National Interest Waivers and Extraordinary Ability Petitions

Our office has extensive experience with National Interest Waiver self-petitions. Below are some examples of our successful cases.

Chronic Pain Researcher

Position: Research Assistant Professor – Arizona

Field of Work: Mechanisms and pharmacology of experimental pain models, including pancreatitis-induced pain and pancreatic-cancer-induced pain

Qualifications & Achievements: PhD in Medical Pharmacology and MD. The scientist has made important discoveries in the study of the mechanisms that drive pain induced by chronic pancreatitis and in patients suffering from pancreatic cancer. In addition, the scientist has developed methods for assessment of pain and has made important findings that could help support a novel method of treatment of pain for patients with chronic pancreatitis.

Evidence supporting the case: 6 co-authored articles; 3 co-authored book chapters; over 35 citations multiple presentations at conferences; 13 Expert Opinion Letters; evidence of peer-review of articles; reprint requests for publications; graduate fellowship award; invitation to submit articles for publications; invitations to present at a conference; letter of support for the research grant.

Comments: The client came to us after having been denied 4 times (!), including two National Interest Waiver cases, Outstanding Researcher case and an appeal. Before coming to us, client was represented by a famous large law firm. The client was desperate as she was about to exhaust all her time on H-1B and it was against the employer’s policy to petition for a green card through the regular PERM process. We carefully examined the case to identify the reasons for previous denials and the ways to overcome them. It became obvious to us that it was not that the scientist was unqualified for the category that has caused the denial, but it was the fact that the adjudicators were unable to see the importance of the scientist’s past achievements from the evidence presented to them.

Specifically, when we looked at the Expert Opinion Letters submitted with the previous cases, we immediately were drawn to the fact that most of the letters came from the scientist’s past and present supervisors, collaborators and described the applicant’s achievements in general terms without providing enough details on the scientist’s specific contributions, their impact on the field of research, and other important points. Unfortunately, a lot of very important details that could explain to USCIS why the scientist’s work is so important were not mentioned in the letters or anywhere else within the case.

Far too often we see well qualified individuals coming to our office after having been denied because of incorrect presentation of evidence that could be avoided with the right legal assistance. Expert Opinion Letters are very important for NIW as they bind the whole case together and thus attorney guidance in drafting the letters is essential.

We decided to proceed with EB-2 NIW for our scientist as the evidentiary standard is lower than for Outstanding Researcher category. That NIW was the client’s last hope. After careful review, we developed a strategy for the case, identified a number of independent experts who could provide their supporting letters for the scientist’s new case, and provided extensive guidance on what to address in those letters. In addition, we supplemented the case with other available evidence of recognition in the field, and the result was…….SUCCESS!

Comments: Case approved in 8 months. No RFE.


Cancer Biomarker Discovery Scientist

Position: Postdoctoral Scholar - California

Field of Work: Cancer biomarker discovery

Qualifications & Achievements: PhD and Master’s in Bioanalytical Chemistry, Bachelor’s in Chemistry. Eight years of bioanalytical research experience including biomarker discovery. The scientist has developed bioanalytical platforms for early detection of breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovary cancer and multiple sclerosis. The scientist’s findings have been used and relied upon and have been tested in other studies.

Evidence supporting the case: 5 publications; over 220 citations; 6 conference presentations; 6 expert opinion letters; multiple research grants, including evidence of funding by NIH, National Cancer Institute and a number of other organizations; several honors and awards, an article about the scientist’s research achievements; memberships in professional associations; invitations to publish articles, to join laboratories, and to present at conferences.

Comments: Expert Opinion Letters came from diverse geographical sources and explained the scientist’s contributions in detail, emphasizing the fact that the applicant’s research had already been used and applied in the field of biomarker discovery, thus justifying projections to the future benefit to the U.S. national interests.

Comments: Case approved in 4.5 months. No RFE.


Probiotics Scientist

Position: Industrial Postdoctoral Fellow - Pennsylvania

Field of Work: Probiotics Research

Qualifications & Achievements: PhD in Immunology and Molecular Biology and MS in Microbiology, and BS in Biological Studies. Several years of experience researching probiotic strains for human and animal health. The scientist studied the interactions of the beneficial bacterial with the bacterial pathogens and identified several probiotic strains to prevent and treat viral and bacterial pathogens.

Evidence supporting the case: 10 co-authored articles; over 46 citations; 20 presentations; 6 expert opinion letters; invitations to serve as an academic editor and peer-reviewer in 4 scientific journals; articles featuring the researcher’s scientific contributions; and memberships in professional associations.

Comments: We filed this case after getting O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa Petition approved for the client. The client had significant achievements in the field of probiotic research, including identifying the probiotic strains to treat pregnant women and newborns from Group B Streptococci (GBS) infection, lethal C. difficile infection, deadly swine virus, and against three major viruses of dogs. The scientist’s work had already been used, which helped in showing past impact on the field of research.

Comments: Case approved in 2 months. No RFE.


Neuroscience Researcher

Position: Research Associate - California

Field of Work: Developmental Neuroscience

Qualifications & Achievements: PhD in Molecular Cell Biology, magna cum laude, MS and BS in Biology. The scientist has studied and identified the role of certain transcription factors that control the correct behavior of embryonic and neuronal stem cells to orderly develop into the brain and nervous system. He has discovered a novel neurodevelopmental concept that plays an important part in the structure of the brain.

Evidence supporting the case: 7 authored and co-authored articles; 1 book chapter; 63 citations; 13 conference presentations; 11 expert opinion letters; invitations to serve as a peer-reviewer in scientific journals; graduate fellowship award; honorable mention as an outstanding postdoctoral mentor; reprint requests for publications, invitations to present at conferences and submit articles for publication; evidence of a research grant; and memberships in professional associations.

