I have some very exciting news! My US visa application as an alien of extraordinary ability has been approved! This is a wonderful privilege, and many people helped me by writing letters on my behalf for the application. Thank you all!
From the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, this is the requirement for the EB-1 employment-based immigration category:
“You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Your achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required.
“You must meet 3 of 10 criteria* below, or provide evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal).”
With the Olympics just on, this makes my application success all the more special. It’s like I have won the Olympic Gold Medal for technical writing!
You must meet 3 out of the 10 listed criteria below to prove extraordinary ability in your field:
- Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence – Yes
- Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members – Yes
- Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media – Yes
- Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel – Yes
- Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field – Yes
- Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media – Yes
- Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases (this is true – I had my first art exhibit at Havana last summer – but I didn’t submit evidence for this category)
- Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations – Yes
- Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field – Yes
- Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts (I provided equivalent evidence of the success of my book – a Canadian best-seller with over 40,000 copies sold – the number of sales for a quadruple-gold record!)
This achievement fills me with joy. The work of the first 50 years of my life has resulted in a wonderful foundation for the next 50 years! During the process of preparing the materials for the visa, I had the opportunity to reflect on everything I’ve done so far, to connect with many people I’ve worked with along the way, and to really appreciate the many opportunities I’ve enjoyed, to contribute my abilities to the world in many different capacities. It was almost like going on a vision quest, except that it involved consuming reams of paper and dozens of ink cartridges! 🙂
First submission (450 pages, 8 pounds!):