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How to Prepare a Successful RFE Response for
Your EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor Application

1. The Eligibility for EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor Green Card Petition 

The EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor petition (EB-1B or EB1-OR) is an immigration category for researchers or professors who are internationally recognized as outstanding in a particular scientific or scholarly field. The EB-1B petitions are based on job offers, generally, the job is offered by a university or other similar academic or scientific institution, but it can also be offered by a private employer.

Due to the immigrant visa number retrogression for some countries, the alien applicants from these countries need to wait for years to get Green Card application approval in EB-2 and EB-3 categories. Many new immigrants are looking for other options. The EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor (EB-1B) category is such an option for those outstanding alien applicants who could qualify. Because the EB-1B category is in the First Preference, and the immigrant visas are immediately available.

For outstanding researchers, scholars, and professors who have at least three years of experience, and also have a permanent job offer for research or teaching position, the EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor immigrant category is an increasingly popular option to apply for U.S. Green Card.

The EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor or immigration category is suit for foreign nationals who are internationally recognized as outstanding in their field. It requires that the alien applicant is a tenured or tenured-track professor at a university, or is employed in a permanent research position at a private company that employs at least three full-time researchers. The alien applicant also should have at least three years of experience in the field.

The basic guidance to determine the eligibility for EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor Green Card petition include:

1) The alien beneficiary should have a permanent job offer for research or teaching position, and can provide evidence that the alien beneficiary is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field.

2) An EB-1B application must be sponsored by a qualified U.S. employer. Universities and research companies are qualified to be an EB-1B petitioner. 

3) Some small private companies could also be qualified as EB-1B petitioners, if they have at least three full-time researchers, and have achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field. 

For EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor immigrant petition, the job offer should be in the form of a letter and come from:

1) A U.S. university or institution of higher learning, for a tenured or tenure-track teaching position or permanent research position in an academic field;

2) A department, division, or institute of a private employer, for a permanent research position in an academic field.

2. The Request For Evidence for an EB1-Outstanding Researcher or Professor Petition

Evidence must be submitted to support a Form I-140 petition for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher (EB-1B). Unlike the requirement for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability Petition, in which alien applicant must have garnered sustained national or international acclaim in the field of endeavor, the EB1 outstanding professor or researcher petition must demonstrate that the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field.

In addition, the U.S. employer should have the ability to pay the alien employee’s offered
salary, and the alien employee should be employed in a tenure-track or permanent research position, which means that the alien beneficiary is employed on an continuous basis, without clear employment end date.

To process the Form I-140 petition and determine the eligibility for EB1-Outstanding Professor or Researcher petition, additional information may be required by USCIS. The Request For Evidence notice provides suggested evidence that could be submitted in consideration of each requested item. The petitioner should provide additional evidence that is believed to satisfy the request. The petitioner is responsible for providing that best shows that the EB-1B beneficiary meets all requirements. Evidence must show that the beneficiary was eligible for the requested benefit when the Form I-140 petition was filed.

A Request for Evidence (RFE) from a USCIS Service Center is that the USCIS adjudicator is requesting additional evidence to address and support specific parts of the pending I-140 petition. The petitioner may have certain days indicated in the RFE notice to respond the requests in the RFE notice. If the petitioner does not respond within the indicated time, the petition may be denied by USCIS. After USCIS receives your response to an RFE notice, further action will generally occur within 60 days, but may take longer for some cases.

There are many RFEs of EB-1B petition regarding the three years research experience, international recognition, and the nature of the position as involving basic research. However, most of the RFE requests are grounded in the USCIS statute and regulations.

The petitioner should remember that the USCIS will not approve an EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor petition simply because the alien beneficiary meets two of the six criteria. To be eligible for this category, an alien beneficiary must meet the following three requirements also:

1) Recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field; 

2) Has at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in the academic field; and 

3) Seeks to work at a tenured or permanent position for a university, or at a comparable research position for a private employer, if the private employer has at least 3 full-time researchers and has achieved documented accomplishments in the academic field.

An USCIS adjudicator may issue a Request For Evidence (RFE) on EB-1B cases that were not approvable. The issuance of RFEs in these cases resulted in delays in the processing time. On the other hand, many cases could be approved if the applicants had been given the opportunity to provide additional information in response to the RFEs.

