In submitting the application materials for the Extraordinary Ability visa, "published material about the beneficiary in major media" is one of the commonly used application criteria. We believe that many applicants are familiar with this category and will consider " published material" as one of the most easily met criteria. However, we have found some details about this criterion that are easy to be ignored by potential applicants. This article will try to discuss in depth what is qualified " published material.
The full name of the “published material” criterion, as one criterion among the ten for the EB-1A petition, is "evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media". A beneficiary may provide evidence of professional or major trade or other major media’s published material about him or her.
To evaluate whether a piece of evidence is qualified " published material", the following two aspects should be considered:
1) Is it published by a qualified media?
2) Is it a qualified media report?
To be a "qualified media", a media or platform can be a commercial media for national distribution and dissemination, or a professional media for distribution and dissemination within a specific field or industry. Specific forms of media include print media, newspapers, periodicals, and magazines. Of course, with the changes of time, paper media is declining. In recent years, more media reports come from online media, including official websites of traditional print media and websites of professional association. For media reports published on emerging social media, we have tried to submit evidence published on an institution’s official WeChat public platform, which has been accepted. However, we are cautious, and we do not recommend that all "published material" evidence consists of materials from social media. With the wider use of social media, their credibility should gradually be recognized by the USCIS. At this stage, when submitting this category of evidence, most of our evidence should preferably come from the traditional media.
The requirements for the media are as follows: first of all, the media should have clearly marked distribution (online or printed) information, sponsor, publication number, and the intended audience. Which media are not accepted by USCIS? Some portal websites, enterprises' own publicity platforms, local media (with limited areas of circulation), etc. are not accepted by USCIS. In addition, there are many websites in U.S. and European countries that simply copy and paste the press releases issued by other companies and institutions about the latter’s scientific research achievements- such websites often seem to have the names of professional scientific institutions or journals, but USCIS does not consider the reports of such websites as qualified published material.
As for the " qualified material", the first item to pay attention to is the format of the report, which should have a clear title, publication date, and the signature of the reporter and author. The second item is the content of the report, which should ideally reflect the name of the applicant, his or her field, the research that he or she is engaged in, the project in progress, his or her contribution to the field, and other information.
When evaluating whether evidence meets the category of "Published material", we found several common problems:
1) A national report published by a "major media" only mentions that the applicant has attended a national conference. Such media reports can only be used as circumstantial evidence of his participation in a conference, not as evidence in the category of "published material";
2) An article published by a professional media spoke highly of a project, which was undertaken by the applicant, but unfortunately, the applicant was unable to submit evidence that he or she was responsible for the project. In many cases, we found that a media report also needs some other supporting materials to establish the applicant’s participation in the project, which can be troublesome in the actual process of preparing the petition and may not be recognized by the USCIS officer. Therefore, when choosing media coverage, it is better for the article to directly mention the applicant's name and to directly comment on his contribution to the field, even if only in a few words.
3) Although one report highly praised the applicant, it could not be adopted due to the inconsistency with his professional field.
The "qualified media" and "qualified material" mentioned above refer to the evidence under the category of "published material". If the media reports are too weak to satisfy the criterion of “published material”, they can still be used as evidence to satisfy other criteria. For example, as we mentioned earlier, an applicant participated in an important industry conference, or the awards won by the applicant are highly prestigious, or the applicant's organization has a very important status in this field.
To understand the Eligibility Criteria for Extraordinary Ability, we should not only read the literal description but also deeply understand the requirements in the actual application process. If you want to know whether you meet this criterion, you need to find a corporate lawyer to evaluate.
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