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Eb-1 NIW
The Important Role Reference Letters Play in NIW and EB-1 Petitions

As immigration lawyers of Lin & Valdez have been advising our clients, the recommendation letters or reference letters have become more and more important in the EB-1 and, even more, EB-2 National Interest Wavier applications.


The reason for this trend is quite simple.  The EB-1 petition, whether it is for alien of extraordinary ability or for outstanding researcher or professor, has a relatively objective standard.  As far as the petitioning alien meets with certain number of the factors listed in the immigration regulations (for extraordinary ability petition, 3 out of 10 if no major national or international awards, and for outstanding researcher and professor, 2 out of 7. For detail, please visit the sections about the categories in the website).  The NIW review, however, principally hinges on how the examining officer view the national interest the applicant will generate.  Hence, the petitioner not only has to prove his academic or professional credential, he also need to show the contribution his research or achievement has made or will make to the States.  He also needs to show the importance of such contribution.  As the examining officers are largely lay persons in scientific, engineering, computer, or art field (or at least they are definitely not as an expert in the field the petitioner applies for as the petitioner self).  The officers need to rely on information or evidence the petitioner submits to make the judgment.  The reference letters submitted by the petitioner, penned and signed by experts of the field, certainly will carry a lot of weight in swaying the decision of the reviewing officers.


Over the years, immigration attorneys in Lin & Valdez have helped many of our clients obtain their EB-1 and Eb-2 approvals.  We are successful because we always remind our clients the following principals when they seek reference letters, and we would like to share this experience with our readers and clients-to-be:


a.                  Quality of the letters is far more important than quantity.  It is especially true in EB-1 or NIW application.  The boiler-plate, socializing, and good-feeling one-page reference is useless and should be discarded unless it is signed by a master of a field;


b.                  Corresponding to a., the title of the person who signs the letter definitely counts.  Imagine if you have a reference letter from a Nobel Laurel, or by a Chair of a Committee directly appointed by the President (by the way, that is what our clients get) and the weight such letters impose on the mind of the reviewing officers;


c.                  Letters from government agency are especially great in National Interest Waiver.  Any way, if a government agent is willing to testify to your contribution to the national interest, how can the other government agency, the USCIS, refute that?


d.                  Don’t just get letters from persons around you.  The government will think that they are just a favor your acquaintances give you.  The reason is obvious.  The reviewing officer is looking for some objective testimony he can rely on.  No matter how objective the tone the letters carry, if all the letters are from your professors, teachers, or from within the units you worked for, the officer will think such a letter is just a sweet-heart favor you begged for;


e.                  Don’t be shy to ask for letters.  Majority of the referrers will not write the letters for you himself.  Rather, you need to draft the letters for their approval and as such the reference letter actually will not take the bosses too much time;


f.                    Apply all of your connection to this important task either it is through your direct boss, indirect instructors, journal your paper appeared, or conferences you present your papers;


g.                  If your research has industrial, commercial, or business potential or application, don’t forget to obtain letter from big-name companies (I am talking to medical, pharmaceutical, chemical, engineering, and computer researchers especially).  What would be more apparent if the national interest can be measured by money sign?


To sum up, immigration attorneys of our firm have accumulated a lot of experience helping our clients prepare and draft the reference letters for national interest waiver and EB-1 petitions.  Contact us, and you will know why we can be such a great help to you for your NIW or EB-1 application

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