National Interest Waiver Petition Approved for Researcher in F-1 OPT Status

Our Philadelphia immigration law firm represented a foreign national from Iran who was in F-1 OPT status and self-filed an EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) Petition. The client was a researcher who was conducting research to understand the dynamics of molecules and how energy transfer occurs. We demonstrated that our client’s research accomplishments at both the Ph.D. and post-doc levels met the three factors of the New York State v Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) decision which sets forth the requirements to obtain a green card in the NIW category.

First we showed that our client sought to work in an area of “substantial intrinsic merit” by improving the economy, the environment and health care. Understanding the mechanisms of how energy transfer rearranges molecules is necessary to control the chemical and biological processes of molecules, which can benefit the economy, the environment and health care.

The second NYSDOT factor is whether the benefit of the alien’s proposed activity will be “national in scope”. Our attorneys demonstrated that the client’s research will benefit the entire country as opposed to a localized geographic area. The third NYSDOT factor is whether “the alien will serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available US worker having the same minimum qualifications.

To satisfy this, our client had to demonstrate a track record of success with a degree of influence on the field as a whole. We demonstrated that our client’s research findings were above and beyond the substantial majority of others in his field because of their fundamental and practical implications. In this case, our attorneys explained why the client’s research was far more advanced than other researchers in the field and represented major significant research contributions.

The evidence submitted included reference letters from unbiased, independent experts which our attorneys helped draft along with evidence of our client’s publications, memberships in organizations that require achievement as judged by recognized national or international experts, discussion of his work by others, and his judging the work of others as a peer reviewer for international jouranls. After considering the evidence, USCIS approved the petition and our client thereafter filed an I-485 Application for Permanent Resident Status.