Step by Step Instruction for a Good NIW (National Interest Waiver) Recommendation Letter
A recommendation letter is also called a reference letter, testimonial letter or support letter. Convincing testimonial letters are crucial to a successful NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition. Good reference/recommendation letters not only strengthen the applicant’s qualifications when filing a NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition but can also make up for the lack of significant articles and citations of the petitioner.
Our firm has realized the significant role that reference/recommendation letters play in the success of a NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition and we therefore create reference/recommendation letters for our clients on an individualized basis at no extra charge. We believe that creating a good reference/recommendation letter requires a good understanding of USCIS regulations and immigration law and these cannot be replaced by templates.
However, for those who are considering petition or are in the process of DIY for their NIW petitions or who are currently working with law firms that do not provide the service of creating reference/recommendation letters, we hope these tips can be useful for your petition.
What to Should Avoid in your Reference/Recommendation Letters
1. Substantially Similar NIW (National Interest Waiver) Reference Letters:
Even though it is general practice for NIW (National Interest Waiver) recommendation letters to be created either by the petitioner or a legal representative, USCIS adjudicators expect otherwise. USCIS adjudicators are usually suspicious of reference letters that are noticeably similar and will often discount their merit for the petitioner. Huge problems arise for the NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition if your submitted reference letters are similar in content.
For this reason, always try to make your reference letters seem dissimilar by using various formats, fonts, or other advanced techniques like using different sentence structures, tones, writing styles or approaches of advocacy. Proofreading is also highly recommended in order to avoid issues such as having the same errors throughout all of the reference letters.
2. Average Quality NIW (National Interest Waiver) Reference/Recommendation Letters
The NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition is not to be thought of as a contest in obtaining the most reference letters. Since USCIS adjudicators are limited in the amount of time allotted to each case, an overabundance of mediocre reference letters could lead to RFE or refusal of the NIW (National Interest Waiver) case. For this reason, the focus should be on the power of each letter, not on the volume submitted.
3. Avoid Empty Compliments in the NIW (National Interest Waiver) Reference Letter
All statements concerning the NIW (National Interest Waiver) petitioner in the reference letter must be supported by detailed illustrations or independent documentation. Simply repeating the standards of law on NIW (National Interest Waiver) petitions or giving out meaningless compliments will not help your chance for case approval but will make USCIS officers suspect the value of your NIW (National Interest Waiver) case.
What To Include in your NIW (National Interest Waiver) Reference Letter
What should be included in your NIW (National Interest Waiver) reference/recommendation letter? Keep in mind, the USCIS has not defined the format of a NIW (National Interest Waiver) reference/recommendation letter, so a recommendation letter may be in any form. However, according to the experience of our firm, AAO case decisions, and USCIS documents, these aspects are critical for a good NIW (National Interest Waiver) reference/recommendation letter.
1. A description of the sponsor of your NIW (National Interest Waiver) case, including their accomplishments and credentials to recommend your work:
Several sentences or a paragraph in the NIW (National Interest Waiver) recommendation letter should comprise a summary of the sponsor. In particular, you should list the name, standing held by the sponsor, his/her achievements in the area of expertise, and his/her abilities to analyze your research.
2. A short synopsis describing how the NIW (National Interest Waiver) sponsor became acquainted with you:
The testimonial regarding how the sponsor is acquainted with you provides the adjudicator with an indication about your interactions with the sponsor. If the reference letter comes from an objective sponsor, then it is even more significant since the way the sponsor is familiar with you is more evidence of your national or international acclaim.
The following are some illustrations of this type of statement in your NIW (National Interest Waiver) reference letter:
“I became aware of [the petitioner] through his outstanding influence on pharmaceutical science, which have been printed in a prominent scientific periodical.”
“Because of [the petitioner’s] notable accomplishments during his PhD research, I eagerly invited him to my facility so that he could utilize his wealth of awareness and unique proficiency of protein membrane function and structure to our analyses of ion channel proteins which are involved in nervous system conditions.”
