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An Analysis of NIW Cases Approved from April to June 2010

BY Alex Wang [ July 28, 2010 at 11:02:02 ]

From April to June 2010, our firm received 38 NIW case approvals. USCIS approved 29 of these cases without a request for evidence.
Out of the 38 NIW cases approved in the past three months, most applicants had a Ph. D. However, 4 of these applicants, or approximately 11%, only had a Master’s degree. Among those with Master’s degrees, one applicant works in Synthetic Chemistry; the other three work in Engineering. Of these four applicants, three had published work and none had ever participated in peer review. Furthermore, we had one applicant who studies the effect of video games on adolescents. Though this applicant has a Ph.D., she only had 2 published articles and 4 peer reviews at the time of filing. Essentially, such information tells us that USCIS lessens its standards for aliens who work in unique fields. As this area is less saturated than other more popular fields like the medical sciences, applicants are not only competing against a smaller pool, but more than likely, one not as strong. Similarly, those who work in fields related to medicine and biology are forced to compete with a large number of applicants. Of which, USCIS can only approve the strongest. Through our practice, we have found that the field in which applicants work, combined with the current needs of the United States greatly determines the overall outcome of a NIW petition.
Those who work as a “postdoctoral researcher”, “research assistant/associate” or any other title of the like mainly conduct research, produce papers, and attend conferences. Because of the nature of scientific work, such applicants find it easier to show that they have exerted national influence and sustained a past record of achievement through more objective evidence (i.e. citations, downloads, commercialization of work, etc). Of course, this should not discourage you from applying if you feel you lack such evidence. On the contrary, each case varies and USCIS could deem your particular qualifications and skill set to be of intrinsic merit to the United States. As shown above, USCIS does not adjudicate petitions solely on the basis of concrete numbers. With our highly experienced attorneys, we will help you highlight your strongest professional assets, while downplaying your weaker ones.

In addition to the above, we have also compiled other relevant data from our sample. Among the sample of approved applicants, most conduct research in Engineering, Medical, and Biology related fields. A few approved applicants also work in Education and Chemistry. The average number of journal papers published among this lot of applicants was 11. The average of number of reviews conducted was 4. The average processing time for these applicants was 110 days or roughly three and a half months. The longest it took to approve an application was 465 days, while the shortest was 22 days. USCIS aims to adjudicate National Interest Waiver petitions in 4 months. However, the current national average for processing NIW applications is around 12.3 months. Before the economic downturn, it was, in our personal experience, much easier for NIW petitioners to receive approval. Now, with less domestic jobs available for U.S. citizens, USCIS has experienced delays in processing NIW applications. Consequently, we got less NIW approvals: from January to March 2010, our firm received 93 NIW case approvals; from April to June 2010, our firm only received 38 NIW case approvals. In addition, from January to June 2010, our firm received 101 EB-1 case approvals.
Again, before you start the application process, it is imperative that you consult a highly trained legal professional, particularly since USCIS has experienced delays in processing NIW applications. By consulting with an attorney at our firm, you will learn not only learn about your options, but also specific application strategies for your immigration needs.

For more information on the 38 NIW cases approved from April to June 2010, please refer to the table below.

Special notice:
National immigration law firm Zhang & Associates, P.C., is offering free immigration seminars on Saturday July 31 in six cities’ offices. Our senior attorneys will present the fundamentals of immigration law and discuss:
1. F-1 visa and related employment issues
2. H-1B visa, Quota and Strategies
3. National Interest Waiver Green Card – Even a Masters degree can get approval
4. EB-1B and EB-1A Green Card for achieved scholars
5. Green Card strategic plans for students and scholars
Date and time of the seminars:

Silicon Valley, CA
Time: 10:30 am ~ 12:00 pm PDT, Sat. July 31, 2010.
Presenter: Attorney Jerry Zhang
Address: 2225 E. Bayshore Road Suite 200
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Chicago, IL
Time: 10:30 am ~ 12:00 pm CDT, Sat. July 31, 2010.
Presenter: Attorney Annie Yang
Address: 121 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1260
Chicago, IL 60601

