by Victoria Chen, Esq., J.D.
Background: The petitioner seeks classification as an employment-based immigrant pursuant to section 203(b)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act),as an alien of extraordinary ability in the arts.
USCIS Decision: The director determined that the petitioner had not established the requisite extraordinary ability through extensive documentation and sustained national or international acclaim.
On Appeal The petitioner argues that the petitioner meets at least three of the ten regulatory categories of evidence as a Master Chef..
AAO’s Decision: The AAO found that the petitioner meets the statutory and regulatory requirements for classification as an alien of extraordinary ability for the following reasons:
A. Evidentiary Criteria: The AAO found that the petitioner’s evidence meets the following categories of evidence
1. Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor:
The petitioner submitted evidence showing that he received gold medals at the 4th World Championship of an award that was nationally or internationally recognized in his field. Accordingly, the petitioner has established that he meets this criterion.
2. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation.
The petitioner submitted articles about him. In response to the director’s request for evidence, the petitioner submitted independent circulation information indicating that these publications qualify as major media. Accordingly, the petitioner has established that he meets this criterion.
3. Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specification for which classification is sought.
The petitioner submitted evidence of his participation as a judge of other chefs at in Malaysia and China. Accordingly, the petitioner has established that he meets this criterion.
4. Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field.
The petitioner submitted copies of his U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements for 2007. The petitioner also submitted wage data from the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center Online Wage Library showing that his earnings are significantly high in relation to others in the field. Accordingly, the petitioner has established that he meets this criterion.
The AAO then concluded that the petitioner meets at least three of the ten categories of evidence that must be satisfied to establish the minimum eligibility requirements necessary to qualify as an alien of extraordinary ability.
B. Final Merits Determination:
The AAO stated that the petitioner has submitted extensive documentation of his culinary achievements. The submitted evidence is sufficient to demonstrate the petitioner’s sustained national or international acclaim as a Master Chef and that his achievements have been recognized in the culinary industry. Therefore, AAO found that the petitioner’s achievements as a chef are commensurate with sustained national or international acclaim at the very top of his field and the petitioner has sustained that burden of proof.
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