Physical Education Teacher Receives EB-1A Distinguished Talent Visa
Year: April 2020
Country/Region: Taiwan, China
Applicant: Mr. Huang
Profession: Associate Professor at the University of Sports
Four conditions of excellence: Membership, Major Contribution, Judge, and Critical Role
Mr. Huang received his master’s degree in physical education and sports science from an American university twenty years ago and returned to Taiwan to work. He has worked at various universities and joined professional associations in Taiwan, contributing to the revision of sports-related laws and regulations by government agencies. In his 20 years of practice, Mr. Huang has been actively developing in his field. Because of his children’s education, Mr. Huang wanted to try to apply for EB-1A, but his field of expertise was relatively cold and he was unsure if his qualifications were met. Accompanied by a friend, he came to Tsang & Associates for a paid consultation to assess his eligibility.
After reviewing his relevant documents, Mr. Zang concluded that there was still a lot of room for improvement in Mr. Huang’s profile and that he needed to take time to plan carefully. The legal team also tailored an application package for Mr. Huang based on his personal situation to help him clarify the direction of his development.
After nearly two years of training and preparation, Zandikai & Associates filed Mr. Huang’s EB-1A petition in January 2020 and opted for accelerated processing (Premium Processing).
KEYS TO SUCCESS
1. The intention to come to the U.S. is ambiguous and there is no way to determine whether it will provide lasting benefits to the U.S.
Mr. Huang’s plan to come to the U.S. is simple: join a friend’s fitness consulting company and, based on his extensive experience and knowledge, provide consultants to local fitness companies or individuals and develop the right fitness program to improve self-awareness of health and quality of life based on different needs.
In the supplemental notice, the immigration officer questioned whether Mr. Huang’s post-immigration responsibilities would be to conduct his company’s business as an entrepreneur or to continue his previous research work in Taiwan. Not only that, but the immigration officer also requested additional details that would further demonstrate that Mr. Huang’s work in Taiwan was closely tied to his post-arrival plans and that Mr. Huang was capable of bringing sustainable benefits to the U.S. sports and health sector.
2. Professional associations have a mediocre reputation and vaguely defined rules for membership access.
Mr. Huang has joined four professional associations in Taiwan, however, these professional associations have a small reach, and there are few media reports and articles to prove their qualifications. In addition, the membership criteria of each professional association are very vague and the membership rules do not reflect the gold standard of membership. The immigration officer requested more documents in the supplemental notice to prove that these professional associations do not just pay money, but have strict membership criteria and are composed of competent people in the industry.
3. Job positions that make it difficult to highlight leadership skills.
The immigration officer questioned Mr. Huang’s position as an associate professor at the school, which lacked convincing evidence of his leadership ability to make a significant contribution to the school’s development. In addition, the school Mr. Huang worked at was not a prestigious institution, but rather a general university, and the EB-1A requirement is to hold a leadership position of significance in a “Distinguished Reputation” organization/company.
4. It is debatable whether significant original contributions have been made to the field.
Mr. Huang’s main work experience is as a university lecturer, intermittently participating in some activities organized by professional associations. This part of Mr. Huang’s documents is mainly letters of recommendation. However, letters of recommendation are not enough for the immigration officer, who wants to see more evidence of Mr. Huang’s original contributions to the field and the great influence they have brought.
Mr. Huang was very distressed when he received the supplemental notice. He did not know how to further demonstrate his strengths and was unable to provide additional documents to prove his contributions. Tsang & Associates responded to each of the challenges raised in the supplemental file, and had several phone conferences with Mr. Huang to dig deeper into his plans to come to the U.S., his professional membership, and his industry contributions to uncover more available information. Mr. Huang met the EB-1A requirements. After full preparation, the supplemental documents were submitted at the end of March 2020.
One week after filing the supplemental document, Tsang & Associates received an email approval notice from USCIS. When Mr. Huang learned of the good news, he was obviously very excited and said he thought he was done with EB-1A when he saw the retroactive notification. Thanks to his choice of the right attorney and the right approach, he was able to get his petition approved in the current difficult processing environment.
Comment by Joseph Tsang, Attorney at Law.
The EB-1A Distinguished Talent is the first priority immigration category in the United States, and the United States welcomes talented people from around the world to immigrate to the United States in this way. In previous years, because EB-1A does not require a U.S. employer and does not have a waiting period, distinguished immigrants were once very popular with Chinese applicants. Since the implementation of Trump’s new policy, the USCIS has repeatedly raised the bar on EB-1A processing, and applicants need to be prepared for this.
There are ten criteria for EB-1A review and the applicant must meet at least three of them, which is often referred to as the “three out of ten”. However, in practice, it is not simply a matter of meeting the “three out of ten” criteria. The USCIS review is usually done in two steps.
In the first step, the immigration officer will look at whether the applicant meets the basic “three out of ten” criteria or whether the applicant has received a one-time top international award.
Step 2: Once the applicant has met the basic “3 out of 10” criteria, the USCIS will conduct an overall assessment to determine if the applicant is among the top talent in a small area of the industry.
Of particular note is the need for the applicant to demonstrate that: coming to the United States will result in a substantial benefit to the United States.
As the EB-1A process becomes more and more stringent, applicants who are interested should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to develop an application plan so that they can begin preparing for the EB-1A process in a targeted manner; if they do not yet meet the EB-1A green card criteria, they can begin with the O-1 Outstanding Worker Visa. If you have questions about this, please call Tsang & Associates to schedule a fee-based consultation and we will explain the best course of action for your situation.
*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.
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