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Extraordinary Results

Practice Limited to Immigration and Nationality Law


Success Stories

A Post-Doctoral Researcher

A post-doctoral researcher with expertise in advanced molecular biology techniques retained us to prepare his green card application in the Extraordinary Ability category. To the untrained eye, his case was not an obvious choice for this classification. With only one first-author publication, five presentations and few citations to his findings, it was not immediately evident that his qualifications were above the norm in his field. Despite these challenges, we worked closely with him to contextualize his research accomplishments in a clear and persuasive manner for USCIS. Rather than focus on some of the more obvious criteria, we instead chose to emphasize his rare technical skills, arguing that these unique skills facilitated, and were in fact critical to, several important discoveries made in his field. Thanks to this detailed and convincing argument, his case was approved within eight months. He is now a U.S. permanent resident.

More is not better, it’s just more

A cancer researcher at a prominent university initially filed a petition as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability using another attorney. The initial petition contained many support letters, and full copies of her publications, patents, citations, media about her work, et cetera. It was a very large submission, and after several months, she received a Request for Evidence that demonstrated a lack of basic knowledge of her area of research, and indicated that USCIS had not recognized any of her accomplishments. The attorney filed a response submitting even more documentation, but USCIS still did not understand and denied the petition.

With only a few months left in H-1B, the researcher sought our assistance. She arrived at the consultation with a suitcase bearing three full binders holding her initial petition! Based only on her CV, we could tell that she had a very strong case, but that the mountains of information – the researcher’s life’s work – needed to be presented in a manner that was not overwhelming. We advised her that the letters needed to be written in a manner that a lay audience could understand, and the supporting material needed to be presented in a manner that the USCIS adjudicator could readily absorb the nature and significance of her achievements. We reorganized the initial submission, whittling it down from three binders to three inches of materials. Eight months after the initial meeting, the researcher and her husband received their green cards. They are now starting their life in America with their baby girl.

An Expert in Nanophotonics

An expert in nanophotonics, who had never explained his research to a layperson before, approached us about applying under both the Extraordinary Ability classification and the National Interest Waiver. The researcher was concerned that his inability to explain his highly complex work may doom his chances for approval. Complicating matters even further was the fact that this researcher, while credited with important advances in his field, had only one first-author research article and a handful of presentations. We began by asking the researcher a series of basic questions about his work, and, as he had predicted, his responses were extremely technical. We carefully examined his explanations, researched the fundamental concepts and definitions, and asked the researcher a series of targeted follow-up questions. His responses were slightly less technical, and gave us a better understanding of his research. This back-and-forth continued for a few weeks, until we had a complete picture of the significance of the researcher’s contributions. With this information, we were able to prepare a successful petition and the researcher was approved as both an Alien of Extraordinary Ability and under the National Interest Waiver.

Framing the Narrative

A Postdoctoral Research Associate, with only a few first author publications in low ranking journals, approached us about filing under the Extraordinary Ability Classification. At the time of filing, our client was studying the behavior of moths that decimated 20-50% of the grape vines used to make wine and grape juice in the United States. While our client’s research was important to agriculture in the United States, his work had yet to be cited in many journals, and he had only received a few small grants to fund his work. We worked with our client to obtain expert testimonials that detailed how his work had already led to the more efficient use of pesticides on grape farms, which in turn will decrease the overall use of pesticides. The expert testimonials also explain that our clients work not only lowered farming costs and food prices, but also made grapes safer for consumption. In addition, we emphasized that our client was recognized as an expert because he was invited to review manuscripts for two prestigious journals in his field. By focusing on the significance of his research on the agricultural industry in the United States, we were able to secure our client’s EA I-140 and Permanent Residency.

Not Just For Scholars & Researchers

A client developed a proven yet simple and methodical massage technique to relax horses after races, as well as speedily reduce the pain spiral after a workout. Even though this was a new development in the field of veterinary medicine, many equine experts felt that his massage technique was complementary to medicines available to the horse today. Unfortunately, there was no medical explanation as to how the massage technique worked, although it clearly had a profound effect on horses. We worked closely with the applicant to prove that he had been invited by equine experts around the world to demonstrate his new technique. We were able to show letters and emails inviting the client to present the techniques to national and international equine organizations, veterinarians, riding schools, stables, and horse trainers in countries such as the United States, Norway, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, Slovakia, Zimbabwe, and the Czech Republic. This also showed that his equine technique was embraced by professional organizations around the world. We submitted further evidence that showed his technique was chronicled in numerous journals and newspapers in the United States and abroad, as well as evidence that he held important and founding roles in several equine organizations. The applicant’s extraordinary ability petition was approved, and he was able to move to the United States where he currently works on horses using his revolutionary technique.

Translating Complex Concepts to Every Day

A researcher approached us about filing under the I-140 Extraordinary Ability Classification. Our client had three first-author publications, two of which were in low ranking journals, and no awards or major leading and critical roles under her belt. Moreover, she worked in the highly complex field of molecular and genetic biology, which made her accomplishments extremely difficult to explain in layman’s terms. We worked closely with our client to elucidate the importance of her research to understanding and treating one of the most common causes of male infertility, called low sperm motility. More specifically, we explained that she developed a novel method for studying the causes of this type of infertility, and showed how her work has already been relied upon by other experts in the field. Specifically, we demonstrated that her first-author articles were featured in the scientific media, and cited substantively by prestigious international research groups in high-ranking journals in the field. We also obtained expert testimonials from well-known American institutions that emphasized that her work was not only important to identifying the causes of male infertility, but also to identifying novel molecular targets for male contraceptives. By focusing on the significance of her research, and the attention it had received by other researchers in his field, we were able to secure our client’s Extraordinary Ability I-140 and Permanent Residency.