Case Study: AAO dismissed an EB1-A Appeal of a Petition for an Alien Scholar and Historian

by Victoria Chen, Esq., J.D.

Background: The petitioner is involved in the performing arts. It seeks to classify the beneficiary as an employment-based immigrant pursuant to section 203(b)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as an alien of extraordinary ability in the arts. Specifically, the petitioner seeks to classify the beneficiary as an alien with extraordinary ability as a choreographer.

USCIS Decision: The director determined the petitioner had not established that the beneficiary qualifies for classification as an alien of extraordinary ability.

Submitted Evidence This petition seeks to classify the petitioner as a alien with extraordinary ability as a writer and literary scholar. The record contains numerous letters attesting to the petitioner’s scholarly achievements. The petition asserts that the petitioner is an extraordinary writer, literary scholar and historian who has gained national and international acclaim through the publication of his book and articles on the Holocaust and the Jewish Resistance Movement, and his lectures in the former Soviet Union and the United States. The petition states that the petitioner has published numerous articles and books about the Holocaust and has presented his work at various linguistic and literary conferences. Counsel further states that the petitioner was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship attached to the Slavic Department of The Ohio State University doing research and reading lectures in 1994. As noted by the director in his decision, the record establishes that the petitioner possesses an outstanding knowledge of Yiddish, Polish and German literature.

AAO’s Decision: The AAO stated that the petitioner may have submitted documentation to establish that he meets more than three of the ten requirements found at 8 C.F.R.204.5(h)(3). However, the AAO continued that even if this were established, the petitioner’s reliance on simply meeting a set number of criteria is misplaced. The submission of documentation relating to at least three of the various kinds of evidence listed does not necessarily establish that an alien has achieved sustained national or international acclaim or recognition, and does not mandate a finding of eligibility.

The AAO found that the petitioner has established that he has published scholarly articles in his field of endeavor. However, the evidence presented does not establish that the petitioner is within the small percentage at the very top of his field of endeavor. Therefore, the appeal is dismissed.

from Chen Immigration Law Associates

North America Immigration Law Group (Chen Immigration Law Associates) is a U.S. immigration law firm dedicated to representing corporations, research institutions, and individuals from all 50 U.S. states regarding I-140 immigration petitions. We specialize in employment-based immigration petition and have a proven record of high success rate for the categories of: EB2-NIW (National Interest Waiver), EB1-A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) and EB1-B (Outstanding Researcher/Professor).

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