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The Judging of Others Requirement for EB-1 and NIW Cases


If you are thinking about submitting an EB-1 or NIW application, you should give serious consideration to trying to participate as a “judge” of the work of others in your field. Participating as a judge in your area of expertise can enormously benefit your chances of successfully applying for EB-1 or NIW classification. For example, the EB-1-2 “Outstanding Professors and Researchers” category requires the satisfaction of two of six enumerated criteria. Similarly, the EB-1-1 “Extraordinary Ability” category requires that a petitioner demonstrate three of ten criteria. For both of these categories, one of the listed criteria is participation as a judge of the work of others in the field. Thus, if you can adequately demonstrate your fulfillment of this criterion, you have essentially satisfied either one-third (for EB-1-2) or three-tenths (for EB-1-1) of the required evidence. Of course, there are other requirements for each category; however, these enumerated criteria present the most significant hurdle for most applicants.

  Participating as a judge of the work of others can also be beneficial to a National Interest Waiver (NIW) applicant. Although the law does not require an NIW applicant to follow specifically listed criteria, a petitioner must establish that his or her continued presence (on a permanent basis) in the United States is in the “national interest.” Evidence of one’s participation as a judge of the work of others does precisely this; it is an achievement that demonstrates you are more accomplished than others in your field and, thus, makes it easier for the USCIS officer to understand why and how you will serve the national interest. Other forms of evidence are obviously also necessary if your application is to be successful. However, participating as a judge of other’s work can serve as very persuasive support.  

  The question remains, however, what exactly is work as a “judge” in your field? While there is no one way to establish this, the remainder of this article will be devoted to explaining two of the more common means of doing so.

  The first way of demonstrating your participation as a judge of the work of others is to serve as a reviewer for a journal in your field. Adequate evidence of this can come in many different forms. It is very important, however, that if your evidence consists of a letter from the journal, the letter be directed specifically to you. In other words, a letter from a journal to your supervisor (asking him or her to review an article) that is subsequently passed on to you will not suffice.

  A second form of evidence of your participation as a “judge” of the work of others is to conduct thesis direction. This is particularly effective when you have been involved in the direction of a Ph.D. thesis. Many applicants do not consider their participation in thesis direction as beneficial to their green card application. This is unfortunate, however, because when you are directing someone’s thesis, you are very actively involved in the “judging” of their work. Your exact means of documenting your work in this capacity, as well as providing the legal authority for this kind of evidence, should be discussed with your attorney.

In conclusion, if the opportunity presents itself to participate in either of these activities (i.e. article review or thesis direction) and you are considering for applying for permanent residency, do not pass up the opportunity. Although the extra work can be somewhat of a burden, the positive effect it can have on your chances of successfully applying for a green card make it well worth the effort. 



© Copyright Law Offices of Jonathan Liang 2003. All rights reserved.