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USCIS Adds New Evidence Criteria in O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa Category

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its policy manual and added a new criterion to the list of evidence it considers in determining eligibility for O-1A visa for persons of extraordinary ability in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field.

Under the new guidance, being named on a competitive government grant for STEM research as an investigator, scientist, or researcher can be a positive factor towards demonstrating that a beneficiary is eligible for O-1A visa.

This supplements the list of previously considered positive factors, which also includes:

· Having published articles in particularly highly-ranked journals relative to other journals in the field;

· Having high total rate of citations to the beneficiary’s body of published;

· Having employment or research experience with leading institutions in the field (such as U.S. universities that have been recognized as having high or very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, foreign universities with comparably high research activity, or a university that is highly regarded according to a widely recognized metric such as the QS World University Rankings); and

· Having received unsolicited invitations to speak or present research at nationally or internationally recognized conferences in the field.

O-1 nonimmigrant status is available to persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, business, education, and athletics, and persons with a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television (MPTV) industry.

InterlinkLaw is a boutique law firm focusing on representing clients who may be eligible for O-1 visa classification or green cards in the related EB-1 (Persons of Extraordinary Ability) and EB-2 (Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability) categories.

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