The USCIS has just released a ‘Request for Evidence” (RFE) Template for officers to use in Extraordinary Ability cases. Hopefulluy now the process will be far more standardized and not depend on individual whims of the officers. (I once was given a RFE from the Texas Service Center asking me to prove that breast cancer research was national in scope for a National Interest Waiver. Dallas, breast cancer is not the Mavs).
The template spells out many of the misconceptions that I find dealing with Scientists, especially those born in India or China who want to file under EB-1. Also I find that Scientist who were not born in India or China, want to file under EB-1 (rather than National Interest Waiver EB-2) because it is a ego boost for them.
Here are some common misconceptions:
1. Grants and money awards are not awards of National and International repute. Neither is poster award or any other departmental award. The award selection criteria has to be discussed, and the award has to be given to a national pool of people.
2. Just being member of an organization, where you can pay money and become a member is not good enough. For instance, most Immigration attorneys and I pay money to be memebrs of American Immigration Lawyer’s Association.(AILA). AILA does not require its members to have outstanding achievement. You just have to hold a law license, and pay the money. This membership cannot be counted towards the Membership category of Extraordinary Ability. Moreover the membership has to be in the field of the researcher. So a Mensa Member would not qualify because it only proves that you are bright.
3. Evidence of High Salary —- The salary has to be higher than the average people in the field. Usually this is very hard for researchers, because most universities pay the same amount.