Case: Biology Master NIW Green Card Approved within One Year

The road to a green card through the NIW and I-485 process can be long and frustrating, sometimes involving requests for evidence, long waits, and other unforeseen twists and turns. However, some of our clients reach their goals smoothly, without many bumps or problems, even when on the face of things their qualifications for an NIW may not be too strong. Of course, a large part of the results in these cases depends on the individual circumstances of the case and the adjudicating officer; nevertheless, by working hard in the preparation of application, we can significantly increase the chance of a good result of a case.

Ms. Kim* first contacted us for a free evaluation of green card application a few days after July Fourth holiday to enquire about her options for filing an EB-1(a) Extraordinary Ability or EB-1(b) Outstanding Researcher I-140 petition. Ms. Kim was referred by one of our Attorney’s former clients. Ms. Kim had been working at a prestigious research university in the US for several years as a molecular biologist and had made several notable accomplishments in her field. She had received her MS in biology from a notable institution in Korea. Ms. Kim had presented important research on gene therapy for cancer at several annual meetings of the American Association for Cancer Research. She had also co-authored papers in high-impact journals such as Cancer Research, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. All together, she had 11 journal and conference proceedings publications.

However, Ms. Kim did not have any citations of her work or a Ph.D degree. After the evaluation, our attorneys suggested Ms. Kim file her petition under the National Interest Waiver category.

Ms. Kim retained our firm to assist with her NIW petition and the adjustment of status applications for herself and her husband. Our Attorney was assigned as the in-charge attorney for Ms. Kim’s case.

Thanks to her past work at various universities in the US and abroad, Ms. Kim received several, highly-supportive recommendation letters from her mentors and colleagues and two compelling independent advisory option letters from experts different specialized biology fields. These letters brought to light many of Ms. Kim’s exceptional achievements and many talents that she had developed through her work. The recommenders praised her personal character, describing her to be a dedicated and passionate scientist with the keen eye, incredible dexterity, and strong base knowledge necessary to advance cancer research. The letters also focused on the direct importance of Ms. Kim’s work on cancer therapy development and the reductions to medical expenses that would come from her work.

To further strengthen Ms. Kim’s NIW application, our Attorney wrote an especially detailed petition letter that described each of Ms. Kim’s accomplishments both big and small in order to show that despite her lack of citations, Ms. Kim had made a profound impact on the scientific community that foreshadowed her future results. Our Attorney dedicated full paragraphs to each success, highlighting the innovative techniques, creative scientific models, and advance skill involved in each experiment.

After several months of preparation, all the necessary forms and supporting evidence for Ms. Kim’s NIW petition was ready for filing and on July 24, 2007, Ms. Kim’s NIW packet was submitted to USCIS.

While the NIW petition was pending, our Attorney began helping Ms. Kim and her husband prepare the necessary forms and compile the required documents for their I-485 adjustment of status applications. Ms. Kim’s husband would also be applying for an employment authorization document with his I-485. We submitted the I-485 application package at the beginning of December 2007. In January 2008, Ms. Kim’s husband’s I-765 application for employment authorization was approved, and one month later on February 1, 2008, Ms. Kim’s NIW was approved. Exactly five months later on July 1, 2008, the USCIS approved Ms. Kim and her husband’s adjustment of status applications.

A few days after receiving her approval notice, Ms. Kim sent an email to our Attorney thanking her for her incredible attentiveness and assistance during their process. Ms. Kim wrote that initially she was worried about the strength of her qualifications and certain preconceptions about attorneys but that after working with our Attorney, she could not have asked for anything more. And of course, our Attorney and everyone who had worked on the case shared Dr. Kim and her husband’s joy at the successful completion of their green card journey. 

An attorney’s expertise and experience play a critical role in an NIW green card application. Our attorneys have extensive experience in NIW applications. In the past 12 years, we have successfully handled thousands of NIW applications with an extremely high overall approval rate.

If you plan to file an NIW application, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang ( for a free evaluation.

Zhang & Associates, PC.

Houston ∙ New York ∙ Chicago ∙ Austin
Tel:1-800-230-7040, 713-771-8433

*This article is based on the state of the law as of the posting date. It is the responsibility of the reader to verify that the law has not changed by consulting an attorney, although Zhang and Associates will make every effort to ensure that our articles are updated periodically. In order to protect our client’s privacy, all identifying information has been changed.


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