Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Success with EB1 Green Cards. How?

by Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram on November 18, 2017

If you're determined enough, you can secure your future in the USA with an EB1 Green Card.

If you’re determined enough, you can secure your future in the USA with an EB1 Green Card. I’ll show you how.

By Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ

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But First – Economy and Politics

Before I get into our main topic for this newsletter, I’d like to provide you with an update on the American economy and politics of the day.  Even before President Trump took office, the American economy was doing well. However, since Trump took office the economy has really taken off. Why? Because he promised to lower the corporate rate of tax from 35% to 20%.

With companies looking at prospects of their tax bill being almost halved, it means that these companies would be left with a lot more money on their balance sheets, and they’ll have the luxury of wondering what to do with it. It’s not clear if the new tax proposals now passed by the House of Representatives, has done anything to close the thousands of loop-holes that companies used to get out of paying the 35% tax rate. Nevertheless, for larger companies, if the corporate tax rate is reduced to 20%, then this could mean a windfall of millions of dollars for them, so this optimism has been driving the economy up all year to near fever pitch.

Dollar bills y’all

In order for the tax legislation to become law, the Senate has to also pass their Tax Reform Bill. If the Senate is able to pass their bill, the two bills, the House and Senate bill are then reconciled into one bill and this final bill is put before the President to sign into law. It’s unclear at this point if the Senate bill will pass because, someone had the bright idea to include the Repeal of the Health Care Individual, (that required everyone to buy medical insurance or face a fine), into the Senate Tax Reform Bill.  This ‘switch and bait’ move of adding Health Care Reform into the Tax Reform Bill has ruffled a few Republican feathers, and some may now decide to vote against the Senate Tax Reform Bill unless the ‘individual mandate element’ is taken back out of the Senate Tax Reform Bill. The Senate have given themselves until Christmas to get this resolved and passed.

Will we get tax reform this year? It’s certainly possible, but it’s by no means a done deal just yet. While there is hope of getting this major corporate tax rate reduced, the economy will keep roaring ahead.

EB1 Green Card Adjudication Trends

Our US Immigration law firm, specializes in working with clients who are eager to invest their way in to America under the E2 Investor Visa, or by their talent, sponsor themselves into an EB1 Green Card. We do other visa types, but the E2 Visa and the EB1 Green Card are what we do the most of each year.

We have to be more thoughtful than ever to thread the needle to success.

We have to be more thoughtful than ever to thread the needle to success.

With regards to the E2 Investor Visa, we’ve seen no changes in adjudication by USCIS so we’re pretty solid here; business as usual. However, with regards to EB1 Green Card applications, we have definitely seen, and continue to see, a big shift in USCIS adjudication policy. I want to focus on some of these changes so that you, as clients and future clients, can gear up accordingly.

Follow the Bouncing Ball

Under Trump, USCIS has become tougher on EB1 applications. We are still constantly winning cases, however we have to work much harder to win them and so do our clients. Incidentally, we very recently won an EB1 case where the client designed wooden poles for power lines. Yes, wooden poles for power lines. Who knew there was such a profession? But for sure, our client was a leader in this field, and through a ton of hard work on all our parts, we were able to win this case without a hitch. Moreover, this client was Indian, and in our experience, Indian EB1 applicants have to prove themselves over and above other clients to get approved by USCIS.

Because we're very experienced in EB1 Green Card cases we can spot trend shifts and adapt on an almost daily basis.

Because we’re very experienced in EB1 Green Card cases we can spot trend shifts and adapt on an almost daily basis.

What I mean by ‘follow the bouncing ball’, is that USCIS officers do not focus on the same aspects of the case in any consistent way. For example, let’s take the Critical Role Category of an EB1 Green Card case. So, we’ll prepare the letters and supporting evidence a certain way and USCIS officers will consistently approve that category until all of a sudden, they decide they want to see a particular element of the evidence highlighted in a particular way. For example, how does the applicant’s work really impact the entire company? So, first of all, when you’re talking about large multinational companies like BP, Shell and Exxon, how is it possible for one Senior Engineer to impact the entire organization?

