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Liu & Associates Wins National Interest Waiver (NIW) I-140 Cases on Appeal

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In recent years, Liu & Associates have had hundreds of National Interest Waiver (NIW) cases approved by USCIS. The majority of cases were approved directly; a small percentage of cases were approved after USCIS requested for additional evidence and the USCIS request was properly responded to. Occasionally, however, a small number of cases were denied by USCIS for apparently illegitimate reasons.

When a National Interest Waiver petition was erroneously denied by USCIS, the petitioner/beneficiary can appeal the denial to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) within 30 days of the denial date. The legal standards for a National Interest Waiver as set out in Matter of New York State Dept. of Transportation are: (1) that the alien seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit; (2) that the proposed benefit will be national in scope; and (3) that the national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were required. Under the current procedure, USCIS will first treat the appeal as a motion to re-open and re-consider. Instead of forwarding the appeal to AAO, USCIS may re-open the denied case and approve it. If USCIS refuses to re-open the case, it will forward the appeal to AAO, and AAO will make a decision to sustain or to dismiss the appeal. If the appeal is sustained, the case will be approved. In recent years, we have been successful in representing NIW clients before AAO. Upon appeal, some erroneously denied NIW cases we filed were re-opened and approved by USCIS. A few appeals that were forwarded to AAO by USCIS were sustained and the cases were approved by AAO. Here are two recent AAO decisions that sustained our NIW appeals.

AAO Decision (PDF) that addressed the legal significance of citations.

AAO Decision (PDF) that addressed the legal issue of co-authorship in scientific publications.

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