by Victoria Chen, Esq., J.D.
Background: The petitioner seeks classification pursuant to section 203(b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act), as an alien of exceptional ability or a member of the professions holding an advanced degree. The petitioner seeks employment as a civil engineer. The petitioner asserts that an exemption from the requirement of a job offer, and thus of an alien employment certification, is in the national interest of the United States.
USCIS Decision: The director found that the petitioner qualifies for classification as a member of the professions holding an advanced degree but that the petitioner had not established that an exemption from the requirement of a job offer would be in the national interest of the United States.
AAO Decision: The Office agrees with the USCIS that the petitioner works in an area of intrinsic merit, civil engineering, and that the proposed benefits of his work, increased flood protection and reduced soil erosion, would be national in scope. Different from the USCIS, AAO is are satisfied that the petitioner has established his eligibility for the benefit sought based on the following evidence the petitioner submits:
1. A letter from the petitioner’s advisor in Phd Program: The letter discusses the importance of the petitioner’s area of research and further asserts that the petitioner is the first researcher in the world to successfully include realistic flood production processes in a long-term landscape erosion model.
2. A letter from a senior water resources engineer: The letter states that the petitioner worked for the company’s Multi-Hazard Flood Map Modernization project and explains that, unlike one-dimensional conventional models, the petitioner’s model simulates overland flow two-dimensionally.
3. Several letters from independent references: Included among these letters is a letter from an agricultural engineer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), who affirms that the petitioner’s model is superior to other erosion models. Significantly, the petitioner also submitted letters from independent references that not only knew of the petitioner prior to being contacted for a reference but who have utilized his model.
4. Other letters come from beyond Colorado: An Associates professor in the United Kingdom, affirms that the petitioner is “well known in his field even among those who have no personal contact with him, including myself.”
AAO therefore concludes that the petitioner has sustained the heavy burden of proof in NIW case. Accordingly, the decision of the director denying the petition will be withdrawn and the petition will 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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