An EB-1B application case may be denied if it is clearly not approvable. These are cases where basic regulatory requirements are missing. This includes cases where an applicant is categorically ineligible to receive an immigration benefit. USCIS also recognized that sometimes the adjudicators request full range of information when only a small amount is needed to make a final decision, so it wastes examination resources through the review of unnecessary, duplicative, or irrelevant documents. 

3. USCIS' Policy of "Two-Part Evaluation" for EB1-Outstanding Researcher or Professor Petition and RFE Notice

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a Policy Memorandum to provides guidance regarding the analysis that USCIS adjudicators must use in adjudicating Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, filed for EB1 Outstanding Professors or Researchers.

The USCIS' Two-Part Evaluation approach adjudication method apply to EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher application. The evidence listed in the EB-1B regulations serve only as guidelines for the petitioner. Eventually, the submitted evidence should establish that the alien beneficiary is a researcher or professor who is internationally recognized as outstanding.

The purpose of the Policy Memorandum is to ensure that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes Form I-140 petitions filed under these employment-based immigrant classifications with a consistent standard. USCIS adjudicators will follow the amended procedures in the adjudication of all Form I-140 petitions filed for EB1 Outstanding Professors or Researchers. In general, the petition must be accompanied by initial evidence that:

a) evidence submitted satisfies the preponderance of the evidence standard and meets at least two criteria.

b) the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area.

The evidence provided in support of EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor petitions must demonstrate that the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition. In addition, the petition must be accompanied by an offer of permanent, tenured, or tenure-track employment (limited to "permanent positions" in the case of research positions) from a qualifying prospective employer and evidence that the alien has had at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the "academic field" in which the alien will be engaged.

The determination in Part One of the analysis is limited to determining whether the evidence submitted satisfies the preponderance of the evidence standard and meets at least two criteria. If such evidence is not exist in the initial filing, an RFE notice will be issued by USCIS Service Center to the petitioner. Also, meeting the minimum requirement by providing at least two types of this evidence does not, in itself, establish that the alien in fact meets the requirements for classification as an Outstanding Researcher or Professor.

In Part Two of the analysis in each case, USCIS adjudicators will consider all of the evidence to make a final merit determination of whether or not the petitioner has, by a preponderance of the evidence, demonstrated that the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area. Again, if such evidence is not exist in the initial filing to prove that the alien beneficiary is "recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area", an RFE notice will be issued by USCIS Service Center to the petitioner.

When ultimately making a final decision regarding EB-1B eligibility, USCIS will first evaluate the evidence submitted by the petitioner to determine which regulatory criteria the beneficiary meets in Part One of the analysis. If the petitioner establishes that the beneficiary has met at least two of the six criteria, then USCIS will evaluate all of he evidence in the record to make a final merits determination of whether or not the petitioner, by a preponderance of the evidence, has demonstrated that the a preponderance has national and international acclaim, and that the beneficiary ‘s achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise.

This is the petitioner’s responsibility to meet the legal burden of proof to establish eligibility in all respects. Whenever a alien applicant makes an application for an immigrant benefit, the petitioner shall bear the burden of proof to establish eligibility for the benefit sought. Therefore, the petitioner must prove, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the beneficiary is fully qualified for the benefit sought.

Simply presenting evidence which relates to two of the listed six EB-1B criteria does not necessarily mean that the immigrant visa application should be approved, since the USCIS adjudicator needs to evaluate the submitted evidence. If the USCIS adjudicator determines that the evidence does not meet the standard for EB-1B classification, the additional evidence may be requested (Request For Evidence, or RFE)

4. How to Prepare a RFE Response for an EB1-Outstanding Researcher or Professor Petition

The key point to remember in replying the RFE of an EB1-OR petition is to establish an international reputation. Each piece of evidence should speak to that standard. Once the international outstanding requirement is met, USCIS also needs to determine whether the alien beneficiary has at least 3 years of experience in the appropriate academic field. USCIS accepts relevant teaching and researching experiences for this criterion. 

Another requirement is that the alien beneficiary must have a qualified employment. The alien must have a tenured, tenure-tracked, or permanent teaching or research position at an institution. If the employment is at a private research institution, evidence must present that the private institution has at least 3 full-time researchers and that the private institution has achieved documented accomplishment in the field.

