1A Visa: Invited Membership

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O-1A Visa: Invited Membership Editorial:

In this presentation, we’re going to focus on the O-1A visa category – ‘Do you have any professional memberships that require outstanding achievement?’ The actual official wording of this category is:

Membership in association in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judge by recognized national or international experts in the field.

When determining if this category is right you, it is important to consider the requirements for membership into a certain organization, and which member level you hold. Though most industries have professional organizations with varying levels of membership, 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 O-1A Visa Memberships category is based on much more than aptitude, rather it requires a specific level of achievement.

O-1A Visa: Invited Membership Commentary:

.There are many memberships an alien can acquire 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. Once an attorney passes the bar exam, they are automatically eligible for admission to the State Bar Association, and upon establishing that they are of good standing and pay the dues, they 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. The types of memberships that 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.

Many guilds and associations will have several levels of membership and whilst the lowest level of membership might be exam qualification and dues-based, the more senior levels are certainly not. Where this is the case, US Immigration want you 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 clients who are highly qualified who never thought to seek membership in an organization that might grant them a coveted level of recognition. Whilst these elite memberships may be by invitation only, some associations do allow you to submit an application showing the body of your work together with letters of support from other eminent people in the industry, perhaps already elite members within the guild or association. We’ve certainly had our share of clients who were able to satisfy this category after we began working with them.

In the next presentation, we’re going to review the ‘Published Material About You’ category. Once again, we’re so delighted that you found us and hope you enjoy our O-1A visa presentation series. When you’re ready, please email or call us for a free consultation and we can discuss your case and get the ball rolling.

Satisfy Three Categories From List Below and Claim Your O-1A Visa Today


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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