Immigration for Scientists: Case Successes
Our Strategy and Skill in Action
For a Scientist with Many Options, NIW was the Easiest Route
Our client was a researcher with a very strong record of accomplishment in nanomaterials. His potential options were EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability), EB-1B (Outstanding Researcher, an employer sponsored category) and the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW). EB-1A and the NIW are particularly attractive options because they allow the applicant to self-petition. This kind of case often takes less time to prepare than an employer-sponsored option, because fewer parties are involved.
The documentary requirements for the EB-2 NIW impose less of a burden on the applicant than those for the EB-1A. Had our client been a national of India or China, the NIW would have entailed a significant delay because of visa backlogs in the EB-2 category. In this case, the fastest and easiest route was the NIW, and our client’s I-140 Petition for Immigrant Worker was approved without any additional Request for Evidence (RFE).
NIW Approval for a Post-Doc in a New Field
Our client was a post-doctoral scientist who had recently moved to a new area of research. The EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) is a very good option for early career researchers, as it requires showing only “some” impact on the field, not being at the very top of the field.
We helped this individual to gain approval by showing a pattern of achievement as a whole plus recent achievements in his current field of research. We backed up his recent achievements with letters providing context for the change in focus, and the researcher’s I-140 was approved without an RFE.
Sound Strategy Leads to Speedy NIW Approval
A researcher came to us shortly before submitting a first-authored publication to a highly prestigious journal. Because the journal had a very high international profile, the paper’s acceptance would be a clear indication of this individual’s impact in his field. We waited to file his EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) case until the paper was accepted, and included a letter from one of the journal’s editors explaining the importance of our client’s contribution.
We received a Request for Evidence (RFE) in a matter of weeks asking for evidence of prior citations, which we were easily able to provide. His I-140 Petition for Immigrant Worker was approved less than a month later.
EB-1B for Outstanding Researcher with Private Sector Employer
In EB-1B Outstanding Researcher cases where the petitioning employer is not a university, it is particularly important to document that the organization meets the stringent requirements for a qualifying employer. A recent client was being sponsored by a small organization with no patents assigned to it. In addition, one of its full-time research positions rotated among three people.
We documented the firm’s research accomplishments by concentrating on the impact of the work, and combined several different types of documentation to convincingly show the employer had a qualifying number of research employees. The petition was approved without any request for additional evidence.
NIW Success and Priority Date Recapture for an Indian National
A previous client, now an established science researcher, sent his former post-doctoral student to us for assistance. The post-doc was earning a living as a pharmacist, and his employer had filed a permanent residence case on his behalf. Approved in the EB-3 category, he faced a long wait for a visa due to the per-country limits. While waiting, he realized that his heart was in research, where he actually had some documented accomplishments.
When a research job became available with the post-doc’s former supervisor, he decided to move to the new position even though it meant abandoning the pending Green Card case. Since there was no institutional sponsor available for the research position, our client was not eligible for the EB-1B category. However, we were able to develop an EB-2 National Interest Waiver case based on his past accomplishments. His I-140 was approved less than two months later and we were also able to recapture the priority date of the previous permanent residence case that had been pending.
The move from EB-3 to EB-2 significantly shortened his path to permanent residence. We are pleased to have helped this client towards a fulfilling research career in the United States.
Science O-1, NIW Double Approval
Our client was a biochemist in a cap-exempt H-1B position. He wanted to move to a for-profit employer who was willing to sponsor him for permanent residence. However, our client was concerned about loss of work authorization between the time he moved to a cap-subject position and the time he received his EAD. In addition, we were concerned (as we always are) about maintenance of underlying status in case of permanent residence denial. We therefore took advantage of premium processing service to gain speedy approval of an O-1 nonimmigrant case on his behalf. At the same time, we filed a National Interest Waiver permanent residence case. The O-1 allowed him to work continuously during the transition between employers. Fortunately, there was no need to fall back on it as an underlying status - his permanent residence case was approved quickly and without any request for further evidence.