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EB1 – Published Scholarly Articles

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EB1 Green Card – Published Scholarly Articles by You Editorial:

This category is related to the published materials category, but for Scholarly Articles, US Immigration will be looking for evidence that you have authored articles in publications for ‘learned professionals.’

This presentation focuses on the EB1 green card category of ‘Published Scholarly Articles by You’.

The actual official wording of this category is: –

(vi) Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;

You may recall from the EB1 green card introductory presentation where I summarized each of the categories, I rephrased this category as follows: –

(vi) Scholarly Articles – Could you provide or develop documentation to show that you have been published in professional or major trade publications or other major media scholarly articles?

This category has had a difficult history with EB1 green card adjudicators as they often take an over-zealous interpretation of the category. The US Appeals Courts have rendered a number of decisions establishing what can be considered a scholarly article, leading to the decision in Kazarian v. USCIS decided March 4, 2010, which provided a two-step approach to evaluating this category.  Step one establishes whether the alien has authored a published article, and this is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. The second step is more subjective and requires an assessment to determine if the article is written for other professionals in the field and whether the publication has a significant impact in the field.

As you can see, while this category can seem quite simple, there are several considerations to keep in mind.

EB1 Green Card – Published Scholarly Articles by You Commentary:

Let’s explore this issue further: –

Virtually all PhD level academics have to be published somewhere in order to get their doctorate. So merely being published cannot distinguish the alien as having risen to the top of their profession. They have, however, satisfied the first step in the two-step process.

EB1 green card adjudicators therefore need a more robust and objective basis to determine whether an article has made any kind of impact, and remember, these EB1 green card adjudicators are lay-people and therefore need to be able to consider the evidence objectively without having to know anything about the area of study.

Let’s talk about the peer review process: –

Academics will know that there are some ‘soft’ publications where you can submit your article to be published and as long as the subject is of interest to the publication they will publish it. However, there are some publications that will receive your work, but then subject your work to a ‘peer review’ process, where other qualified and respected academics test the merit worthiness of the article.  The process of peer review can take six months or more and the article may undergo several revisions before it can be proved to be of a sufficiently high standard to be published in a peer review journal.  Any academic who has been through the peer review process will know exactly what we’re talking about.

US Immigration’s position is that if an alien’s work has gone through the peer review process it is regarded as being more influential and substantive in value to the community than an article published without peer review. Also, within the academic community there are magazines / journals that are well known for only publishing articles that have been peer reviewed.

Ok – let’s talk about citations by other academics: –

Another question an EB1 green card adjudicator can reasonably ask is whether the alien’s article has been cited in the work of other academics. The rationale being that no academic would reference another’s work in their paper unless it was considered to have merit and furthered the aims of their paper.

Therefore, EB1 green card adjudicators can, without even reading the alien’s article, determine the merit of the article by simply confirming the number of times the alien’s work has been cited by other academics.

If the alien’s article has not be cited by any other academic, nor been subjected to peer review, then it is quite easy for an EB1 green card adjudicator to become skeptical as to whether the published article carries any weight or impact. Despite this stated construction, the regulations do allow aliens to submit any other evidence they feel may corroborate objectively any claim as to the article’s impact, because not all academic articles will lend themselves to peer review. Think of business articles where various economists have their ideas and theories published in the business press, well these articles can be highly persuasive in that community.

As your attorneys, our role will be to work very closely with you in the collation of any published article, as US Immigration has very stringent protocols that must be followed in order to verify their objective requirements. This can be quite a painstaking exercise but if in the end the EB1 green card adjudicator is impressed by the quality of the documentation presented, then getting the case approved will be far more likely.

We hope you have enjoyed this in depth presentation on the (vi) ‘Scholarly Articles’ category.

In the next presentation, we’ll examine the (vii) ‘Exhibitions and Showcase’ category.

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US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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