Our office has conducted a survey of our recent EB-1B approvals from the Texas Service Center and we would like to share our results with our readers. While there have been some concerns that the USCIS would adjudicate these cases under a more stringent standard due to the high volume of cases it received during the June/July 2007 period, we are happy to report that the approvals we have received thus far do not reflect a heightened standard.
Using one of our recent EB-1B approvals as an example:
The Petitioner was a Computer Scientist who was working at a medium sized private firm. At the time of filing, he possessed two years of professional experience, having graduated with his Ph.D. a little over two years before. While still a relative newcomer as a professional researcher, our office was able to successfully argue that he was “outstanding” by meting 2 of the necessary EB-1B requirements along with demonstrating he possessed the equivalent of 3 years experience in the field.
The petitioner had 8 publications with 51 citations to his peer-reviewed publications. This is a decent number of citations for an EB-1B based application, and is inline with our office average of approximately 50 citations for an EB-1B case.
For this requirement, we had several excellent letters of recommendation describing his contributions to the field. Similar to most of our EB-1B cases, we were also able to find some objective evidence for these contributions to validate the claims made in the recommendation letters. In this case, the objective evidence took the form of unsolicited email requests from several famous research laboratories for the petitioner’s molecular analysis program code.
Based on our consultations with numerous EB-1B candidates, we have found that many clients do not believe that they are qualified for EB-1B because of the regulation that requires at least 3 years of teaching or professional research experience. While this can appear to be a rather onerous standard for a recent Ph.D. graduate, the EB-1B regulations do allow a petitioner to use his or her research experience during the Ph.D. period for this 3-year total if that research can be demonstrated as outstanding.
To address this issue in this case, our office presented evidence of the citation record from the petitioner’s last year as a Ph.D. student. The citations to the publications during this period reached an impressive 40 citations. Thus, we were able to combine the petitioner’s last year of Ph.D. work with his two years of professional research work to argue that he met the three-year requirement even though he had graduated just 2 years before the submission of the petition.
As the above case example demonstrates, EB-1B adjudication standards, at least those at the Texas Service Center, have not become more stringent. The case above is representative of many of our approved EB-1B cases before the June/July 2007 period, and there is no perceptible difference in the criteria that the Texas Service Center has used in our recent approvals.
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