It is important to prepare a RFE response of I-140 petition according to the USCIS statutory and regulatory guidelines, in order to avoid a denial of the I-140 petition after the Request for Evidence:

a) Ensure that all requested evidence and documents listed in the RFE are submitted;

b) Clearly document in a RFE response cover letter how the alien beneficiary is qualified for this eminent category, and answer all the questions listed in the USCIS' RFE letter;

c) Ensure that the alien applicant meets at least two of the required six criteria. Although meeting two of the six criteria would not guarantee that the alien beneficiary will qualify as an individual of outstanding ability, if an alien applicant can not satisfy at least two of the six criteria, it may be wise to consider other immigrant categories.

To replying the RFE requests, the petitioner should make sure to include additional letters from experts in the field who have not collaborated directly with the alien. A combination of additional letters from experts and collaborators who describe the beneficiary's reputation in the field, along with a few other letters from independent references who know the beneficiary's work via their conference presentations or publications, is the strategy for RFE success.

Although the criteria for EB1-Outstanding Researchers and Professors are relatively clear, it is important to note that USCIS will not approve a petition that minimally satisfies each of the two criteria. To be approved as an outstanding researcher or professor, there must be sufficient and proper evidence to convince USCIS that the alien beneficiary is indeed outstanding and has international recognition.

All non-English language documents must have an English translation for the pertinent parts of the documents that help to establish eligibility. If you would like USCIS to consider evidence that is written in a foreign language, you must submit English language translation for the parts of the document that could help to establish eligibility for the requested benefit. The translator must certify that:

  • The translation are accurate and complete, and
  • The translator is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.

5. Often Raised Question NO.1 in Request For Evidence for EB-1B Petition - Be Recognized Internationally as Outstanding in an Academic Field

The EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor criteria requires that the alien beneficiary " be recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic field." An outstanding researcher or professors should stand apart in the academic community with international recognition.

A petition for an outstanding researcher or professor should be accompanied by evidence that the alien beneficiary is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition. The submitted evidence should include at least two of the six types of evidence listed in the EB-1B regulation.

As an alien beneficiary, you should demonstrate the international recognition for outstanding achievements in an academic field. You should have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in an academic area. You should be U.S. to work in a tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or institution of higher education.

The following 3 requirements must be satisfied for a petition of EB1 outstanding professors or researchers:

1) An outstanding professor or researcher is a foreign alien who is recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic field.

2) The foreign alien must have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in an academic field.

3) The foreign alien must be offered a tenured or tenure-track teaching or research position at a university, or a comparable research position with a private employer if the employer has at least three full-time researchers and documented accomplishments in the research field.

6. Often Raised Question NO.2 in Request For Evidence for EB-1B Petition - Three Years of Research or Teaching Experience

Few of the RFE hinged on the regulatory option that pre-doctoral research counts toward the three-year requirement. However, as a practical matter it is hard to prove that an alien beneficiary with less than three years of post-doctoral research has an international reputation in their field. In such a case, the RFE response must clearly document the outstanding nature of any pre-doctoral research. The paid research assistant work for a professor, common to Ph.D. students, is treated with suspicion, and must be carefully distinguished from the basic research involved in the dissertation.

According to USCIS regulations, research experiences attained while working towards an advance degree may be included if the advanced degree was completed, or if the research was recognized as being outstanding in the field. Similarly, teaching experiences during the attainment of the advanced degree may be included if the alien beneficiary had full responsibility for the class taught.

Evidence of teaching or research experience shall be in the form of letter from former or current employer, and shall include the name, address, and title of the writer, and a specific description of the duties performed by the alien beneficiary.

For EB1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers application, the alien applicants may use the experience gained while they were still graduate students. These professors or researchers may qualify even if they received their three years of experience while still enrolled in a Ph.D. or MS program, if they had full control over the teaching class. In addition, outstanding researchers may also count their research experience which was gained as part of their education if they can show that their research was “outstanding."

According to USCIS regulation, the requirement of 3 years of experience could be met through a combination of teaching and research experience. Evidence of teaching or research experience should be provided with letters from current or former employers, and should include the name, address, and title of the writer, and a specific description of the duties performed by the alien beneficiary.

