Case Study: Appeal Sustained and Petition Approved by AAO on a NIW petition for an Alien Who had 12 independent citations


The petitioner seeks employment as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago. The petitioner asserts that an exemption from the requirement of a job offer, and thus of a labor certification, is in the national interest of the United States. The director found that the petitioner qualifies for classification as a member of the professions holding an advanced degree but that the petitioner had not established that an exemption from the requirement of a job offer would be in the national interest of the United States.

USCIS Decision & Reasons of Denial:

The director denied the petition on December 27, 2005, stating that the
petitioner’s response to the RFE failed to establish his eligibility for the
national interest waiver. As we have noted, however, the RFE did not give the
petitioner the opportunity to address the requirements set forth in Matter of New
York State Dept. of Transportation because the specific evidence requested in that
notice had nothing to do with the precedent decision. The director stated that
“[c]ounsel and the petitioner may have found the Service’s evidence request to be
overly burdensome,” and that “[i]t may also appear that the Service’s evidentiary
request inappropriately suggested the submission of documentation to demonstrate
the petitioner’s qualification for a range of immigrant classifications.”The
director, however, did not link these assertions to any substantive discussion of
the RFE itself.

AAO Decision:

The initial submission includes documentation showing that ten of the petitioner’s papers have been cited an aggregate total of 33 times. Only three of the ten papers have been cited more than twice, and only one (with 15 citations) has been cited more than five times. The petitioner lists the citing articles for four of these ten papers. The list accounts for 25 of the petitioner’s 33 citations. Thirteen of these 25 citations are self-citations by the petitioner and/or his collaborators, including nine of the 15 citations of the petitioner’s most-cited paper. Thus, the petitioner’s initial submission documents no more than 20 independent citations of his work, spread over ten papers for an average of, at most, two independent citation per article.

The initial submission documented, at best, a marginal rate of citation of the petitioner’s published work. The number of citations has increased over time, however, and there now exist several dozen more citations of the articles that the petitioner had published before the filing date. This objective evidence corroborates and is consistent with the independent witness letters submitted on appeal.

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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