And we continue from our previous post….

7.       Display of the your work at artistic exhibitions or showcases

This is one of those categories which USCIS frequently says does not apply to every type of field. USCIS is fairly adamant that this category only applies to Painters, Sculptors or similar artists. It’s arguable that an actor or director displays there work through a film or production because it is a performance, but this will not always be a winning argument. Also, the mere fact that the artist has had his or her work exhibited does not necessarily establish extraordinary ability. The artist must also demonstrate the exhibition or showcase is itself of distinction and that the exhibited work at such an exhibition or showcase was itself of such significance. So the bigger the showcase and the artist role in the exhibition the better.

8.       Performance in a critical or leading role for organization with distinguished reputation

It’s not just about performing a critical or lead role; it’s about doing so for an organization/company with a distinguished reputation. It also needs to be obvious that the petitioner has performed more than just a supporting role: how important was the role, was it important for the entire production or organization or merely important to a department or part of a production? It’s imperative to provide very direct evidence from the organization which details and specifically refers to the role performed by the petitioner.

9.       High salary

Here the petitioner must show that they commanded a significantly high salary or remuneration for their services in relation to others in the field. USCIS tends to focus on how much “significantly” higher the salary is compared to others in the field. They are not just looking at the fact that you get paid a high salary they want to see independent objective evidence about how much more significant that is than other similarly situated individuals in the field. The specific evidence will differ on a field by field basis, as well as how available this information is and from which independent sources. A CEO will likely be the highest paid person in a company but how do they compare to other CEOs in the same field.

10.   Commercial success in the performing arts

Basically this category focuses on the exact high volume of sales and box office receipts. Just because you have recorded and released an album or performed in a theatrical, motion picture or television production would not be enough in this category. With readily available information such as ticket and album sales it should be fairly straight forward showing direct evidence of your extraordinary ability with this category. This is one of those categories that you either have or you don’t. But don’t be afraid to get creative depending on your field this category might work for you.

That wraps up the 10 main criteria that are utilized to adjudicate Extraordinary Ability Petitions. But what about if you don’t fit all of the above or not even a few of the above, what can you do? You are in luck, there is the catch all category called “Other Comparable Evidence” and we will take a in-depth look at it in one of the postings that follow.