Success Stories: Indian Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of Materials Science EB-1A Case Approved after Appeal to AAO (Administrative Appeal Office)


Client’s Testimonial:

“Thank you so much for all your support.

On November 21st, 2018, we received another EB-1A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) approval for a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Field of Materials Science (Approval Notice).

General Field: Materials Science

Position at the Time of Case Filing: Postdoctoral Fellow

Country of Origin: India

State of Residence at the Time of Filing: Ohio

Approval Notice Date: November 21st, 2018

Processing Time: 2 years, 28 days

Case Summary:

We submitted an EB-1A petition to the Nebraska Service Center, which was denied on February 21, 2018 following a Request for Evidence (RFE). However, due to numerous problems associated with the denial decision, we appealed the decision with Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). AAO reopened the case and issued an EB-1A approval on November 21, 2018.

EB-1A Petition

Our client is currently residing in the U.S. as researcher working in the area of biomedical engineering, with specialization in working with polymer systems for various biomedical applications. In this client’s original EB-1A filing, we claimed the criteria of (a) participation, on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others, (b) original contributions of major significance, and (c) authorship of scholarly articles in the field. We submitted substantial evidence of our client’s accomplishments, which included 16 peer reviewed scientific articles, 1 patent, 2 book chapters, 478 citations, and evidence of significant funding secured by our client. We further disseminated notable instances of our clients’ work being applied by other professionals throughout the world, as well as professional recommendations confirming the impact of our client’s research. For example, one testimonial claimed: “[Client’s] research therefore has direct applications to the healthcare industry in the United States and the nation thus greatly benefits from [Client’s] developments in targeted drug delivery and disease treatment. ”

Request for Evidence (RFE) and Denial

Following case filing, the USCIS issued an RFE on our client’s case. Because of our client’s strong credentials at the time and the nature of the RFE, we believed that the chances of case approval following an RFE response should be high, and our experienced RFE teams therefore worked to prepare a comprehensive response. Despite our best effort and the strength of the case, the USCIS issued a denial notice on the case.

Upon review of the denial, our attorneys discovered that the adjudicating officer had acknowledged that our client met the requirements to satisfy two criteria—(a) participation, on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others, (b) authorship of scholarly articles in the field—but failed to satisfy the third claimed criterion, original contributions of major significance. In the decision, the officer used what we have come to recognize as templated language for officers at the Nebraska Service Center, most notably requesting that a petitioner has thousands of citations in order to qualify for EB-1A approval.

As we have observed with many case decisions being issued out of this center, we concluded that the officer had inappropriately applied a standard of comparison in the case adjudication and had set an unattainable threshold cut off for EB-1A approval that was not strictly specified or in line with the documented requirements of the EB-1A category.


We firmly believed that our client had a strong case that merited case approval. We therefore prepared an appeal response that systematically disputed the claims outlined in the denial decision, including the “thousands of citations” demand, thereby demonstrating that if the law was applied correctly in the case adjudication, it would be clear that our client’s case meets the EB-1A requirements and should be approved.

North America Immigration Law Group (Chen Immigration Law Associates) is a U.S. immigration law firm dedicated to representing corporations, research institutions, and individuals from all 50 U.S. states regarding I-140 immigration petitions. We specialize in employment-based immigration petition and have a proven record of high success rate for the categories of: EB2-NIW (National Interest Waiver), EB1-A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability), EB1-B (Outstanding Researcher/Professor) and O-1 (Alien of Extraordinary Ability).

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