NIW Approval for Applicant working at Private Company

Vermont Service Center lately approved an NIW petition filed on behalf of an applicant working in a private biotech company in Pennsylvania. The NIW was filed on October 13, 05 and approved December 6, 05. No RFE. This is another NIW approval for applicants working at private companies.

Applicant received his B. S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering in China and his Ph. D in Chemical Engineering in the US. Applicant did a three-year postdoc before joining a small-sized company focusing on diabetic foot disease. He is conducting research aiming to improve the quality of therapeutic footwear for diabetic patients. The employer was awarded a grant from NIH. During the past seven years, applicant conducted various research projects sponsored by different grants.

Applicant has four publications in peer-reviewed journals and a number of presentations at international academic conferences. Together with his advisor, applicant reviewed articles submitted to the academic journals in the field. He is the second inventor of a patent, which is to be submitted to US Patent Office. Applicant serves as a judge for the northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair. He is also a recipient of Innovator Award while working as a postdoc. Applicant is a member of American Association of Physicists in Medicine, American Chemical Society and Electrochemical Society.

Applicant provided eight testimonial letters from current employer, ph.D advisor, Postdoc mentor, collaborators and international experts. No letters from US government agencies were provided. We emphasized that applicant has made significant contributions in the co-authored articles, and that the peer-reviewed journals and conferences that published applicant’s papers are prestigious ones with high impact factors. In addition, we argued that the letter providers, although not from government agencies, are authoritative in their field of expertise and are well qualified to evaluate the applicant’s research and its impacts.

We argued that applicant’s landmark research has set him apart from his peers having similar qualifications. We also provided documents to establish applicant’s research, although in a private company, has intrinsic merit and serves important national interests of national scope.

Given the visa retrogression in employment-based categories, it might be a wiser choice for researchers working in private companies to consider NIW petitions. No need to worry about being laid off while your NIW case is pending with USCIS, you are ready to move to the next job as long as you will be working in the similar field of expertise and your work will continue to serve national interests. As for the employer-sponsored petition, you cannot leave the job unless the adjustment of status (I-485) petition has been pending with the USCIS for more than 180 days.

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