As part of the qualifying criteria for an O-1A visa for extraordinary ability in science, the Beneficiary may show that their designs or developments are original, are currently in use by other institutions, and are of major significance in the field of science. As a result, the O-1A petition was denied on the basis the Beneficiary failed to prove these criteria. The denial specifically referenced a failure to prove that research breakthroughs were being implemented in the world right at this moment.
The Beneficiary’s expertise was in the fields of mobile technology (mHealth) and point-of-care (PoC) diagnostics. In simple terms, the Beneficiary’s accomplishments relate to his research and development of applications/devices that can perform rapid fertility and pathogen tests via smartphone technologies. Indeed, the Beneficiary’s research had not yet been implemented anywhere in the world.
In this case, our experience played a significant role in the solution. We were able to identify right away that the case officer overlooked relevant evidence and, to some extent, misapplied the legal standard.
We were quick to respond that the above-stated criteria are not necessarily required in whole. We explained and showed that research science does not operate in this way. To support our arguments, we provided USCIS precedent that indicated other qualifying criteria include originality and significance when the research is novel, pioneering, groundbreaking, revolutionary, state of the art, a matter of public interest, life-saving, or involve achievements that optimize or increase the effectiveness of already-existing technologies.