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EB1 Case Manager Training – Understanding PM-602-0005.1 – Distinguished Memberships

Distinguished Memberships

Distinguished Memberships can be a difficult to category for our clients to satisfy.

This is a category that many of your client will think they satisfy, but you will need to pay very close attention to the evidence because this is actually a very difficult category. Qualifying memberships will go far beyond standard professional memberships, and have a certain number of year experience or a certain education level or passing an entrance exam are not enough for this category. Oftentimes even the best membership in an industry will not satisfy this category because the requirements are so specific.

To fit into this category, a membership must require that its members have a high level of achievement, and that those achievements are judged prior to entrance into the organization.

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Below is the evidence we use to establish distinguished memberships.

(1) Evidence that the association for which the alien claims membership requires that members have outstanding achievements in the field as judged by recognized experts in that field

(a) Confirmation of the alien’s membership level in an organization (welcome letter, identification card, etc)

(b) Press about the alien’s distinguished achievements that were judged to grant membership

(c) Bylaws or other organizational requirements outlining the minimum                  membership requirements used to apply for the alien’s level of membership

(d) Bylaws or other organizational requirements outlining that membership is granted based on the alien’s excellence in the field of endeavor

(e) Bylaws or other organizational requirements outlining that the membership is granted upon the judgment of a panel of experts

(f) About Panel Member 1 – Evidence establishing him/her as an expert in the field

(g) About Panel Member 2 – Evidence establishing him/her as an expert in the field

Let’s look through at the evidence you will need to gather for each membership a bit more closely. (This category requires a minimum of two memberships.)

(1) Evidence that the association for which the alien claims membership requires that members have outstanding achievements in the field as judged by recognized experts in that field

(a) Confirmation of the alien’s membership level in an organization (welcome letter, identification card, etc)

To prove that our client is a member of the organization, we will need to show independent evidence of their membership and their membership level. Oftentimes this will be an identification card, but it could also be a screen shot of the person’s name in the membership register or a certificate. It may also be a welcome letter, but it is important to make sure that any letter provided in this category is created independently of the EB1 application. This means that we should not rely on a letter that we develop specifically for this application to establish membership.

The organizational bylaws will be a very important tool in evidencing this category.

(b) Press about the alien’s distinguished achievements that were judged to grant membership in the organization

In this section, we have recommended press about the client’s achievements to show what they did to get into the organization, but you may need to think outside of the box as not every client will have press materials. Think about what our client has done – maybe they have judged an event or been recognized in the industry in other ways. This is the type of evidence you can draw on for this section.

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(c) Bylaws or other organizational requirements outlining the minimum membership requirements used to apply for the alien’s level of membership

Ok – this is a very important section and you can see that the it explicitly requires the bylaws or other organizational requirements, and these are the resources we should be looking to use to show what the requirements are for our client’s level of membership. It will likely outline the various membership levels, so be sure to highlight the section where our client belongs. This section and section (d) will sometimes coincide, but they are separate for a reason, which will be discussed below.

(d) Bylaws or other organizational requirements outlining that membership is granted based on the alien’s excellence in the field of endeavor

As mentioned above, this section will be found in the bylaws and should be mentioned in the membership requirements and this is a very big piece to satisfying this criterion. This category is based on the fact that the membership requires a high level of achievement from the client, and we must show that the membership requires this.

Again, it may not use the exact language ‘excellence in the field of endeavor’, but it may require a certain amount of recognition in the field. Recognition could be the authorship of articles, recommendations from peers, conference speaking engagements, or other indicators that the client’s skills go above and beyond the average industry professional.

(e) Bylaws or other organizational requirements outlining that the membership is granted upon the judgment of a panel of experts

This is another basic requirement of the Distinguished Memberships category. Our client or their body of work should be reviewed by a committee or panel of experts prior to admittance into the organization. This could be a full panel or one or two members, and this evidence is generally found in process of becoming a member.

(f) About Panel Member 1 – Evidence establishing him/her as an expert in the field

(g) About Panel Member 2 – Evidence establishing him/her as an expert in the field

The requirements for this category are that the client is judged by a panel of experts for entrance into the organization, so where possible, you should provide biographies of the panel members to show that they are industry leaders.

Conclusion

As you see, the category is not particularly difficult, but it does have very specific requirements that need to be met. This is also a category that US immigration will look very closely at and this category is much more objective, meaning that there is very little room for interpretation beyond the basic evidence.

Practical Exercise – Print 3 Sample Arguments

As you print these, you should keep them on hand as a reference. Not only will you see the evidence that is provided, but you will see what your argument writer will be putting together on behalf of the client.

 Print the following case(s):

Martin Bradley

Charles Aunger

You will need to study each argument and the evidence presented. These cases were selected deliberately to give you a cross section of the types of clients we work with, as well as the various ways we can present evidence to satisfy a category. Obviously an oil and gas engineer will vary significantly from a creative director, and it is important that you are able to develop evidence to ensure all types of cases are successful.

Next, let’s take a look at the category for Published Materials About You.