Alfred is a high school teacher with a focus on STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). In this article we go over an interview I recorded with Alfred for my YouTube channel, which I will also leave at the end of the blog post. In summary, Alfred obtained his EB2 NIW approval is less than two months with regular processing, which makes his case a true NIW success story!
I do not know Alfred personally, he followed my videos and contacted me when he received his I-140 approval. If you are in a similar position – you have been approved after watching my videos or using the material on this website, please contact me at oscar (at) eb2niw.info so this community can learn from your experience.
Alfred’s background – a high school teacher on STEM
He started in the United States as a foreign exchange teacher on a J visa, then transitioned to a H-1B visa before applying for his green card under the EB-2 National Interest Waiver category.
Debunking the “Scientist Myth”
In our conversation we talked about the always repeated, but untrue myth that says that you need to be a scientist to qualify for an EB2 NIW green card. Alfred is a science high school teacher and not a scientist working in a lab. Although his job is related to science, he is a teacher and not a traditional scientist.
Bachelor plus ten years experience
For the general EB-2 NIW requirement, Alfred went the Advanced degree route (Note: a petitioner can use the Advanced Degree route or qualify as an individual of exceptional ability). However, he did not have a Master or PhD, and used his Bachelor and experience. The rule says that for using a Bachelor the petitioner must prove a total of at least 5 years of post-degree progressive experience. Alfred used detailed letters from current and previous employers to prove he had his Bachelor degree and 10 years of progressive experience. To show his experience was progressive, he established that his salary had been increasing over the years as he took different positions within his profession, with increased responsibilities and duties.
How Alfred educated himself on EB2 NIW using online videos
Alfred started reading about this green card category and especially used videos (among which my YouTube channel videos!) to educate himself. He wanted to understand the famous three prongs of the Matter of Dhanasar and what was the best strategy to meet those three prongs in his case.
He also used the downloadable I-140 petition from this website to further understand how to put together a successful petition.
Using a lawyer for an EB2 NIW petition
Alfred eventually decided to hire an immigration attorney. He initially started working on his I-140 by himself but he became confused particularly with how to fill out the forms given the many forms he needed to submit (Note: Alfred filed I-140 concurrently with adjustment of status). The lawyer also helped Alfred to strengthen his petition, especially the Prong #1 and how his endeavor is of National Importance.
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Alfred’s strategy for his petition
General EB-2 requirement
As mentioned above, Alfred went the Advanced Degree rule using his Bachelor degree plus ten years of progressive experience, using letters from current and past employers to establish that experience.
Prong One – Substantial Merit and National Importance
Prong Two – Well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor
Alfred used four classes of evidence for the second prong:
- Conference presentations
- Memberships in professional associations
- STEM competitions/Coaching success
It is worth to note that because he is not a scientist, he does not have any publications or citations (another part of the scientist myth worth debunking!).
A creative way to show he is well positioned
He did have six years of experience teaching in the United States and as part of his work he had done many after-school clubs activities mentoring students that go to science competitions. His students participated at different levels, ranging from local to national competitions. Many of Alfred’s students were recipients of awards at those events, so he could us this as evidence that he is well-positioned in his field. This is an creative and very valid way to show USCIS that he fulfils this part of the Matter of Dhanasar!
Alfred’s timeline for EB2 NIW
He prepared his petition during the end of 2022, right before the Visa Bulletin started showing dates no longer current. Since he wanted to file I-140 and Adjustment of Status concurrently, he rushed his application to submit before December.
- Gathering evidence and preparing petition: 60 days
- Submission of package: November 29, 2022
- USCIS processing time for I-140: Under 2 months
Alfred has already been called for biometrics and he is currently waiting for the Travel Document, EAD, and finally his green card to arrive.
Alfred’s advice to other petitioners
At the end of our conversation, Alfred offered a few tips to his fellow EB-2 National Interest Waiver applicants.
- Find someone knowledgeable about EB2 NIW if you need help
- Identify an endeavor that is of national importance
- The person that knows your profile best is yourself! Not even a lawyer will know your case as well as you do.
- Don’t be scared and be willing to take the risk of applying.
- If you decide to hire an attorney, make sure you have the budget because it is really expensive. Ask the potential attorney good questions to make sure they can deliver on what they promise (they should definitely know the Matter of Dhanasar!)