7. Often Raised Question NO. 3 in Request For Evidence for EB-1B Petition - Permanent Job Position

Although a labor certification is not required for the EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher classification, the petitioner should provide an employment job offer as evidence to support the petition. The job offer can be a letter from the petitioning employer, such as U.S. university or institution of higher learning, or a private employer, indicting that the employment is a tenured or tenure-track teaching position, or a “permanent” research position.

The offered job position should be a permanent position, which could be either tenured, tenure-tracked, or for a term of indefinite or unlimited duration. For the offered job position, the alien employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment, unless there is good cause for termination.

The EB-1B petition requires that the alien beneficiary receives a permanent job offer from the sponsoring employer. USCIS has released a memo clarifying the definition of permanent employment when adjudicating EB-1B petitions. According to the USCIS definition, permanent is defined as either tenured, tenure-track, or for an indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.

Based on this definition, a position of tenured or tenure-track professor is generally considered a permanent job. However, not all teaching positions in a university with the title of professor are automatically considered permanent jobs. For example, a one-year visiting professor or fellowship position is not considered a permanent job. Also, some community colleges do not have tenure systems, so professorship in these colleges is not automatically considered a permanent job either. 

8. Often Raised Question NO. 4 in Request For Evidence for EB-1B Petition - "Permanent Job" for Research Positions

There is more confusion about the definition of permanent job for researchers. Many research positions are based on grant money that is received yearly. USCIS says that if the employer petitioning for the alien shows the intention to continue to get funding and gives a reasonable expectation that funding will continue, then the employment may be considered permanent. If a research position has a duration limit, but evidence is provided that the job will be continued beyond that duration, then it can be considered a permanent job.

For a research position, the word “permanent” is defined as “either tenured, tenure-track, or for an indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.” We know many research positions may be permanent, but not be on tenure-track.

As an example, many research job positions are funded by grant money on yearly basis. Thus, many researchers are employed under the contracts with one year increments. Therefore, if the petitioning employer can demonstrate its intent to continue seeking research funding, and a reasonable expectation that funding will continue, for example prior funding renewals for long-term research projects, such research employment can be considered “permanent” within the EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher classification.

USCIS adjudicators will also consider an job offer's circumstances and its benefits. A position that is limited to a specific term can meet the EB-1B regulatory test if the position normally continues beyond the specific term, such as if the funding grants are normally renewed.

At most universities, the job titles of post-doctor or a visiting scholar are considered temporary job, and do not qualify as permanent positions. The research positions funded by grants must have the expectation of continued funding to qualify for "permanent position".

USCIS understands that many research positions are funded by grant money received on a yearly basis. If the employer could demonstrate the intent to continue to seek funding and a reasonable expectation that funding will continue, such as demonstrated prior renewals for extended long-term research projects, such employment can be considered "permanent" within the definition of EB-1B regulation.

9. Often Raised Question NO. 5 in Request For Evidence for EB-1B Petition - Working for a Small Research Company

Many people assume that a permanent job offer must come from a large company or a non-profit organization. This is certainly not the case. Small private companies can also qualify as EB-1B sponsors, if there is a team of at least 3 full time researchers with a proven record of research achievements.

  • As an example, a small company hired three researchers in full-time research positions to conduct R&D projects for clients. The research team has published their work in internationally and nationally renowned journals and conference proceedings. Some patent applications were also filed by the company as a result of the discoveries of a team. The company is relatively new and still developing, but they have a strong foundation of recognized achievements. Despite the small size of the company, it can still qualify as an EB-1B sponsor for an alien worker.

Therefore, it is not the size of the company that matters, if they have at least three full-time researchers and a record of achievement in the field.

10. Other Questions often Raised in Request For Evidence Notice for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Petition

1) Original Scientific or Scholarly Research Contributions to the Academic Field

Evidence submitted in this category must address the international reputation standard. Simply publishing or presenting an alien’s work or receiving grant funding is common in research, and does not indicate that the academic community has taken notice of his or her work. Patents or patent applications carry little weight unless they demonstrate an international reputation in the field, and petitioner should document the widespread use or application of the patent.

USCIS adjudicators determine whether the alien beneficiary has made original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the field. Different from the EB-1A criterion, this EB-1B criterion does not require that the alien beneficiary's original contributions has “major significance.” 

