Invariably when working with scientists it becomes apparent that USCIS’s definition of your “most important” work and our client’s definition of their “most important” work are very different. This leads to issues over what findings should be discussed in the memo and highlighted for the USCIS officer to review. Scientists, for good reason, feel that the findings with the most scientific merit should be discussed most prominently. However, this is often not the correct direction to go if you want USCIS to approve the application.
First, it must be remembered that the US officer reviewing the application is not a scientist. They do not understand, nor will they be able to understand, what is “important” in a scientific way. They can only determine importance through the other evidence presented in the application. So, in short, it can accurately be said that USCIS is NOT concerned with the scientific merit of a finding, but rather, is concerned with the “objective evidence” for a finding that shows it has scientific merit. While this may sound similar, it is very different. Findings that have just been published, for example, will have very little, if any, objective evidence to back them up. Other findings may be very important to the field, but, for some reason or another, very little objective evidence of this importance exists. In both these cases, discussing other findings with more objective evidence, even if they are not as “important” based upon their scientific merit, would be the better way to present the case for the best chance of approval.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.