“Even though I am not privileged to be in [the petitioner’s] group of associates or colleagues, I am well acquainted with [the petitioner’s] articles because of our shared fascination with neuronal channel proteins. I have examined his articles and welcomed him to speak on his ground-breaking research work to my associates and colleagues in my facility. I was very amazed by the reports he has completed recently. He has exhibited distinguished expertise and brilliant achievements in his pioneering research.”
“I am not personally acquainted with [the petitioner]. I have analyzed his research article on physics and was amazed with the results. My evaluation was based on his excellent professional contributions in the field of biophysics/biochemistry in the area in which I have been specializing. I am well-acquainted with his research because of our joint interest in membrane proteins engaged in biological energy transducing processes. I have meticulously read all his research articles because of their value to our specialized research field and I have cited some of these works in published articles about our shared topic of interest.”
“Even though I have no individual connection to [the petitioner], I am very aware of his topic of research, findings, and scientific proficiency. I first became familiar with [the petitioner’s] studies during an international symposium while he was still studying as a Ph.D. student at Stanford University.”
“I functioned as an Associate Editor for the periodical Crop Science for eight years. During 2008 I directed the appraisal of an article by [the petitioner]. Because of the exclusive scope of the article, I asked for three rather than the usual two analyses. It was my view that the article contained pioneering, quality research. All three analysts felt the article should be published.”
“I became acquainted with [the petitioner] in 2004 when I visited Professor XXX’s laboratory at the University of Tennessee. During my 7 weeks visit, [the petitioner] and I worked jointly on the research task of defining two-dimensional thermal convection. During this time, I discovered his special comprehension and extensive expertise in physics, especially in the area of fluid turbulence.”
3. Analysis of Research in the NIW (National Interest Waiver) Recommendation Letter
An effective NIW (National Interest Waiver) reference/recommendation letter should review your research. As discussed earlier, an effective reference/recommendation letter must not contain meaningless compliments; support of a NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition is only persuasive when it is accompanied by the documentation of your studies.
Additionally, the documentation in reference/recommendation letters will be utilized in your NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition. Consequently, a positive analysis of your research and achievements will serve to make your NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition more persuasive when it cites the words in recommendation letters. Let’s examine some useful samples of in depth accounts of the NIW (National Interest Waiver) petitioner’s research:
“[The petitioner] has designed a sequence of tests to describe the quality of liquid films’ flow and convection. He was a principal teammate in a joint theoretical and experimental venture on thin film flows that includes professor XXXX of the Israel Research Laboratory and myself. In particular, he has performed exceptional research, in both quantity and quality.”
“[The petitioner] has made revolutionary conclusions in organized drug delivery methods to battle breast cancer termed polymeric nanocarriers. [The petitioner’s] discovery of numerous unique methods has paved the way for new treatments in organized drug delivery systems. Additionally, his research proved that his method is successful in defending disease-free human cells from tumor cells. His research has proven that selected chemical characteristics of his drug delivery method is capable of precisely targeting tumor cells.”
“[The petitioner’s] research concentrates on the distribution of anti-cancer agents using the innovative invention of polymer carriers. After these polymers become hydrated, they are able to circulate in the blood for up to 24 hours. A further significant benefit from this polymer is that the connection can be fabricated to regulate when and where the medication is disbursed by tumor cells. It also permits the consumption of much larger dosage of these anti-cancer medications. [The petitioner] has proven that up to 20 times the amount of polymer-drug conjugate material could be prescribed in a single dosage to a mouse with no indications of harm.”
“[The petitioner] has determined that his drug delivery method has powerful chemotherapeutic action against cutaneous melanoma, leukemia, and breast carcinoma cells. This research is pioneering because it offers a totally innovative method for anti-cancer treatment, and will without a doubt bring about fresh developments in therapeutic and preventive strategies.”
