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Attention DREAMERS: USCIS is now accepting first time DACA applications, as well as permitting DACA extensions and employment authorization document extensions for 2 years instead of 1, based on a recent court ruling. To see if you qualify, contact Laurie Woog at 908-233-0076 or

O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa Approval for Geneticist

Monday, March 17th 2014

Recently, the Woog Law Office obtained an approval for an O-1 visa for a young scientist who is highly skilled in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, a quickly developing area of genetics and embryology.

The petitioner is a U.S. laboratory that provides screening of embryos before they are implanted in the uterus to identify genetic defects and identify embryos with the greatest chance of resulting in a healthy baby.  The beneficiary had co-authored several papers and was an integral team member of a world-renowned lab in the U.K. while pursuing his Ph.D.  However, he had no actual employment experience.  In the extraordinary ability category, youth can sometimes be a detriment because USCIS is looking for a solid record of unusual accomplishment in the applicant’s field and international renown.

In order to secure approval for this deserving scientist, whose skills were highly sought after by the petitioner to continue their state of the art research and clinical case work, our office helped the petitioner obtain detailed letters of reference from influential experts and academics regarding the beneficiary’s qualifications.  We concentrated on demonstrating how few PGD specialists there are in the world with his level of facility, and in response to questions from USCIS regarding the level of prestige of his publications, we produced extensive evidence of the impact of his journal articles.  Our office engaged in research to demonstrate the difficulty of the scientific techniques he had mastered and the potential of his work for reducing inequalities in reproductive medicine.  The Woog Law Office was able to obtain documents showing the international stature of prizes he had won for his research performed with other scientists.

The resultant approval underscores the importance of our individualized approach.  Each case of extraordinary ability, whether temporary (O-1) or permanent (EB-1), must be evaluated on its own merits.   It is important to understand the client’s areas of potential weakness as well as strength to maximize the potential for success.

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