A significant number of our clients rely on the “Participation as a Judge (Individually or as a Part of a Panel) Evaluating the Work of Others” criterion for approval of their Extraordinary Ability (EB1A) cases. We receive numerous inquiries regarding how to strengthen this aspect of an EB1A case. Using some of our most recent case approvals as examples, we would like to highlight some of the strategies that we have employed to successfully argue this criterion.
In one recent approval, the petitioner was a biochemist who had over 200 citations to six of his first authored publications. The three criteria that we applied for under EB1A were “publications”, “significant contributions”, and “evaluating the work of others”. By far, the “evaluating the work of others” criterion was the weakest part of the case. Overall, the petitioner only performed six manuscript reviews for three different peer-reviewed journals.
To overcome this weakness, we showed that although he only had six total reviews as an
ad hoc reviewer, they were for three of the most prestigious journals in the field of biology. We submitted with the case, the year-to-year rankings of each of the journals to demonstrate that they consistently ranked at the top of the field, and argued that only a scientist with extraordinary ability in the field would be asked to review for these top ranked journals. The case was approved in less than five months without an RFE.
In another recent approval, the petitioner was a chemist with a little over 100 citations to his peer-reviewed publications. Similar to the above petitioner, the weakest part of the case was the “evaluating the work of others” criterion. The petitioner had only reviewed twice for one peer-reviewed journal and had reviewed several times for three internationally recognized chemistry conferences.
For this case, we showed the relatively high rankings of the conferences that he reviewed for. Additionally, we submitted evidence demonstrating that although he only served as a reviewer three times for the three conferences, in total he had reviewed over 40 papers for the conferences. We argued that since each reviewer was given over a dozen papers to review on behalf of the conference it meant that the conference organizers placed a great deal of reliance on each individual reviewer and that such a high level of responsibility was indicative of the petitioner’s extraordinary ability in the field. This case was approved in 27 days via premium processing with an RFE.
As demonstrated by these recent case approvals, different strategies such as using journal rankings, or quantifying the large number of reviews, can be employed to strengthen the “evaluating the work of others” criterion. One common mistake we have observed is that a petitioner will simply show that review work was completed without an analysis on the type of review work that was performed, thus foregoing the opportunity to strengthen the overall case. For this particular criterion, an in depth analysis and review of one’s own work as a reviewer of others can be the difference between approval and denial.
For questions or comments regarding this article these feel free to contact attorney Fok at: firstname.lastname@example.org