[The petitioner’s] research work strives to challenge the difficulties of neurological disorders. As we know, all neuronal happenings in the brain, e.g., memory, learning, and consciousness, are controlled by the opening and closing of a series of ion channel proteins in the neuronal cell surface that are absorbent to specific ions. When compared to all other ion channels, the BK channel is a distinctive potassium channel that generates an extremely large electrical current. Therefore, the BK channels play a necessary role in the control of neurotransmitter release, neuronal excitability, and neuronal firing in the brain. [The petitioner] has independently specified the biophysical and biochemical properties of the BK channel in the brain and how this channel is dynamically controlled. What we have ascertained from his research endeavor is vitally important for application and development of new medications targeting the BK channels for many neurological and mental diseases.
“[The petitioner] has made several indispensable contributions to our facility’s research at Duke University. Working with Dr. XXXXXX and Dr. YYYYYY, [the petitioner] has developed and enacted experiments defining the complicated dynamics of liquid mixtures exposed to thermal heating. [The petitioner’s] laboratory research was undeniably critical in confirming calculations made by theoretical examples.”
4. Persuasive sponsorship that distinguishes you from colleagues in the same area –the benchmark of NIW (National Interest Waiver) cases
Professional confirmations of your achievements are critical to your NIW (National Interest Waiver) case. Remember that professional recommendations should strengthen the evidence proving that you fulfill the requirements established by law in the NIW (National Interest Waiver) case, i.e., that the criteria are met for national interest waiver since the area of your work has essential value and your achievements are significantly higher than peers from the same area. Documentation that merely verifies your capability or does not distinguish you from peers in the area does not validate your NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition because it has little influence and may lead to denial of the case. The subsequent examples achieve the goal of distinguishing you from your peers in your NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition:
“[The petitioner’s] research formulates an outstanding procedure for protection of the N-Box cluster, a procedure used for the fusion of many biologically active peptides and compounds. The invention of a productive new procedure in organic chemistry is a momentous accomplishment.”
“[The petitioner] is an exceptionally talented and innovative scientist whose pioneering research is of critical significance in U.S. biomedical research studies and advancement of public health in the national scope. His achievements thus far have surpassed the majority of his colleagues as proven by his published articles in leading scientific periodicals and numerous citations of his research by his peers.”
“[The petitioner] has attained a high level of prominence and has made several groundbreaking discoveries through his extensive research.”
“As a researcher early in his career, [the petitioner] has attained remarkable achievements in the study of membrane function and protein composition.”
“[The petitioner’s] research document is the most significant and groundbreaking journal of work in the area of Crop Science and is making noteworthy contributions to the research of characteristics in agricultural prominence.
[The petitioner] made substantial scientific contributions to the area of two-dimensional turbulence where new non-invasive methods were utilized with great potential for future study. Significant results were also achieved by [the petitioner] in the area of polymer-turbulence exchanges where polymer stretching reveals a dramatic influence on quenching turbulence. He also achieved innovative, vital and surprising results concerning the exponential tail for the decomposing two-dimensional turbulence. These results might lead to new discoveries in the area of final stage physics of a vortex liquid.
“[The petitioner] made many significant contributions during his PhD research. He successfully used soap film to pioneer research of two-dimensional thermal turbulence. He submitted a new set of statistics on velocity distribution that disputed long-standing scientific data. He uncovered the cohabitation of Boganio and Kolmogorov scaling laws and presented groundbreaking research on concurrent measurements of mechanical and thermal powers in a turbulent system. . . .”
“His research was important because he invented was very significant because he developed innovative untried pathways for researching two-dimensional turbulence in complicated circumstances, an occurrence of interest in climate development. His research will supply tremendously important instruction for complicated numerical codes aimed at shaping the climate.”
5. Practical Information in the NIW (National Interest Waiver) Recommendation Letter
An effective NIW (National Interest Waiver) reference/recommendation letter give should detailed examples proving the extreme level of distinctive proficiency possessed by the applicant. AAO rulings on NIW (National Interest Waiver) cases have shown that the USCIS will disregard the sponsors claims if no unique examples are provided.