Comments: The case was supported by 2 letters of experience from Nobel Laureates. One of the articles published received a distinction as the 4th most cited article of all times. One of the scientific presentations of the researcher was identified as “Particularly important development in the field” by Faculty of 1000, which is one of the largest directories of scientific articles and medical research publications.

Comments: Case approved in 3 months. No RFE.


Medical Scientist

Position: Medical Scientist - California

Field of Work: Pain Management

Qualifications & Achievements: Medical Doctor with a specialization in Anesthesia, Pain Management Studies. In the beginning of his career, the scientist’s work was focused on the research, characterization and development of treatments for neuropathic pain derived from neurologic injuries of different origins, including ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and peripheral nerve damage. The scientist has developed 2 unique pain management mechanisms. The first one was a unique technique for visceral pelvic cancer pain control that was adopted internationally and became thereafter a classic citation in every work related to pelvic cancer pain in the world. His second original work was development of perineal pain control technique in cancer patients.

Evidence supporting the case: 16 authored and co-authored articles; over 200 citations; numerous presentations; 11 expert opinion letters; several honors and awards; and memberships in professional associations.

Comments: The scientist’s numerous achievements related to the beginning of his career. Since then however he turned from pain management research to clinical work. He was coming to the U.S. to engage in stem cell research. Despite the fact that the scientist had not engaged in research for many years, we were able to underline the importance of his past contributions and to show the connection between his work and the proposed employment. We have explained that the combination of the scientist’s skills, knowledge, and expertise as the clinician in the field of neuropathic pain, and as a researcher in the field of diagnostics and pain management, are invaluable for the new area of stem cell research, which objective is to find new alternatives treatments for neuropathic pain, unveiling the mysteries surrounding the neuropathic pain, and improving its diagnostics.

Comments: Case approved in 7 months. No RFE.


Cancer Research Scientist

Position: Scientist II - California

Field of Work: Characterization and development of treatments for tumors of different origins, such as brain cancer, ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

Qualifications & Achievements: PhD in Molecular Biology, MS in Developmental Biology. Broad range of experience in molecular biology, protein chemistry and cell culture, expertise in in vitro and in vivo tumor models. The scientist proposed a methodology that could reduce the growth of tumor cells in cancer research.

Evidence supporting the case: 10 authored and co-authored articles; several hundred citations; 15 presentations; 6 expert opinion letters; and membership in a professional association.

Comments: Case approved in 1.5 months. No RFE.


Motivational Speaker - Athlete

Field of Work: Spokesperson and Ambassador for the non-profit athletic foundation.

Qualifications & Achievements: No formal degree – the case was based on Exceptional Abilities. The applicant has won many awards and grants, has actively engaged in fundraising for non-profit foundations helping disabled people. An award-winning documentary was made about the applicant narrated by Oprah Winfrey. He has been invited to many schools, corporate functions, and community events to speak about his work and to inspire others into doing the same.

Evidence supporting the case: evidence of speaking engagements and presentations, publications featuring the applicant, professional association memberships, honors and awards as well as numerous letters in support of the petition.

Comments: The applicant is an orphan with a deformed right leg. Where he came from disabled people were not part of the society and were abandoned and hopeless. Refusing to beg, the applicant was able to become self-sufficient. To show his community that disability doesn’t mean inability, he pedaled a donated bike 610 km (379 miles) around his country using only his left leg. His actions attracted attention of the media and then the government. Through vigorous athletic activities and motivational speaking, the applicant worked tirelessly to ensure that opportunities are available to all physically challenged in his home country. In the U.S., the applicant’s story was quickly picked up by the media and the non-profit foundations helping the disabled and the applicant has become a recognized speaker empowering others.

Comments: Case approved in 3.5 months. No RFE.


Security Operations Director and Entrepreneur

Field of Work: Expert in anti-terrorism and counterinsurgency techniques.

Qualifications & Achievements: No formal degree – the case was based on Exceptional Abilities, with evidence of 10 years of work experience, high salary and other remuneration, and recognition for achievements.

Evidence supporting the case: since much of work was confidential, most evidence was in the form of Support Letters. In addition, salary information was provided and available articles about counterterrorism efforts.

Comments: Client had an international boutique security firm providing specialized military assistance to organizations worldwide. He has achieved recognition for his work and developments in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. Client has developed and coordinated strategies to establish/enhance requirements, protocols, and programs for dealing with issues of security in foreign countries, has implemented emergency procedures and plans, has developed numerous training methods and programs in counterterrorism, and has coordinated the fight against Al Qaida. Client has been working closely with many Fortune 100 companies across the globe, protecting their interests in foreign countries where terrorists and insurgents threaten their interests.

Comments: Case approved in 9 months after RFE.


Veterinary Medicine Scientist

Position: Postdoctoral Scholar - Research Scientist, California

Field of Work: research on respiratory and reproductive bacterial pathogens of cattle.

Qualifications & Achievements: Degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Master of Science Degree in Animal Pathology and Ph.D. in Animal Pathology.

Evidence supporting the case: 6 recommendation letters, 11 publications, citations, evidence of peer-review service for 3 scientific journals, 2 patents, evidence of numerous presentations, awards and grants, professional association memberships, invitations to present at conferences and reprint requests.

Comments: Case approved in 3.5 months. No RFE.


Stem Cell Research Scientist

Field of Work: Alzheimer’s disease research.

Qualifications & Achievements: MD, PhD, significant experience in histopathology of neurodegenerative diseases.

Evidence supporting the case: 6 recommendation letters, 11 publications, 131 citations, evidence of presentations, professional association memberships, invitations to present at conferences and reprint requests.

Comments: Case approved in 10 months. No RFE.

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