Proving that an EB1B Researcher is Recognized “Internationally” as Outstanding in the Field

One frequently overlooked difference between an EB1A and EB1B petition is that the beneficiary for EB1A can prove that he or she is recognized either nationally or internationally in the field; beneficiaries attempting to qualify as an EB1B outstanding professor or researcher, on the other hand, must demonstrate that they have been recognized internationally as outstanding in the field.  Being recognized nationally is not enough for the EB1B beneficiary.  Thus, it is critical for the EB1B beneficiary to devote a portion of the petition letter to demonstrating that his or her work has been recognized internationally in the field when presenting the case to the USCIS.  In this article, we will present several effective methods that our office has used to prove that the beneficiary’s work has been internationally recognized as outstanding.

One of the primary methods that our office uses to demonstrate that a beneficiary is recognized internationally is to provide the USCIS with recommendation letters from professors or researchers outside the United States.  Letters from researchers from foreign countries attesting to the impact of the beneficiary’s work is usually strong evidence to demonstrate the international recognition that the beneficiary has received.  Although this can be done in nearly all cases, occasionally, the USCIS has requested more evidence to demonstrate international recognition.  There are several different strategies one can employ in addition to using the recommendation letters – using some of our recent EB1B approvals as examples:

University Professor

This beneficiary was an associate professor of biology at a large state university.  He was only able to procure one recommendation letter from overseas which was the only evidence that he had to prove his international impact on the field.  For this case, our office conducted an in depth analysis of his citations and discovered that nearly 20% of them were from foreign countries. We submitted evidence of this per-country citation spread to supplement the one recommendation letter from overseas to prove the international impact of his work.  This case was approved in 11 days via the Premium Processing Service.

Electronic Engineer

This beneficiary was a senior research and development engineer (R&D engineer) at a small start-up technology firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.   Similar to the case above, this beneficiary could only get one recommendation letter from overseas and thus his case required additional evidence to prove his international impact on the field.  Unfortunately, because his field was in electronic engineering, he did not have a large amount of citations from which to show international interest in his publications.  Instead, we submitted evidence that he presented at several highly-regarded international conferences.   We also demonstrated that in response to his conference presentations, several researchers from other countries e-mailed him requesting more data related to the subject of his presentation.  This case was approved in 24 days via premium processing after receiving an RFE.

For any EB1B, it is vitally important to demonstrate that the beneficiary has been recognized internationally as outstanding.  The primary method of showing this should be through recommendation letters from other researchers overseas; however, these letters can also be supplemented with other forms of evidence as demonstrated by the cases above.  International cooperation is the norm in most research fields today; thus, with a little creativity, nearly every “outstanding researcher” should be able to demonstrate his or her international impact.


For questions or comments regarding this article, please contact Attorney Fok at: jfok@jclawoffice.com

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