Yeah, that’s a really hard sell, and frankly, an unreasonable ask – but it’s in the EB1 regulations. Nonetheless, we have to figure out a way (and we do) to show the officer that, because our engineer is responsible for Health and Safety, preventing major accidents from occurring impacts the entire organization. What about our clients in oil and gas who are responsible for the integrity of the pipeline? Again, you have to find a way to make your case.

Making Yourself stand out from the crowd of similarly highly qualified professionals is the only way to secure your EB1 green card.

Making yourself stand out from the crowd of similarly highly qualified professionals is the only way to secure your EB1 Green Card.

Another aspect of EB1 Green Card cases is that USCIS officers are now pouncing on the doctrine known as “Sustained National or International Acclaim”.  So, let me explain. In order to qualify for an EB1 Green Card you have to satisfy at least three categories from a list of ten.  You might satisfy Critical Role, High Salary and Published Material About You. However, in addition to satisfying these three categories, the regulations require the USCIS officer to consider whether, even if these categories are satisfied, does the client present as someone who has achieved “Sustained National or International Acclaim?”.

What does “Sustained National or International Acclaim” mean? The regulations do not define it per se, so USCIS officers can apply and interpret with discretion, and this year they are coming up with a wide range and sometimes bizarre definitions and applications.

Our power line/wooden pole engineer’s case was approved without a hitch. Why? Is there a ‘Hall of Fame’ for wooden pole engineers? No. Did she have a lot of press articles written about her designing the best wooden poles for the industry? No.  The answer is, there was nothing ‘sensational’ per se about our client, save the fact that our client’s design of wooden poles was selling like hot cakes, and we have the receipts showing hundreds of thousands of dollars in orders to prove it. We had to demonstrate a range of achievements that our client had accomplished but as you can see, getting to that point of “Sustained National or International Acclaim”, was achieved by implication as opposed to any national or international trophies that are open to our other clients who perhaps work in the entertainment industry.

If we can make power lines sexy, then I guess that says something about what we're able to accomplish.

If we can make power lines sexy, then I guess that says something about what we’re able to accomplish.

So, if you work in industries where publicity and red carpet events go hand-in-hand with what you do, then it does not take too much effort to harness and present it as evidence of “Sustained National or International Acclaim”. For example, one of our clients served as Vin Diesel’s stunt double on Furious 5. Yes, if you’re working with A list actors like Vin Diesel, you can almost hypnotize the officer into seeing ‘sustained acclaim’. We also had another client who worked with U2 – same thing.  But what if you’re a software developer from India doing great work at the highest level with a major company – where’s the sex appeal in that? How do you get to “Sustained National or International Acclaim” from being a software developer?  It’s very difficult, but it can be done and we do it all the time for our clients. When I say, ‘we do it’, it’s fairer to say our clients do it.

We have to push our less glamorous clients to make a concerted effort to “get famous”. You can get famous in a variety of ways. For instance, you can find all of the nerdy I.T. magazines and try and pitch them an interest story about you. Maybe you’re a local boy made big, or you’re working on some cutting-edge technology. Anything you can think about yourself that a big IT magazine might be interested in writing about could make you famous in your community.  Published Material About You. Some of our clients have hired publicists for a few months to help them get some press articles written about them.

EB1 Green Cards Made Easy.

EB1 Green Cards made easy.

I remember, back in England when I was working for a very tiny law firm, I persuaded my boss to put a half page ad in the local paper with his photo about the range of legal services he provided. He did a six-week ad campaign and by the time he had finished, he went from almost total obscurity to great name and face recognition. All Edward did was place an ad, he did not become a better lawyer or anything, it’s just that he went from obscurity to celebrity because his face and story was in a newspaper. Having ‘sustained acclaim’ is 100% about perception and has very little to do with actual ability. If you doubt me, ask the Kardashians what special talent any of them have. In the beginning, they were just an interesting family living the rich life in Calabasas, California. However, as their fame grew, they developed a talent for business and the rest is history.