The evidence in the EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor regulation does not simply require original research, but an original scientific or scholarly research contribution. It also requires that the contribution must be “to the academic field”, rather than an individual laboratory or institution. 

To meet this criterion, the submitted evidence should show that the beneficiary’s contributions are considered to be original in the field of endeavor. To assist in determining whether the beneficiary’s contributions are original in the field, the petitioner may submit:

  • Objective documentary evidence of the beneficiary’s contribution to the field.
  • Documentary evidence that people throughout the field currently consider the beneficiary’s work important.
  • Testimony and/or support letters from experts which discuss the beneficiary’s contribution.
  • Evidence that the beneficiary’s contribution has provoked widespread public commentary in the field, or has been widely cited.
  • Evidence of the beneficiary’s work being implemented by others. 

Also, the evidence which may satisfy this EB-1B criterion include:

  • Citations of the alien’s work, such as number of citations, and an examination of the journals' impact factor. We all know that many aliens publish scholar articles, but not all published articles are cited by others, or published on journals with high impact factors. The web tools of GoogleScholar, SciFinder, and Web of Science can be used to establish the number of citations, and the journals' impact factor.

  • Generally, scholarly work is expressed in specialized language. In order to assist the alien’s original contributions in the field, USCIS adjudicators will consider the reference letters from the experts in the field for the alien’s contributions. But not all reference letters could help to provide such analysis. The reference letters that specifically indicate how the alien beneficiary has contributed to the field and its impact on subsequent work would add value for an EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor application. 

2) Authorship of Scholarly Books or Articles

The publications must be in peer-reviewed academic journals, preferably those with international circulation. When submitting evidence under this category, the petitioner must demonstrate that the publication record rises above that of the average scholar. One method of doing so is showing that the alien beneficiary’s papers have been widely cited by independent researchers in the field. 

USCIS adjudicators determine whether the alien has authored scholarly articles in the field. By definition, a scholarly article reports original research, experimentation, and discourse. The scholarly articles are written by researchers or experts in the field. 

USCIS adjudicators determine whether the publication is a scholarly book, or a scholarly journal with international circulation. The submitted evidence for published material should establish that the circulation is international, and indicate the publication's intended audience. Scholarly articles could include an abstract, a description of methodology, footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography.

Publications can establish the alien applicant's original scientific contributions to the field. To file an EB-1B application, there is no requirement that you need to have many published articles, although publications may help to improve your chances of EB-1B approval. An applicant can still submit evidence that satisfies other criteria listed in the EB-1B regulation, if you do not have many publications.

3) Published Material about the Alien Applicant

To satisfy this criterion, the published material should be at the national or international level. Articles in local newspapers, university publications, or internal company reports do not qualify. Moreover, standard academic citations do not count as published material about the beneficiary.

USCIS adjudicators will determine whether the published material was about the alien’s work. The published material should be about the alien’s work in the field, not just about his/her employer or another organization that the alien beneficiary is associated with. The articles that only cite the alien beneficiary’s work as footnotes or endnotes are not generally considered as “about” the alien’s work.

USCIS adjudicators will determine if the publication is a professional publication. The submitted evidence for published material should include the circulation, the intended audience, and the title, date, and author of the material.

  • Published abstracts: published abstracts do not carry the same weight as full-length articles, and an unpublished manuscript is not published material.

  • Articles published in one country: Articles published in only one country with only domestic circulation, such as many native language medical journals, do not satisfy the international reputation standard. 

4) The Alien's Participation as the Judge of the Work of Others

USCIS adjudicators will determine whether the alien beneficiary has participated as the judge of the work of  others in the academic field. The petitioner should show that the alien beneficiary has not only been invited to judge the work of others, but also that the alien beneficiary actually participated in the judging of the work of others in the field. Some of the examples may include:

  • Peer reviewing for a scholarly journal, with evidenced of a request from the journal to do the peer review, and any proof that the review was actually completed.

  • Serving as a committee member of a Ph.D. dissertation, which makes the final judgment for a candidate’s doctoral degree, as evidenced by school or department records.

USCIS Service Center often issues the Request for Evidence in EB1 Extraordinary Ability petitions with respect to the criteria of "judging the work of others." USCIS examiners question the alien applicant's work in acting as a reviewer for scientific journals, if the journals at issue were not the highest ranked journals in the field. Under the law, serving as a referee for scholarly, peer reviewed journals meets the "judging the work of others" criteria, even if the journal is not the highest ranked journal.

