Nastia was clearly a person of extraordinary ability in her field but she was in the very beginning of her professional path. Therefore, EB-1 extraordinary ability green card category, which requires “sustained acclaim” over a period of time would not suit her. Since Nastia held an advanced degree in her field of endeavor, she looked like a perfect candidate for a EB-2 National Interest Waiver immigrant category, which requires showing that her professional endeavor has substantial merit, national importance and that she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor in the U.S. market. The standard for EB-2 National Interest Waiver category was articulated in a precedent decision by AAO (Administrative Appeals Office) in the Matter of Dhanasar just a year before, so we didn’t have much information on how the USCIS was adjudicating those types of petitions. But the time was running out and we had no other options.
We prepared a package of documents, containing I-140 petition and an application for adjustment of status so that Nastia could continue living in the U.S. while her petition was being adjudicated.