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Published Dec 28,2018 By Rostan Rodrigues

Thank you for putting up a website and listing all the information and the packets. I am interested to know your opinion on my case to find out what is the most reasonable approach for me to get GC as soon as possible.
– Country of birth is India
– My education: PhD in Electrical engineering (in USA), 2015
– Working in ABB (one of the Electrical power products giant in world) since 2015 as ‘Research Scientist’ in the same field.
– 2 Patent applications in Electrical circuit protection (not granted yet). I can get evidence letter from company lawyer.
– No. of IEEE publications = 14 (13 conference + 1 Journal). All of them in last 2 years.
– No. of citations= 30. It will take some time to build up.
– IEEE paper reviews by me = about 100 (at least 20 journals of high impact factor)
– IEEE international conference session chair = 6 times
– Organizing committee member of IEEE ECCE 2018 conference. Potentially similar role for ECCE 2019.
– IEEE local chapter chair and vice-chair of multiple chapters, elected positions.
– I am PhD Dissertation committee member of one student at Top US University for Power Electronics.

Potential Reference letters from:
– CTO of US Government institute
– Department chair(s) of electrical engineering
– Director of Power Electronics Center at university
– Director of Power Electronics at a Startup company
– Technical advisor from Industry with strong publication background
– Multiple IEEE fellows etc.

My company lawyer said that I have overall good enough profile except that the citations are low. I also read online that recently USCIS is giving more weight to citations. Could you help me find answer to following questions?
– Can I get EB2-NIW I-140 approved this year and then reapply in EB1 once I have some more publications and citations (in a year or two). This way I would have 2019 priority date. This would help since India has over a year waiting time even in EB1.
– If I get reference letters now for NIW (file in mid-2019), then, can I use the same letters for EB1 whenever I do it in year or two? Basically, how old reference letter is acceptable at USCIS?
– In the reference letter is it good to mention number of publications and citations of the referee considering that it would be much higher than mine.
– Should the reference letter be from a person who is in the exact field as I am OR slightly off but still in Electrical domain is acceptable?
– What is the main difference in EB1A and EB1B, in terms of criteria for approval? Is it just self-petition vs employer petition? Or something more to it?
– Could you give your opinion for my success in both EB2-NIW and EB1A/B?
– Would it be worth if I self-petition in both EB2-NIW and EB1A simultaneously and go for premium processing? At least in this way I would find out the results in few weeks and if get rejections then I can focus on improving the reasons why they rejected.
– If I want to apply in both NIW and EB1A then which packet do u recommend to purchase?
– Feel free to add additional comments, suggestions for increasing my success chances in both NIW and EB1.

Posted in Suitable Category NIW/EB1A
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Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago

Hi Rostan,

Let me answer point by point,

– You can apply for EB1A and NIW in any order.
– There is no expiration date for the letters. However, please keep in mind that the content of the letters should be slightly different, as you will need them to prove certain points in your petition. These points will differ depending on the green card category.
– It is better not to mention citations of the person writing the letter if it is many times higher than yours (say, 10x more).
– The person should be in a position to judge you as a specialist in the chosen field. They could be from a different subfield.
– Main difference between EB1A and EB1B is the permanent contract. There are more differences, please see the link below.
– EB2-NIW is probably doable, but the waiting time is almost 10 years. EB1A will be very hard to obtain, taken the citation count (it was easier in the past, now it’s harder).
– You can pay for the premium processing to get the results faster. However, do not expect a reasonable answer from USCIS that can be used for the further improvements. I have seen complete nonsense from them recently.
– If you want to apply for both NIW and EB1A, then the “NIW and EB1A DIY-packets” combo, item #5, is the best.

Rostan Rodrigues
Rostan Rodrigues
5 years ago

Thanks for your quick and detailed reply. I have few follow-up questions:
– Do I need to show to the USCIS about how many ‘independent vs self-citations’ I have? Do they ever ask for that? I can try to push citations up little bit by doing self-citing my previous work.
– A friend of mine got EB1B approved in 2017 with 8 publications and 20 citations. But seems like since 2018 it has become more difficult? In my case, would you be able to give me an estimated figure for citations that I should have before I go for EB1A/B?
– Can I compensate for low citations by getting more reference letters? Any other ideas to compensate for low citations?
– If my application is rejected in any EB category, then, when I reapply, with better profile, can I use the same reference letters again? or, do I need new set of reference letters?
– what kind of post-purchase support do you provide after I buy the packet?

Tigran Kalaydzhyan
Tigran Kalaydzhyan
5 years ago

Sure, no problem. Here are the answers in the same order.
– Yes, it is considered a common practice to mention the number of independent citations in addition to the total figure.
– Yes, it seems the bar was raised since then. I do not have statistics for EB1B, since we do not deal with them (also the criteria are different there), but for EB1A I would say that having less than 200 citations makes the chances of approval slim.
– We used to suggest compensating with the letters (not by the quantity, but with the strength of the thesis), but now it is getting more difficult as it seems the USCIS officers can simply dismiss the letters if they decide so. One could provide an “objective evidence” of your extraordinary achievements and impact on the field. Such evidence may include description of the developed methods (and their superiority) in comparison to other best methods existing or other proof from sources excluding your reference letters. This part is a gray area and I cannot provide an optimal solution at this time.
– Yes, you can use the same letters, but sometimes it is better to improve them according to the USCIS criticism.
– We provide a review service, please have a look at the link below. If you need additional services, you can write us a private message and we can figure out a solution. Please keep in mind, however, that our services are limited by law — we cannot represent you in any legal processes and cannot provide an official legal advise.

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