Normally, USCIS examiners may ask for "documentary evidence for selection of judges in panels/referees in journals." The petitioners should get documents from the editors of the journals. If the alien petitioner was asked to review any articles for the journal, he or she can ask a letter as evidence from the editors or associate editors. Additionally, the editors typically send out review decision letters to reviewers that they influenced the decision or outcome of the review. They may say that the decision to publish or not publish was made based on reviewer's recommendation. Such letters would play an important role for the RFE response also.

5) Alien's Membership in Associations in the Academic Field

USCIS adjudicators will determine if the alien's membership association requires outstanding achievements in the academic field. The petitioner should show that the association membership is based on the alien beneficiary’s outstanding achievements in the field. 

In some cases, an association may have multiple levels of membership. The alien's level of membership should require outstanding achievements in the academic field.

Also, to meet this criterion, the petitioner should provide evidence to confirms that the association requires outstanding achievements of its members. To assist the USCIS in determining that the beneficiary’s membership satisfy this criterion, the petitioner may submit the section of the association’s constitution or bylaws which discuss the criteria for membership for the beneficiary’s level of membership in the association. 

And, the submitted evidence should show that the basis for granting memberships in the submitted association is the beneficiary’s outstanding achievements in the field of endeavor as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field. To assist in determining that the beneficiary’s membership satisfy this criterion, the petitioner may submit:

  • Information to establish that the individual who review prospective member’s applications are recognized as national or international experts in their disciplines or fields.
  • The section of the association’s constitution or bylaws which discuss the qualifications required of the reviewers on the review panel of the association.

The considering factors for whether the alien’s membership is based on outstanding achievements in the field include:

  • solely based on a level of education;

  • solely based on years of experience in a particular field;

  • based on the payment of a fee;

  • by subscribing to an association’s publications.

6) Alien's Receipt of Major Prizes or Awards for Outstanding Achievement 

USCIS adjudicators will determine if the alien beneficiary was the recipient of prizes or awards. The alien beneficiary should be the receipt of the major prizes or awards, as opposed to his/her employer being the receipt of the prizes or awards.

To meet this criterion, the petitioner should establish that the prizes or awards are given for excellence in the beneficiary’s field of endeavor, or that the primary purpose of the prizes or awards was to recognize excellence in the beneficiary’s field. To demonstrate excellence in the field is the basis for the prizes or awards, the petitioner may submit:

  • Documentary evidence describing how the prizes or awards relates to excellence in the beneficiary’s field.

  • Documentary evidence of the criteria used to grant the prizes or awards, including evidence that a criterion for winning the prizes or awards was excellence in the field.

The considerations for major prizes or awards of outstanding achievement in the field include:

  • the criteria used to grant the major prizes or awards;

  • the number of prize recipients or awardees; 

  • any limitations on competitors (for example, an award limited to competitors from one institution may not rise to the level of "major" award in the field).

11. Get Additional Reference Letters for Your Response of EB-1B Request For Evidence 

You should get Additional Reference Letters for your response of EB-1B Request For Evidence notice. The majority of these letters should be from independent experts outside the alien applicant's circle. The letters should evidence the foreign national’s international recognition as outstanding in their field and original scientific or scholarly research contributions. The letters should state that the foreign national is outstanding and in what ways.

The additional reference letters may substantially help the chance of a successful EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher RFE response. The USCIS believes that an alien applicant with international recognition of outstanding ability should have unsolicited materials reflecting the outstanding ability acclaim. Thus, reference letters from independent experts should carry more weight, and they are proof of the alien's accomplishments. 

If an alien applicant's outstanding contributions in the field are not praised widely outside the circle of acquaintances, then it could not be concluded that the alien applicant has earned sustained international recognition. Thus USCIS may not give much weight to reference letters from the alien's circle of colleagues, for his/her original contributions of major significance in the field. There is specific requirements for the number of reference letters. 

In addition to be an expert in the field of your endeavor, it will be better if the person writing you a recommendation letter knows about your research and contribution enough to specifically address details in the recommendation letter. Therefore, although someone who has a prominent reputation in the field of your endeavor will be a better candidate than someone from your immediate circle of acquaintances, a perfect candidate will be an expert familiarizing your contribution. A recommendation letter from your existing or prospective employer is also appropriate.

