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Dr. No vs. the League of Extraordinary Aliens, or Why are Ph.D. STEM O-1s Under Attack?

May 19, 2014 (1 min read)

"A string of recent O-1 RFEs [Requests for Evidence], and NOIDs [Notices of Intent to Deny] from the USCIS California Service Center reveal a new disturbing trend.  The best and brightest, including the very STEM PhDs to whom the Senate and much of the House would essentially just give green cards, now find themselves in the crosshairs of the USCIS such that they are being prevented from even coming to work, or continuing to work, temporarily.  We just recently received a Notice of Intent Deny, for example, for the fifth O-1 extension for the CEO and founder of a very successful U.S. technology company.

Unfortunately, the example above is not a one-off training issue, despite what the USCIS brass might say when they read this piece ( I will be sending it to them).  We have confirmed with other colleagues that O-1 petitions filed for top notch STEM PhDs, supported by voluminous awards, recommendations, patents, and publications are being stopped in their tracks, and told that such evidence does not show that they meet any of the O-1 criteria.  Do these government officials know that these are the guys whom just about everybody in Congress agrees we should actually be encouraging to come here?  Shouldn’t this general understanding of our policy inform officers’ discretion in these matters?   Where is the disconnect between us, our duly elected officials, and the officers adjudicating these cases?" - Anonymous, on Angelo A. Paparelli's blog, May 18, 2014.