Arthur Lee, Esq. Q&As published on the World Journal Weekly on March 10, 2024 : 1. EB-1 main applicant in the US under O-3 can submit I-485 once the I-140 priority date is current 2. To verify the applicant’s experience, the Immigration Bureau can call the previous employer. 3. It is more advantageous to submit NIW after obtaining a PhD

1. EB-1 main applicant in the US under O-3 can submit I-485 once the I-140 priority date is current

I am in China, and my EB-1A PD is in April 2023, but my child will graduate junior high school in another year. I want my child to go to a public high school in the US as early as possible, but the current schedule predicts that it will be difficult to land within 2 years, which will delay my child’s high school enrollment. It is inconvenient for the EB-1A main applicant to apply, but the conditions for the O-1 spouse are similar to those of the main applicant. Can my spouse apply for O-1, and my children and I apply for O-3? At that time, while the main applicant is waiting for the I-140 current, can he submit the I-485 in China as an O-3?

Arthur Lee, Esq. answers,
As long as your wife meets the eligibility requirements of O-1 on her own (not through your accomplishments as a dependent), she can apply for O-1 status with you and your children as O-3 dependents. Please note that the eligibility conditions of the O-1 spouse are not similar to those as the main applicant. The O-1 applicant needs to independently establish eligibility (e.g. extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics, arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or TV industry)—the spouse applicant needs to show a bona fide marriage to the principal O-1 applicant. So unless your wife can demonstrate her own eligibility for O-1 status, your plan would not work. If she can demonstrate that she has extraordinary ability in one of the above fields and meets all other criteria for O-1, then she can be the O-1 principal, and you and your children can be O-3 dependents. If the O-1/O-3 petition is successful, then your wife will be admitted to the United States to work with her petitioning employer or agent under the employment conditions stated in the O-1 petition. Then you and your children will be admitted as O-3 dependents. As an O-3 dependent, you will not have work authorization, but your children will be allowed to enroll in school. Please note that you would not be in O-3 status until you arrived in the United States—upon your wife’s O-1 approval, you would be eligible to enter the United States and “activate” your O-3 status. While you are in the United States under O-3, you can submit your I-485 application once your I-140 priority date is current. If you are still in China, you can wait until your priority date is current and then apply for an immigrant visa via Form DS-260. But an I-485 is reserved for those who are already in the United States.

2. To verify the applicant’s experience, the Immigration Bureau can call the previous employer

Will the Immigration Bureau really send or call the former company for verification? If there is a small discrepancy in the employment verification letter, will it result in an I-140 audit? Is this used when applying for I-140? Or is it when PERM advertises? If my former employer does not add skills set to me, is it necessary to file a lawsuit?

Arthur Lee Esq. answers,
It is possible that USCIS calls your former employer who writes you a prior experience affidavit to truly verify your experience, especially if it has reason to doubt the legitimacy of the affidavit. If there is a small discrepancy in your letter, USCIS may either call the company to ensure that you acquired the skills and remained in the stated position for the time that the letter attests—in this case, USCIS may also ask the company how they know what they are attesting to in the letter. It may also issue a request for further evidence (not an audit) offering you an opportunity to explain the discrepancies and clarify other issues in your I-140 case. The employment verification letter is indeed used when you are filing an I-140, not when the PERM ETA 9089 is submitted. You would not win any lawsuit against your former company for not adding a skills set for you. Whether they are willing to attest to your particular skills, responsibilities, titles or dates of employment is entirely up to your former company.

3. It is more advantageous to submit NIW after obtaining a PhD

My conditions are not very favorable. I have a master’s degree from the United States and am currently studying for a PhD. I am considering whether to apply for a green card and when to apply, so I contacted several law firms, but after seeing the responses from the law firms, I am now hesitant whether to do NIW after the PhD graduation article is sent out, or to do it now. Core contradiction: Apply again when you have a new paper after PhD graduation vs. apply now?

Arthur Lee Esq. answers,
The answer to this really depends on how much evidence you currently possess that you are well-positioned to advance your field of endeavor, that your field of endeavor has substantial merit and national importance, and that on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer. While I cannot speak to whether your proposed endeavor has substantial merit/national importance as you do not specify what your Master’s and PhD degrees are in, and what type of work you are proposing to do, whether you have a PhD when you apply will factor into the second and third prongs (that you are well-positioned to advance your field of endeavor, and on balance, it would be beneficial to waive the requirements of a job offer). In adjudicating whether you are well-positioned, USCIS typically considers evidence such as degrees, certificates, or licenses in the field; your patents, trademarks, or copyright; letters from experts in your field describing your past achievements; published articles or media reports about your achievements or current work; citation history of your works; evidence that you influenced your field of endeavor; correspondence from prospective or potential employers and customers; evidence that you have attained investment from U.S. investors such as venture capitalists; contracts, agreements, or licenses showing potential impact of proposed endeavor; evidence of receiving awards and grants for your work in your field of endeavor; and evidence showing how your work is being used by others. If you have a plethora of the above evidence to meet the second prong, you might be able to submit an NIW application with confidence without finishing your PhD study and dissertation. However, if your evidence is more limited, it would be a good idea to secure the PhD and release your PhD graduation article before submitting an NIW case as that would further demonstrate that you are well-positioned to advance your field of endeavor. Your PhD completion may also be favorable in the adjudication of the third prong (on balance, it would be beneficial to waive the job offer requirement) since having a PhD may enhance the potential benefits to the US from your contributions, even if other U.S. workers were available. However, you should make this evaluation of whether you want to submit your NIW application before or after your PhD completion based upon the balance of the remainder of your evidence, and the overall benefits/risks of filing earlier rather than later for your particular situation.