CASE: Immigrant Visa / Consular Processing based on Approved I-140 / EB-11 (Alien of extraordinary ability)
LOCATION: Seoul, South Korea
Our client contacted us in September 2014 about the possibility of getting an immigrant visa through EB-11 category. He is a world-renowned Taekwondo coach and is currently working as a coach for a university Taekwondo team in South Korea. Our client was a coach for the Great Britain’s Taekwondo Team in preparation of its Summer Olympic competitions. Also, he wrote one of the first Taekwondo guidance books for the Taekwondo instructors. Moreover, he has multiple patents after he invented an effective exercise band for Taekwondo training. Upon review of his credentials and qualifications, our office determined that he was qualified for the EB-11 category, an alien of extraordinary ability.
According to the INA Section 203(b) states, in pertinent part, that:
- Priority workers – visas shall first be made available… to qualified immigrants who are aliens described in any of the following sub-paragraphs (A) through (C):
- Aliens with extraordinary – an alien is described in this sub-paragraph if-
- The alien has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletes which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation,
- The alien seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability, and
- The alien’s entry into the United States will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.
USCIS has consistently recognized that Congress intended to set a very high standard for individuals seeking immigrant visas as aliens of extraordinary ability. See H.R. 723 101st Cong.2d Sess. 59 (1990); 56 Fed. Reg. 60897, 60898-99 (Nov. 29, 1991). The term “extraordinary ability” refers only to those individuals in that small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor. Id. And 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(2).
The regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)(3) requires that an alien demonstrate his or her sustained acclaim and the recognition of his or her achievements in the field. Such acclaim and achievements must be established either through evidence of a one-time achievement (that is, a major international recognized award) or through meeting at least three of the following ten categories of evidence:
- Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
- Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
- Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;
- Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;
- Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
- Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at an artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
- Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or
- Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.
After the review of our client’s credentials and qualifications, we determined that our client meets 5 of the 10 categories, which is more than 3 required as an alien of extraordinary ability. Our client has made an original contribution to the sport of Taekwondo; has been awarded numerous national and international coaching awards and his student-players have won numerous national and international competitions; has played a critical role for distinguished organizations; has a membership in an organization with distinguished reputation that requires outstanding achievement; and our client’s participation as a panel or judge of the elite Taekwondo athletes.
Our office prepared a 16-page brief for our client’s EB-11 filing. Our client also obtained 6 letters of recommendation from World Taekwondo Federation, Korea Taekwondo Association, a former Olympic champion, Taekwondo head coaches from other national teams, etc. Our office also included his coaching records, awards, media coverage, medals, athletic career records, and other materials to show that he is an alien of extraordinary ability in Taekwondo coaching. His EB-11 I-140 application contained 50 exhibits.
Our office filed his I-140 (EB-11) petition to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center via premium processing service on July 23, 2015. However, on August 12, 2015, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center issued the Request for Evidence (RFE). In the RFE, the USCIS claims that our client only meets 2 of the 10 requisite statutory categories of EB-11. In the response brief, our office demonstrated that our client indeed meets 5 of the 10 categories and provided more recommendation letters from independent experts, copies of his publication records, copies of his patent certificate, copies of coaching awards, and media coverage. Our office filed the response to RFE on October 28, 2015. Eventually, on November 10, 2015, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center approved his I-140 self-petition.
Once his I-140 was approved, our client retained our office again for his and his family members’ immigrant visa processing. Once we were retained, our office filed the immigrant visa packets to the National Visa Center on January 26, 2016, who in turn forwarded the client’s materials to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. An interview notice was set for the client at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. On May 24, 2016, our client, his wife, and their three sons appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea The interview went well, and on the same day, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea approved and issued his and his family members’ immigrant visas.
With the approved Immigrant visas, our client and his family members can come to the United States immediately, and they will get their green cards within two months of entry.