So, for those working in low profile industries, if you want USCIS to give you an EB1 Green Card, you have to develop a profile they can recognize as amounting to having achieved “Sustained National or International Acclaim”. Otherwise, how are you going to stand out from the crowd? How can a lay person officer, understand the nuances between a Business Intelligence Analyst, a Data Migration Expert, Software Architect, Software Develop, etc? Truth is, the officer can easily get lost in the weeds, unless there is some sort of “fame” that they can objectively point to as grounds for approving your case.

Even the very best programmers are going to need to come out of the dark place, surface and get better known in the industry.

Even the very best programmers are going to need to come out of the dark place, surface and get better known in the industry.

Another way to achieve “Sustained Acclaim”, is to enter competitions any chance you get.  Winning awards makes it impossible for USCIS to say you did not deserve them, and winning an award automatically gives you the ‘acclaim’ USCIS is looking for.

Judging highly prestigious events. There are all kinds of competitions for almost anything these days. If you can find yourself on the judging panel for a highly prestigious organization then go for it. For example, our client who’s a journalist asked the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) if they had any documentaries that needed judging for their upcoming awards season.To his surprise they said, ‘sure, we’d love to have you!’, and he did. When we put his case together showing that he had judged for the Screen Actors Guild, the USCIS officer could not deny our client’s proof of ‘acclaim’.

The Stevie Awards are a great organization to get involved with and we've had many successful clients get on their various judging panels.

The Stevies Awards are a great organization to get involved with and we’ve had many successful clients get on various judging panels.

Winning EB1 Green Card cases is what we do, and when we tell you we can win your case, if you’re prepared to work with us and persist in elevating your game, we’ll get you there. Indeed, the process can have set backs, that’s life to be honest, but if you follow our directions and are prepared to put in the work – you too can get a Green Card, for life, with unlimited possibilities.

I hope this article inspires you to go for your dream and to never give up because together we can get you there.

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

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,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

About Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ.

USA Immigration Attorney Chris M. Ingram is originally from Northampton, England. Chris M. Ingram Graduated with a BA(Hons) Degree in Law from De Montfort University, Leicester, UK in 1994, Chris M. Ingram then went on to the De Montfort School of Law in 1996 and graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PGDLP).   In 1998 Chris M. Ingram graduated with a Masters of Laws and Letters (LL.M) from Huddersfield University, UK. and after relocating to the U.S. Chris was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2003. Chris has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 2004.

Having gone through the US Immigration process personally with his wife and three children, attorney Chris M. Ingram founded his own law firm with the clear mission to make sure every client had the very best US Immigration experience possible. To begin with, Chris M. Ingram set about writing and creating the very best comprehensive US Immigration education platform so that every visitor had the opportunity to discover in their own time and at their own pace their US Visa, Work Permit and Green Card options for free. Today, the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram’s website has over one thousand pages of content and hundreds of education videos and testimonials to inform and inspire every visitor. We are adding new content all the time.

Attorney Chris M. Ingram also believes that everyone should be able to have a free consultations so that potential clients can speak personally and confidentially with an immigration specialist and discuss their US Visa, Work Permit and Green Card needs and learn about how we can help them achieve the American Dream.

We’re delighted you have found us and we look forward to helping you make this a reality this year. You’ve come to the right place.

It’s all about you!

Important Notice:

Please note that all videos created by the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram are intended as general information only and not specific legal advice pertaining your case. If you would like specific legal advice from an attorney on any immigration matter please do not hesitate to contact this law office accordingly. All pictorial images used in these videos and the website in general are licensed stocked images and not portraits, or otherwise, of anyone from the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram, nor of its clients unless otherwise indicated by name. All images are used solely for illustrative purposes only. Copyright 2010-2017 All Rights Reserved. ECI 11/19/2017

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