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We just got an approved I-140 for an Outstanding Researcher approved without any Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), which are fairly standard tools of USCIS in most researcher cases. Particularly when you file paying for Premium Processing, USCIS issues RFEs in most cases (at least according to anecdotal evidence), probably due to the quick turn-around required (15-business days). Years ago, I heard an attorney describe how they try to overwhelm USCIS with huge researcher filings, sometimes 1,000 pages or more of materials. I remember thinking that was a bad idea back then, and over the years, this has been proved to be the case. 


The argument for over-inclusiveness comes from the standards involved - they have to show that they are recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified, by submitting evidence of at least two of the following categories: 

(A) Documentation of the alien's receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;

(B) Documentation of the alien's membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members;

(C) Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field. Such material shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;

(D) Evidence of the alien's participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;

(E) Evidence of the alien's original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or

(F) Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field.


They also have to submit evidence that the alien has at least three years of experience in teaching and/or research in the academic field. See 8 CFR 204.5(i).


What we try to do is to focus the material presented to only those that will highlight the importance of the researcher’s work, and the most important parts of their publications/citations - the categories above that they will actually be able to prove instead of trying to argue for each of them. By focusing the recommendation letters, employer letter, and our cover letter, as well as providing a detailed index, we can help the officer see why the case should be approved, instead of just overwhelming them with materials that make it harder for them to figure that out. The downside to be being focused and concise is that it takes longer. As Mark Twain once said: “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” It may take longer, but it’s worth it to make the case tighter and clearer for the adjudicator.

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