Murthy Success Story: Approval of I-140 Based on Similar Field of Education

The Murthy Law Firm vigorously represents foreign nationals in immigration matters, including permanent resident (commonly referred to as “green card”) cases. Issues of foreign degrees and their equivalency to U.S. degrees can be complex. For the benefit of MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers, we report this successful pursuit of an I-140 employer petition appeal regarding the subject matter of the individual’s field of study. As always, no client details are ever revealed without prior written consent of the client. We thank the individual in this case for allowing us to share this story.

Background: I-140 Denial Due to Field of Study

The Murthy Law Firm did not file the labor certification (LC) or I-140 petition in this case. Typically, demonstrating that the sponsored employee’s education is equivalent to the U.S. degree involves issues of accreditation, years of study and other factors. The issue in this case, however, revolved around whether the employee had the degree in the required field. The LC required a bachelor’s degree in Food Science. The sponsored employee had earned bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees. None of these degrees was issued under the title of Food Science.

Conflicting Evaluations Create More Problems

Prior to our firm’s involvement in the case, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had denied the I-140 petition in this matter, finding that the beneficiary lacked the required foreign equivalent degree. A motion to reopen (MTR) also proved unsuccessful. At the I-140 stage it is necessary to demonstrate that the foreign national has the education and/or experience required in the underlying LC.

In part, the problems in the case stemmed from conflicting educational evaluations submitted regarding the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In general, the USCIS will disregard favorable credentials evaluations when conflicting evaluations are submitted. Thus, the prior efforts to make arguments about the way in which the bachelor’s and master’s degrees should be viewed had, essentially, eliminated those degrees from consideration in this case.

Murthy Law Firm Examines PhD Not “Tainted”

Following the denial of the MTR, submitted by another law firm, the petitioning employer and foreign national beneficiary contacted the Murthy Law Firm for help. As stated, the LC required a minimum education of a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science. The previous arguments submitted in this case involved only the foreign national’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees. These, unfortunately, had been “tainted” for purposes of arguing their equivalency in this case, due to the previous conflicting educational evaluations. Our legal team noticed, however, that no efforts had been made to argue qualification based upon the beneficiary’s PhD. The PhD was in the field of Dairy Technology – it did not carry the title of Food Science.

Murthy Law Firm Examines Relationship of Diary Tech to Food Science

The Murthy Law Firm filed an appeal to the USCIS, Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), arguing that the I-140 should be approved, based on the PhD in Dairy Technology. We successfully presented a case demonstrating that the employer intended to include the type of degree held by the beneficiary when the employer selected Food Science as the required field of study. We also demonstrated the nature of the degree the employee had earned with the completion of a PhD in Dairy Technology at the particular university. It was argued that the beneficiary met or exceeded the minimum qualifications required under the LC.

Murthy Successfully Responds to RFE on Field of Food Science

After careful consideration of our case, the AAO extended the petitioner the courtesy of a request for evidence (RFE) regarding issues that remained unresolved in the AAO’s opinion. They granted 12 weeks to address their questions. The core of the AAO’s concern was the fact that the degree certificate issued by the university stated Dairy Technology as the field of study, but the LC (then filed on form ETA 750 Part A) used the phrase Food Science to describe the required major field of study.

The Murthy Law Firm responded with evidence regarding the PhD program, the departmental structure of the university, statements from the PhD program faculty and other materials to explain that Dairy Technology is Food Science. The Murthy Law Firm was able to win this appeal on behalf of our client because the evidence showed that Food Science is a broad academic field that includes multiple specializations, including Dairy Technology.

AAO Approves Case so Client Can Become Permanent Resident

After reviewing all of the supporting documentation and arguments, including the RFE response, the AAO agreed with our position. The AAO conducted a review of our appeal and the proof that the PhD in Dairy Technology is equivalent to a PhD in Food Science. In the end, the decision issued by the AAO provided a careful review and analysis of the critical evidence with the applicable law and guidance. We at the Murthy Law Firm are pleased with this result. Another valued client has become a permanent resident.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.