USCIS Updates Policy Guidance on Certain First-Preference Immigrants
In a Policy Alert issued today, USCIS updates its guidance relating to two evidentiary criteria pertaining to extraordinary ability and outstanding researcher/professor petitions to more closely align with recently issued nonimmigrant guidance for the O-1 visa. First, the policy clarifies that “published material” about the candidate (or the candidate’s work in the case of an outstanding researcher or professor) in professional or major trade publications or other media is no longer limited to printed articles. Rather, a petitioner may submit other forms of evidence, including a transcript of audio or video coverage. Second, the guidance confirms that, in the extraordinary ability classification, a candidate may satisfy the leading or critical role criterion through a qualifying role for a distinguished department or division, in addition to an entire organization or establishment. This updated guidance appears to suggest that USCIS is permitting more flexibility in the types of acceptable evidence it will consider in meeting the standard for the extraordinary ability and outstanding researcher/professor immigrant visa categories.