Lately, our law firm helped a research in the field of evolutionary biology
who had 4 published journal articles at the time of filing, obtain an
approval of her NIW petition in 4 months and 15 days without a Request for
The client received a Ph.D. degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from
a university in the U.S. She currently works as a Postdoctoral Associate at
a leading research institution, conducting pioneering research studies
supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
We have prepared a brief evaluation of this client's/applicant's case based
on the following three prong tests/factors set forth by Matter of New York
State Dept. of Transportation (Comm. 1998) ("NYSDOT"), which are considered
by CIS when evaluating a request for a national interest waiver.
1) The alien seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit
The applicant submitted documentary evidence showing that she is employed as
a researcher in the interdisciplinary fields of ecological genomics,
evolutionary biology and animal behavior, and that she will continue to work
in her area of specialty and her research contributions have substantial
merit to the national interest.
2) The proposed benefit will be national in scope
The second test is whether the benefit of the petitioner's services may be
properly characterized as national in scope, or whether the benefit of the
services is predominantly local in nature. The evidence she submitted
demonstrates that the likely impact of her research services is
characterized as national in scope. The applicant has proven by
documentary evidence of her past achievements that her research work and
contributions are practically significant and directly linked to the need
for conserving biodiversity and ecosystems in the U.S., and her research
work will continue to benefit important interests of the U.S. in a national
3) The alien seeking the waiver must establish that he/she will serve the
national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available
U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.
CIS notes that, while the national interest waiver hinges on prospective
national benefit, the alien's past record justifies projections of future
benefit to the national interest. The inclusion of the term "prospective"
here requires future contributions by the alien, rather than facilitating
the entry of an alien with no demonstrable prior achievements, thus the
alien's benefit to the national interest would be entirely speculative.
The point is whether the alien's contributions in the field are of such
unusual significance that the alien merits the special benefit of a national
interest waiver, over and above the visa classification sought. With this
test, CIS requires the alien to demonstrate that he/she has a past history
of achievement with some degree of influence on the field as a whole. In
other words, it is required of the applicant to show that his/her influence
or impact is greater than most of the applicant's peers in the field.
When judging the influence and impact that the alien's work has had, CIS
examines the citation history of his/her published works. In this case, the
applicant/client submitted evidence of more than thirty (30) citations of
her work. The applicant has shown that the aggregate total citations of her
published papers indicate an unusual level of interest as to distinguish
her from her peers in the field. The applicant also submitted evidence of
her presentations at conferences and peer-review experience for several
When assessing this third test, CIS, in its discretion, often uses opinion
statements submitted by the applicant as expert testimony. In evaluating
expert testimonial letters, CIS note that letters containing general praise
and speculation as to the potential applications of the alien's work are
less persuasive than letters that provide specific examples of how the alien
has already influence the field. In this case, we helped the client/
petitioner prepare seven (7) well-drafted reference letters, some of which
are from independent references who were previously aware of the petitioner
through her reputation and who have applied her work.
Since USCIS regulations have NOT defined the term "national interest", and
Congress did not provide a specific definition of "in the national interest"
, the proof of burden to meet a national interest waiver has rested with the
petitioner/applicant, while USCIS reviews waivers of the labor
certification in the national interest by judging each case on its own
merits after a careful review and analysis of all evidence submitted by an
applicant/alien. Perhaps, that is why the third measure (to prove that the
national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were
required for the alien) may be more difficult to prove, for the most part,
than the other first- and second- measures (to demonstrate that the proposed
employment has substantial intrinsic merit and would be national in scope).
Our law firm has substantial experience for 20 years to help postdoctoral
researchers, professors, engineers, and other advanced degree professionals
apply for green card applications in EB1A, EB1B and EB2NIW. For more
information, you can visit our website at www.sunlawfirm.us.
We provide Free Evaluation services. If you are interested in a Green Card
application, please email us your resume, the number of citations of your
works, and your main contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Green
Alice H. Sun (Member of American Immigration Lawyers Association)
Law Offices of Sun
12100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 650
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: (310) 481-6118
Fax: (310) 481-6117
Disclaimer: The above newsletter information is general information. They
are NOT legal consultations for any specific cases or legal issues.