NIW Approval After AAO (Administrative Appeal Office) Overturned the Denial Decision

2019-02-04, BY wegreened

We submitted an NIW petition to the Texas Service Center, which was denied following a Request for Evidence (RFE). However, due to numerous problems associated with the denial decision, we appealed the decision with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). AAO reopened the case and issued NIW approval.


NIW Petition


Our client is originally from Iran and is in the U.S. as a researcher specializing in biomedical science. At the time of case filing, this client’s numerous professional accomplishments included 4 first-authored publications and 149 citations. We further supported our client’s petition with evidence describing the nature of our client’s field of expertise and strong professional testimonials attesting to the importance of our client’s work. One expert, for example, affirmed: “If [Client] is not allowed to continue her research in the United States, the search for ways to combat cancer through the most effective use of drugs and materials is certain to suffer entirely unnecessary delays.”


Request for Evidence (RFE) and Denial


Following case filing, the officer from TSC (Texas Service Center) issued an RFE in which they challenged that insufficient evidence had been submitted to demonstrate that an approval should be granted. Our RFE legal team prepared a comprehensive response, but despite our best effort and the strength of our client’s case, the USCIS issued a denial notice on the case. 


Upon review of the denial, our attorneys discovered that the denial decision was based on several factors: (1) an assertion that the client’s research position must have been obtained as a result of their accomplishments in the field; (2) a misinterpretation of the client’s citation record in relation to the NIW precedent decision; (3) a claim that an employment letter should not be conditional upon continued work visa status; (4) superficial analysis of the evidence to describe the utility of our client’s research, and (5) a denial that our client’s work would create jobs, fulfill an urgent national need, or render a labor certification impractical.


We concluded that not only had the officer clearly mischaracterized our client’s work, but they had also rendered a wholly superficial reading of the petition materials, thereby leading him to misapply the standards set by the NIW precedent decisions in their evaluation of the case. 




Although we often suggest refiling as opposed to appeal, we firmly believed that our client had a strong case for their original denial to be overturned. We therefore prepared an appeal response that systematically disputed the claims outlined in the denial decision, thereby proving that if all the evidence were considered and interpreted properly, it would be clear that our client’s case meets the NIW requirements and should be approved. We noted that a job offer is not required for the waiver of a job offer, and further demonstrated that our client was in fact offered her position on the basis of her accomplishments. We further rejected the claim that a requirement of valid work authorization had any bearing on the value of an employment letter.


Convinced by our arguments, the AAO found there was sufficient evidence to re-open the case and subsequently approve it. Due to our hard work and effective legal strategies, we were able to assist our client toward a successful NIW appeal and approval despite being faced with an officer who misrepresented much of our client’s experience and the nature of her field.

AAO Decision

See more AAO overturning our NIW denials issued by the USCIS

The key to our success is the way in which we present supporting evidence and provide the highest quality petition letters. With over 40,000 I-140 EB-1 ( EB-1A Alien of Extraordinary Ability; EB-1B Outstanding Researcher or Professor), EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) and O-1 approvals, our firm has acquired substantial information about USCIS decisions, which gives us significant advantage over firms that only handle a small number of cases.

Based on more than one thousand approvals and our close track of USCIS internal memoranda, AAO decisions, and judicial review decisions, we have unique insight into the USCIS adjudication trends. Not only do we apply this insight into our approaches to our clients' cases, but we also carefully review all RFEs (Requests for Evidence), NOIDs (Notices of Intent to Deny), approvals, and denials issued on our cases so that we can further increase our understanding of USCIS strategies and decision-making processes. With the insight, we are able to advise our clients on the best ways to proceed with their petitions.

While other petitioners and attorneys may still use templates to draft recommendation letters or petition letters, our clients' recommendation letters and petition letters are tailored to their individual credentials to best persuade a USCIS officer that our clients meet the requirements of the category they are applying under and therefore their petitions deserve to be approved. To provide the best EB-1 and EB-2 NIW services, our law firm only selects attorneys who have received their professional Juris Doctor degrees from the top law schools in the U.S. and who have garnered rigorous analytical skills through years of experience.