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

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I would be pleased if you could provide advice on my application petition on how to respond to an RFE.

My credentials: 

4 publications-3 first authored.

Total citations-85; one publication has 60, the other two have 13 and 12. 4th was just published before petition submission.

I have received an RFE. It states that, I have met two of the three criteria. The criteria I did not meet is :

“Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field

You submitted letters of opinion and a record of your citatory history, but the evidence, while demonstrating original contributions, does not substantiate original contributions of “major significance” in a field whose very top scientists (according to Google Scholar) have garnered citations numbered well in the thousands”.

“To assist in determining whether the beneficiary’s contributions are original and of major significance in the field, the petitioner may submit:
[*] Objective documentary evidence of the significance of the beneficiary’s contribution to the field.
[*] Documentary evidence that people throughout the field currently consider the beneficiary’s work important.
[*] Testimony and/or support letters from experts which discuss the beneficiary’s contributions of major significance.
[*] Evidence that the beneficiary’s major significant contribution(s) has provoked widespread public commentary in the field or has been widely cited.
[*] Evidence of the beneficiary’s work being implemented by others. Possible evidence may include but is not limited to:
a) Contracts with companies using the beneficiary’s products;
 b) Licensed technology being used by others;
c) Patents currently being utilized and shown to be significant to the field.

Note: Letters and testimonies, if submitted, must provide as much detail as possible about the beneficiary’s contribution and must explain, in detail, how the contribution was “original” (not merely replicating the work of others) and how they were of “major” significance. General statements regarding the importance of the endeavors are insufficient.”

While in my original petition, i did provide solid recommendation letters highlighting the significance of my research. Also provided specific examples where one of my (60 cited) publication was referenced in a patent application. I did provide this as well. In spite of providing these, I was issued RFE.

Is this considered to be a normal RFE or something which is difficult to convince the I.O?

How I plan to respond to RFE:

1. I plan to show my updated citation record which has now increased to 120. The 60 citations improved to 80. the other 2 papers cited 16 and 17 times respectively.

2. I plan to highlight my significance of research in the original recommendation letters in the response to RFE.

3. I plan to remind the I.O that I already provided the patent where my paper was referenced.

4. I plan to produce proofs where I delivered invited talks at institutions in the US.

How does the evidences sound? Is there any other specific evidences that I need to provide? Do I produce more recommendation letters and doing so would it be helpful? I have an upcoming conference in August and will it be helpful if I provide conference presentation as another evidence?

Finally, in your experience, what are my chances of approval? Eager to know this.

Waiting to hear on this,


6 Responses to EB1A RFE

  • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

    Hi Subbu,

    It looks like the main concern of the officer is the insufficient number of citations (the rest of the report starting from “To assist in” comes from a standard template for an EB1A RFE). I guess demonstrating the figure rising to 120 will have a little effect, because others “have garnered citations numbered well in the thousands”. You can explain that this number of citations is caused by the fact that your research is recent (if it is) and that it takes time for others to write papers to cite your work. Instead, focus on the testimonies of other researchers. Please be aware of precise wording in the recommendation letters. They should contain phrases like “fundamental significance”, “major significance” or alike. If they do, highlight them. If they don’t, then provide letters containing them and satisfying as many recommendation points mentioned by the officer as possible. And remember that the officer can’t decide if the contribution is significant based on its scientific value, he/she has to use the text of the petition to do so.

    Good luck!

  • Nam T says:

    Hi Subbu,

    What did you respond on RFE. My case received RFE and this is the same they asked as evidence.

    Please suggest amd help

  • Subbu says:

    Hi Tigran and Nam,

    Just to let you know, my 140 has been denied. Submitted the response on September 15th and received the Denial notice on October 20. I did submit 3 additional letters of recommendation and updated google scholar profile with 120 citations, but looks like the officer was predisposed to deny the case. Good luck Nam with your application, not sure what I can advise you but withdrawal could definitely be considered if your case is with Nebraska. If it is at Texas, you might take a chance in submitting the response as they say Texas has higher approval rate than Nebraska.

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