15 Nov Scientific Researcher in the field of the Epigenetics of Cancer receives approval in the EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Alien Classification
The Immigration Law Group of Getson & Schatz, P.C. successfully represented a client self-petitioning for EB-1A classification as an alien with extraordinary ability in the sciences in the field of the epigenetics of cancer. Our client was employed as a researcher in lawful H-1B status at a prominent University and intended to continue his full-time employment if granted permanent resident status. Our client was conducting research to prevent and treat fatal human tumors.
The EB1A classification enables foreign nationals possessing extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics to obtain US permanent resident status. The extraordinary ability category does not require a specific job offer and allows for filing without employer sponsorship so long as the foreign national shows plans for work in their field in the United States. Regulations define extraordinary ability as a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of those few who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor. There are two ways to demonstrate extraordinary ability to obtain EB-1A classification. First, the foreign national can show receipt of a major, internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize or an Academy Award. The second and more common method is for the foreign national to document three of ten types of evidence as set forth in the regulations. Our client demonstrated extraordinary ability in the field under this second method.
Per INA Section 203(b)(1)(A), an individual must demonstrate extraordinary ability in the field which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation. 8 C.F.R Section 204.5(h)(3) outlines ten criteria, at least three of which must be satisfied for an individual to establish the sustained acclaim necessary to qualify as an individual of extraordinary ability. Our Philadelphia immigration attorneys compiled and submitted evidence for the following criteria that directly related to the field of endeavor in which our client was seeking classification by USCIS as having extraordinary ability:
- Membership in associations in the field of endeavor that require outstanding achievements of their members: Our immigration attorneys provided evidence showing our client was a member of two associations in the field for which classification was sought, both of which require outstanding achievements of their members as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields. To show this, bylaws of the associations were enclosed with the petition, showing that membership was open to scientists with an established record of scholarly activity and who had published a meritorious original investigation.
- Published material about the alien and his work in professional journals, trade publications, or the major media: Our immigration attorneys provided articles specifically written about the client’s research in major media in support of this criterion.
- Participation, either in a group or alone, as a judge of others in the same or a similar field: Our client had judged the works of others through numerous peer reviews for three of the top rated international journals in his field. The articles the client had reviewed were in the same or an allied field of the epigenetics of cancer. The e-mail correspondence between our client and the journals, along with letters from the journals about our client’s review activity were enclosed with the petition in support of this criterion.
- Original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions of major significance in the field of endeavor: Reference letters submitted by internationally renowned independent experts in our client’s field of the epigenetics of cancer were included with the petition evidencing the major significance and sustained international acclaim of our client’s original scientific research contributions. The letters discussed the impact of our client’s original scientific contributions, represented objective documentary evidence of the major significance of our client’s contributions to the field, and showed that people throughout the field currently consider our client’s work important. Evidence of our client’s presentations at renown international conferences such as #AACR were also enclosed in support of this criterion.
- Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, published in professional journals or major media: Our immigration attorneys provided 18 articles authored by our client, all of which were published in top rated peer reviewed scholarly journals with international circulation. Along with copies of the first page of the articles, information about the importance of the journals was provided as evidence that our client’s articles were written for and intended to be read by learned persons in the field.
The evidence submitted provided support for the claim that our client was one of the small percentage of researchers at the very top of the field of the epigenetics of cancer. Based on the evidence provided which we set forth in a detailed cover letter submitted with the filing, USCIS approved our client’s EB-1A petition, finding that he met 3 of the enumerated EB-1A regulatory categories and met the high level of achievement required for EB-1A approval.