These are issues that should be included in the additional reference letter for response of EB-1B Request For Evidence :

1) Qualifications of the writer: A reference letter needs to include the description of the writer. If the writer comments on the foreign person's achievements or research, a statement should be included in the support letter that establishes the qualifications of these individuals to judge the applicant's work.

2) Helpful testimonials from experts: Expert testimonials of your accomplishments are crucial to your petition. However, expert testimonials should bolster the argument that you meet the standard set by law, i.e., that the alien beneficiary is internationally recognized. Evidence that merely establishes the alien beneficiary's competence or which fails to set him/her apart from other persons in the field does not support the petition, because it carries little weight and may actually be used to deny the petition.

3) Substantive information: A good reference letter should point out the high level of unique expertise the alien applicant possesses. If it is a recommendation letter from an employer or professor of the applicant, it should specify the work the foreign national is responsible for and the requirements of the job. 

4) Specific Information: A reference letter from an employer can establish that very few individuals can fill the offered position and the alien is one of these few individuals. In addition, recommendation letters that briefly discuss the alien beneficiary's activities and described him or her as a knowledgeable individual, but lack specific information regarding how the his/her contributions had significantly and consistently influenced the field are insufficient.

Also, the reference letters and testimonies must provide a much detail as possible about the beneficiary’s contribution, and must explain, in detail, how the contribution was “original”, not merely replicating the work of others. General statements regarding the importance of the endeavors are insufficient.

12. Get Help for Your RFE Response, and Eventually Obtain Your Green Card

If you get a Request For Evidence (RFE) notice for your EB1-OR petition from an USCIS Service Center, it is necessary that you must work hard to provide requested evidence in a short time, and persuade the USCIS adjudicators to approve your case. It is critical to appropriately and proficiently reply the Request For Evidence. Incorrect response of the RFE will directly result in your I-140 petition rejection.   

To help you replying the RFE, we provide the high quality and case-proven "Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of Request For Evidence for EB1-Outstanding Researcher or Professor Petition". In the RFE package, we present methods of analyzing RFE questions, RFE replying strategies, means of strengthening your case, detailed RFE cases analysis, sample cover letters, sample reference letters, and more. With the RFE package, you get all the information you need and step-by-step knowledge and strategies of how to prepare an efficient, professional, and complete response to your RFE notice of EB1-OR petition, and eventually get your Green Card.

To further help your RFE response, we also provide a Premium Petition Service Program for our customers. Please visit http://www.greencardapply.com/general/premium.htm for more information.  

13. The "Notice of Intent to Deny" and File an EB-1B Petition Again Thereafter

A Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) is that the USCIS adjudicator is giving notice that USCIS will deny the pending case, unless you provide certain extra documentation. The petitioner may have certain days indicated in the NOID notice to respond. If the petitioner does not respond within the prescribed period, the petition may be denied. Once the USCIS receives your response to an NOID, further action will generally occur within 60 days, but may take longer.

If your EB-1B petition is denied by USCIS, you can file an EB-1B petition again, or file in other categories. The immigration law does not restrict the time you can file an EB-1B petition again after the rejection of your previous EB-1B application. A previous rejected EB-1B petition does not bar you from submitting another EB-1B petition again subsequently, and regardless which immigrant classification is concerned. However, unless your situation has improved, it is not advisable for you to simply submit a similar petition again, because it is unlikely your case will be approved by USCIS.

14. The Motion to Reopen or Motion to Reconsider after Form I-140 Immigrant Visa Application Denial

Motion to Reopen is a request to the original decision officer of USCIS to review a decision of the immigrant petition. The motion must be based on factual grounds, such as the discovery of new evidence or changed circumstances.

If your Form I-140 immigrant petition was denied by USCIS due to a Request For Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny, you can file a motion to reopen if you can show that:

    * The requested evidence was not material;
    * The required initial evidence was submitted with the petition;
    * The request for appearance or additional evidence was complied with during the allotted period, or
    * The request for evidence or appearance was not sent to the address of record.

As another choice, you can also file a "Motion to Reconsider." A motion to reconsider is a request to the original decision officer of USCIS to review a decision based on new or additional legal arguments. The motion must establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence of record at the time of that decision, and it must state the reasons for reconsideration.

