Friday, June 11, 2010

EAD/Travel Doc Combo Coming

USCIS announced this week that it is in the process of developing a combined EAD and Advance Parole (travel document) card.

The EAD, or Employment Authorization Document, enables foreign nationals to work in the US (usually while an Adjustment of Status Application is pending). The Advance Parole permits foreign nationals to travel with relative ease (also while an Adjustment of Status Application is pending). Currently, these two documents are seperate; the EAD is in the form of a card and the Advance Parole is in the form of an 8 1/2 X 11 inch sheet of paper. A combined card would represent a big convenience.

USCIS is expected to make a further announcement about this initiative later this year.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

AAO Reverses USCIS Outstanding Researcher Denial

Almost two years ago, a large university in the Northeast filed an I-140 Outstanding Research Petition on behalf of one of its professors. The case was denied.

The professor's academic field is Geographic Information Science (GIS). To the eyes of all but USCIS, the professor is clearly among the best and the brightest. Over his career, he has published 30 scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals, has developed a widely used geographic software package, has had his work cited by other scientists in the field as authoritative over 300 times, has served as a reviewer of the scientific work of others, has been awarded numerous research grants, and has presented his original research findings at scientific symposia all over the world. In support of the petition filed before CIS, eight internationally known scientists wrote letters to CIS attesting to his outstanding abilities.

CIS had denied the case on the ground that the petition had not proven that each individual publication was outstanding. The AAO sustained the appeal, reaffirming that it is the totality of the evidence that must be considered.