New York, NY
Time: 10:30 am ~ 12:00 pm EDT, Sat. July 31, 2010.
Presenters: Attorney Joe Zhou
Address: 1350 Broadway, Suite 1710
New York, NY 10018

Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:30 am ~ 12:00 pm PDT, Sat. July 31, 2010.
Presenter: Attorney Daqin Zhang
Address: 70 S. Lake Ave, suite 920
Pasadena, CA 91101

Houston, TX
Time: 10:30 am ~ 12:00 pm CDT, Sat. July 31, 2010.
Presenter: Attorney Victor Bush
Address: 9999 Bellaire Blvd, Suite 920
Houston, TX 77036

Austin, TX
Time: 10:30 am ~ 12:00 pm CDT, Sat. July 31, 2010
Presenter: Attorneys Jianhua Zhang and Debu Gandhi
Address: 1105 West 12th Street
Austin, Texas 78703

The presentation will be conducted in English with an English PowerPoint slideshow. If you are interested in the seminar, you may register the seminar free of charge by clicking the following link:

Applicant Degree Field Papers Reviews Job Title Processing Time
1 Ph.D. Cell Biology 7 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 50
2 Master Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry 6 0 Research Scientist 40
3 Ph.D. Materials Science 5 0 Research Associate 129
4 Ph.D. Biomedical Research 9 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 465
5 Ph.D. High-Speed networking 32 93 Research Associate 47
6 Ph.D. Nanophotonics 30 1 Research Assistant 28
7 Ph.D. Chemical Engineering 6 0 Assistant Professor 106
8 Ph.D. Chemistry 10 0 Chief Researcher 87
9 Ph.D. Modern Quantum Chemistry 21 11 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 53
10 Ph.D. Microbial Genetics 12 7 Laboratory Manager 61
11 Master Civil/Structural Engineering 3 0 Project Engineer 132
12 Ph.D. Biochemistry 10 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 35
13 Ph.D. Genetic Epidemiology 7 0 Research Associate 385
14 Ph.D. Immunology 11 0 Research Assistant 80
15 Ph.D. Bioengineering 20 0 Research Fellow 61
16 Ph.D. Localized CO2 Corrosion 15 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 22
17 Ph.D. Molecular Biology 2 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 399
18 Ph.D. High-Energy Physics 5 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 43
19 Ph.D. Environmental Chemistry and Engineering 6 2 Research Scientist 59
20 Ph.D. Biomedical Research 15 2 Surgical Resident 37
21 Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering 2 0 Technical Support Engineer II 401
22 Ph.D. Civil Engineering 5 0 Structural Engineer 91
23 Ph.D. Agricultural Engineering 11 5 Research Agricultural Engineer 69
24 Ph.D. Chemical Engineering 6 5 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 36
25 Ph.D. Neuroscience 3 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 123
26 Master Mechanical-Electrotechnical Engineering N/A N/A Energy Improvement Lead 32
27 Ph.D. Biological Research 12 5 Research Plant Physiologist 68
28 Ph.D. Nanotechnology 17 3 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 54
29 Ph.D. Organic Chemistry 18 1 Research Scientist 54
30 Ph.D. Education 2 4 Writer 124
31 Ph.D. Physical Oceanography 9 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 78
32 Ph.D. Genetics and Development 8 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 74
33 Ph.D. Ocean Engineering 7 0 Senior Scientist 93
34 Ph.D. Parasitic Infectious Diseases 20 0 Research Associate 78
35 Ph.D. Cardiovascular Science 8 0 Research Associate 130
36 Master Chemical Engineering 7 0 Graduate Research Assistant 73
37 Ph.D. Astronomy and Astrophysics 18 10 Research Associate 155
38 Ph.D. Microbiology 13 0 Postdoctoral Research Fellow 103


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