A motion to reconsider must be supported by “any pertinent precedent decisions to establish that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or USCIS policy.”  Unlike a motion to reopen, new evidence or changed circumstances cannot support the filing of a motion to reconsider.

15. An Example of USCIS' Request For Evidence Notice for an EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Petition

The following is an example of Request For Evidence Notice for an EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Petition:

REQUEST FOR EVIDENCE
The documentation submitted is not sufficient to warrant favorable consideration for your petition/application.

See Attachment for Details

Your response must be received in this office by <Date>

Your case is being held in this office pending your response. Within this period you may:

1. Submit all of the evidence requested;

2. Submit some or none of the evidence requested and ask for a decision based upon the record; or

3. Withdraw the applications or petition. (It is noted that if you requested that the application or petition be withdrawn, the filing fee cannot be refunded).

You must submit all of the evidence at one time. Submission of only part of the evidence requested will be considered a request for a decision based upon the record. No extension of the period allowed to submit evidence will be granted. If the evidence submitted does not establish that your case was approvable at the time it was filed, it can be denied.

If your do not respond to this request within the time allowed, your case will be considered abandoned and denied. Evidence received in this office after the due date may not be considered.

PLACE THIS LETTER ON TOP OF YOUR RESPONSE. SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE WITHOUT THIS LETTER WILL DELAY PROCESSING OF YOUR CASE AND MAY RESULT IN A DENIAL. PLEASE USE THE ENCLOSED ENVELOPE TO MAIL ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE REQUEST BACK TO THIS OFFICE.

Sincerely,

Gregory W. Christian
Acting Director
NSC/rrs EX807  

ATTACHMENT

The documentation submitted with the petition indicates that the alien beneficiary is an accomplished researcher. However, the service is not convinced that the alien's accomplishments are substantially greater than the other researchers working in his field of expertise. Special or unusual knowledge or training does not inherently meet the outstanding researcher threshold. 

Please note that the mere submission of two or more of the six required items may not establish eligibility for this classification. You must submit additional evidence that clearly demonstrate that the alien beneficiary has sustained international acclaim, and that his achievements have been recognized as outstanding by others in the field.

It is noted that all letters of reference indicate that the beneficiary has conducted successful research and discuss the potential impact of his research work. The service cannot approve the petition based on one's research work without evidence of significant accomplishments which have already impacted the filed or a specific industry. The record contains exhibits from colleagues and former superiors who speak well of the research efforts of the alien. But it does not suggest sustained international recognition. Please submit letters from professional unconnected to the alien beneficiary. 

The beneficiary has gained certain recognition among his peers and the scientific community in general. The inventions in which he has been involve are noted along with his publications, invitations as a speaker, poster presentations, and contributions to his field. However, it must be noted that he is not named as the principal inventor but rather is named among several other individuals. The evidence does not show how this has distinguished the beneficiary and elevated him to sustained outstanding researcher acclaim. Please explain in more detail. 

The record shows a serious fellowships, student awards and scholarships were issued to the alien beneficiary. In case of academic accolades, such recognition would not be sought by or accessible to veterans in the field. If further evidence of this criterion is to be submitted, it must include explanation of the reputation of the organization granting the awards, the significance of the award, and the criteria used to select the recipient.

 


More Articles about Request For Evidence (RFE) Response Process
What Is Request For Evidence (RFE) for Green Card Petition
RFE Regulations and Issues for Request for Evidence
Typical Requests and Questions Asked in RFE Notice
How to Prepare RFE Response for EB1 Extraordinary Ability 
How to Prepare RFE Response for EB1 Executive / Manager 
How to Prepare RFE Response for National Interest Waiver  
How to Prepare RFE Response for L-1A Visa or L-1B Visa 
Frequently Asked RFE Questions and Answers for EB-1A, EB-1B, NIW
Frequently Asked RFE Questions and Answers for EB-1C, L1 Visa
William's Answers for RFE Response Questions
USCIS Memorandum #1 on Requests For Evidence
USCIS Memorandum #2 on Requests For Evidence
Do-It-Yourself Packages for RFE of EB-1A, EB-1B, EB-1C, NIW, L1 Visa
Request For Evidence (RFE) for Green Card and Visa Application
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