If the NIW (National Interest Waiver) reference/recommendation letter is from a professor or employer of the petitioner, it should define the research for which the non-resident is accountable and the conditions of the position. Although a job offer is not a requirement for priority workers, a reference/recommendation letter from a prospective employer can cite evidence to establish that only a select few people possess the qualifications to fill the position (i.e., only top experts in the field or persons with exceptional ability can successfully complete the obligations necessary for the job) and the applicant is one of the experts required for the position
As discussed earlier, an effective NIW (National Interest Waiver) recommendation letter should not contain meaningless statements but should have convincing evidence to prove any statements. Reference/recommendation letters that fleetingly state the applicant’s actions and briefly describe the applicant as an intelligent person, without the support of strong evidence showing tremendous influence on the area of expertise will be unsuccessful and pointless.
For instance, when verifying a non-resident’s exceptional ability for a NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition, the sponsor should pay attention to the requirements stated in the rules; the sponsor should cite the documentation listed in the rules. Common public statements are not a substitute for evidence of extraordinary ability. Likewise, USCIS decisions have proven that common submissions of evidence from the cited categories in the regulations will not be successful. The documentation must prove that the petitioner is qualified for NIW (National Interest Waiver). Some effective examples containing meaningful evidence for NIW (National Interest Waiver) recommendation letters are shown below:
“[The petitioner] provided statistics from citation databases and printouts of articles and book chapters, verifying 88 citations of his research. Over 92% of the evidence is from sources other than the petitioner or co-authors.”
“[The petitioner’s] work has been lauded and well-received in the areas of membrane bioenergetics and membrane function and structure, as proved by over 120 cited references by other expert in these areas. “
“[The petitioner] made very distinguishing and priceless contributions to an area of expertise that is crucial to human health through developing renewable and sustainable energy sources.”
“Being cited over 100 times by other experts in recent years reinforces my opinion that [the petitioner] is a promising young researcher of extraordinary ability and outstanding achievements.”
“[The petitioner] became part of my research team in June, 2009. He was hand-picked from a group of 12 highly-qualified applicants for his outstanding research and educational experience and proficiencies in traditional statistics, molecular biology and plant breeding.”
“[The petitioner] is a vital researcher in my genetics and corn breeding facility. He is recognized for developing molecular breeding tools for genetic development of stress tolerance, discovering heat tolerance and drought genes, and identifying new tolerance. The completion of this venture would drastically impact crop production in water stressed environments.”
“[The petitioner] performed a crucial role in my research work. During his tenure in my facility, he published ten peer-reviewed articles and has submitted an article for publication from his post-doctoral work. [The petitioner’s] articles have drawn international interest and therefore will probably become cited worldwide within the near future. [The petitioner] discovered quantitative trait loci used in soybean resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN), the foremost pest in soybeans. His findings improved our understanding of the development of SCN-resistant cultivars.”
“While I am not personally acquainted with [the petitioner], I am knowledgeable of his research since his area of expertise is closely related to my research field. The number of researchers is relatively small in the area of thermal convection. For this reason, the research is cited by a very small number of scientists, so cited research numbers are not expected to be high. This does not imply any decrease in importance of the research, and the researcher’s influence on scientific expertise should be measured in another way.”
This detailed instruction on drafting reference letters is meant to give petitioners of NIW (National Interest Waiver) an example of successful NIW recommendation letters. Please contact our firm if you need further assistance with drafting a reference letter. Our experts on NIW (National Interest Waiver) petitions can provide extensive and knowledgeable advice on submitting successful NIW (National Interest Waiver) applications.
NIW (National Interest Waiver) Reference Letters
Convincing recommendation letters are vital to approval for a NIW case. Aria Law Firm understands the important role that reference letters play in successful NIW cases and we therefore create recommendation letters for our petitioners to customize each letter without additional fees. We believe that creating a convincing recommendation letter demands a good grasp of USCIS regulations and immigration law and that these letters cannot be successfully created by generic templates.
Deciding to file a NIW petition is a major step and should be seriously considered. It is not a good idea to foolishly file a NIW petition without being totally prepared. Because of current longer processing times, foolishly filing will significantly delay the approval of your green card. Although you may legally refile under the same category, a rejected case will very likely be denied again unless there is substantial improvement of the evidence supplied.