Clearer rules for a winning case: Extraordinary Ability & Outstanding Professor/Researcher
Under the new USCIS guidelines, we have more concrete guidelines for constructing a winning case. In a new policy memo that amends previous guidelines for USCIS examiners, USCIS has now walked through each of the possible evidentiary categories and clearly stated what they are looking for. These guidelines also repeat several times that the standard of proof must be “preponderance of evidence” meaning that if the evidence shows that something is “more likely than not” to be true, USCIS must accept the evidence.
Subjective discretion, however, has not completely disappeared because in the newly required second part of the case presentation, you now have to show that all the evidence, looked at as a whole, adds up to the acclaim required (national or international for Extraordinary, international for Outstanding Professor/Researcher). In terms of showing that you have risen to the very top of your field for Extraordinary Ability – another requirement for the second part of your case – we have been able to come up with some objective measures to document a client’s standing in the field. These measures therefore depend a great deal on how you define your field to begin with – the critical beginning step for your case.