23 Mar O-1/EB-1A Support Letters and Current RFE Trends
Washington, D.C., March 7, 2018 – The American Immigration Lawyers Association recently held a webinar to discuss the O-1 and EB-1A visa processes for individuals in the science and business fields. Some of the topics discussed were the importance of support letters and current USCIS RFE trends.
Support Letters are an absolute necessity for a successful O-1 or EB-1A case. They provide strategic direction for the foreign nationals and allow industry experts to provide specific details on the foreign national’s specialty or industry. These details are crucial to provide the case with credible facts from a reputable source which will provide the case with inherent credibility that will be clear to a USCIS adjudicator. It is generally recommendable for the writer to provide a first draft of the letter to allow for maximum flexibility in content.
USCIS typically finds support letters helpful when they explain the foreign national’s contributions to a specific area of research or practice. Good support letters also identify the strengths of a foreign national’s research and accomplishments and describe how the foreign national possesses unique knowledge, skills and/or experience which sets him/her apart from other professionals in the field. Language that should generally be left out of support letters include that which describes the foreign national as young, part of a large team, or full of potential. This language can detract from the foreign national’s individual accomplishments and lead the reader to believe that the applicant is not at the top of their profession – although they may be someday in the future.
The most notable trends in Requests for Evidence (“RFE”) for O-1 cases have concerned the foreign national’s ability to demonstrate their research and accomplishments are of national or international significance. The ability of the foreign national to provide evidence of numerous citations and high circulation numbers can be crucial in overcoming the USCIS’ questions. For EB-1A cases, the ability of the employer to pay the prospective wage of the foreign national continues to be one of the most common issues in RFE’s. If a prospective employer has a potential ability to pay issue, the foreign national should strongly consider self-petitioning instead of an employer sponsored EB-1A petition.
I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC is a law firm based in Washington, D.C. and is recognized as a leading immigration law firm with expertise in visas for EB-5 investors, professionals, and academics.