Case Study: Appeal Sustained and Petition Approved by AAO on a NIW petition where no rigid formula by which a certain number of citations and/or witness letters draws a sharp line between eligible and ineligible aliens

Background:

The petitioner is a postdoctoral researcher at the Ohio State University (OSU). 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 November 8, 2007, stating that, while the
petitioner “is well educated and has conducted important research in chemistry,”
the petitioner had not demonstrated “a national benefit so great as to outweigh
the national interest inherent in the labor certification process.”The director
also stated that, to establish eligibility, “[a] petitioner should not only
demonstrate a past history of achievement, but also some degree of influence on
the field as a whole.”

AAO Decision:

The citation count on the two most-cited papers had risen to 18 and 25, respectively. The documentation submitted in support of this claim included information on the citing articles, information that was omitted from the initial submission. This newly-available information indicates that, of the 25 citations of the petitioner’s most-cited article, as many as 17 are self-citations by the petitioner or his co-authors. All told, about 40 of the petitioner’s documented citations are self-citations, which leaves a respectable total of over 50 apparently independent citations. (We note that this updated total is still well below counsel’s prior claim of 70 citations “by other researchers.”)

On appeal, the petitioner argues that the numerous independent citations of his work are evidence of the required influence on his field, and that “[t]he discussions in the denial notice were just ‘boilerplate’ and not specific to my case at all.” These assertions have considerable merit. The director referred to the petitioner as “a chemist” but otherwise offered no specific discussion of the merits or weaknesses of the petitioner’s evidence.

In this instance, the petitioner has submitted independent testimonial evidence attesting to the significance not only of the petitioner’s field, but of the petitioner’s specific work within that field. The petitioner’s citation record constitutes documentary evidence that establishes the influence of the petitioner’s findings on the work of others in the field. While letters and citations can be, and often are, valuable measures of a given alien’s influence on a particular field, there exists no rigid formula by which a certain number of citations and/or witness letters draws a sharp line between eligible and ineligible aliens. Rather, the specific merits of each individual petition (including, many times, factors apart from letters and citations) warrant careful consideration.

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).

Our Ten Thousand I-140 Approvals Provide Unprecedented Insight into the USCIS Adjudication Trend

With 12,000 EB-1A, EB-1B and EB-2 NIW approvals, we have first hand information on the manner in which the USCIS adjudicate I-140 cases. As the USCIS has constantly changed its adjudication standards for the EB-1A, EB-1B and EB-2 NIW categories, our firm's huge database of successful cases gives you unprecedented insight to USCIS adjudication trends. We carefully analyze the data for all of our cases and apply the results of our analyses toward giving our clients up-to-date advice and adapting our strategies such that we remain on par with the ever-shifting landscape of immigration law in the U.S. With us, you will always have access to important updates, strategies, and information so that you can make the most informed decisions about your case.

We Have Helped Hundreds and Thousands of Clients with Credentials and Backgrounds Similar to Yours

With our exceedingly large number of successful petitions, no matter what credentials you have, no matter your background and field of expertise, no matter your visa status or nationality, chances are we have helped hundreds or even thousands of clients just like you. Our clients are usually impressed with how well we understand their research and work. Our insight and understanding stems from the fact that we have handled many cases with elements similar to yours already, and this helps us devise the best strategies for each individual petition.

Vast Majority of Clients Came to Us Because of Referrals

For years, our firm has attracted new clients based solely on word of mouth, recommendations, and the positive collaboration experiences shared with them by their friends and family. We take pride in our reputation and work hard to ensure that we provide a green card application experience that our clients are happy to share with their friends and colleagues. That is how our approvals grew from 600 in 2013 to more than 3,000 in 2017.



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