Blog for Postdocs / Phds, National Interest Waiver, Extraordinary Ability

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EB2-NIW or EB1A?


I’m hesitating what packet to buy for EB2-NIW or EB1A.
A short description:
I’m a postdoc in Argonne National Lab. Right now I’m a holder of H1b. My field is accelerator physics. Main work sponsor is DOE.
As part of my work we built the most advanced by nowadays device in the field for the most advanced Free Electron Laser in the world (LCLS-II in SLAC). And some other minor devices which are used as high power X-ray laser generators for advanced material researches in the country.
Our group got a patent for technology which was developed. Also I have some “Pacesetter Award” from Argonne.
It seems to be enough for EB1A. But the problems I see here are: 1) my name is not in the list of authors of the patent; 2) “Pacesetter Award” is not academic award it’s just internal award to encourage staff; 3) the field (magnetic devices for accelerators) is very narrow, and its journals don’t have high citation rank, also there are very few citations of my own papers. So, could you give me an advice what case suits me better (EB2-NIW or EB1A)? I checked your examples and it didn’t clarify the question for me.

Thank you,

One Response to EB2-NIW or EB1A?

  • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

    Hi Nikita,

    I looked up your papers in InspireHEP and Google Scholar and it seems EB2-NIW might be a more straightforward path for you (please keep in mind that you can file both). The reason is that you can relate FEL technology to medicine, materials, national security and so on. The fact that you’re supported by DOE means that your work has intrinsic merit – you can also attach DOE materials on the importance of your work to your case. Your publication record and citations will make it more difficult (but, perhaps, possible) to make a strong EB1A case. Let me go over the questions you had:
    1) If your name is not on the patent, but you played an important role in developing the technology, then you can mention this in the recommendation letters.
    2) internal awards play very little to no role
    3) very few citations can be normally explained by the fact that the papers are new and/or the community is small. However, in your particular case (from what I’ve seen) it might be an obstacle for EB1A, while being fine for EB2-NIW.

    Please feel free to ask any further questions.

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