Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researchers/Professors, and National Interest Waivers
We know that post-doctoral fellows and other young scientists and scholars find themselves between a rock and hard place when it comes to applying for the green card. Not only are employer sponsored petitions often difficult to come by, but the visa backlog means even for those with an employer sponsored petition a self-petition may be a better option.
Even for those with an employer sponsored petition a self-petition may be a better option. This is because employer sponsored petitions tie you to both the employer and the specific position for which you were sponsored. With visa backlogs of several years in many preference categories, this may not be a viable option.
We have found that in well documented cases, it is possible to petition for immigration without a job offer and in the highest preference categories. Our firm has assisted countless individuals in self-petitioning as aliens of extraordinary ability (EA) (EB-1 Preference Category) and as advanced degree professionals whose immigration is in the national interest (NIW) (EB-2 Preference Category). While these self-petition options may not be appropriate for everyone, our extensive expertise and in-depth understanding of the regulatory standards enables us to prepare compelling and persuasive petitions. Our success with these petitions, upwards of 95%, is based in large part on the time we spend understanding the nature and significance of your achievements, and translating very technical concepts into terms that the immigration adjudicators can understand and appreciate. These detailed explanations, coupled with corroborating documentation, provide a picture of your accomplishments as they comport with the regulatory criteria. The overall effect is to facilitate immigration’s understanding of just how extraordinary you are.
Another non-PERM option that falls within the EB-1 Preference Category is the Outstanding Researcher/Professor (OR/P). Unlike the EA and NIW petitions, however, the OR/P is an employer-sponsored petition that requires a permanent offer of employment. It also requires the beneficiary to establish three years teaching or research experience in the field. Other than these requirements, the regulatory criteria to establish OR/P are almost identical to that which is required to establish EA. While these same criteria are not specifically stipulated for the NIW, they do inform the three prong test that is used to determine if an individual’s immigration is in the national interest.
Given the similarities amongst these different categories, you may wonder how to determine the one that is appropriate for you. You may not have to. It is possible to submit an application for a single individual simultaneously under two or more categories. With regards to these three types of petitions, the evidence required is virtually the same, the different legal standards used to judge this evidence are addressed in the attorney cover letter.