Recent AAO Decision Approves EB-3 Quality Assurance Specialist with Equivalent of a Four Year US Bachelor Degree

The AAO recently approved an EB-3 case that was denied at the Texas Service Center for a petition for immigrant worker seeking to employ a quality assurance manager/researcher and development specialist (professional food technologist) in the skilled-worker or professional EB-3 classification.

The position required a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in food science. The beneficiary had a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and master’s degreee in animal science from the Philippines, as well as a PhD in agriculture and forestry from the University of Melbourne, Australia. The Service Center denied the petition upon the finding that the petitioner failed to submit persuasive evidence to demonstrate that the beneficiary possessed a four-year single-source U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher degree or a foreign equivalent degree in food science qualifying her for the position at issue. The petitioner appealed. Reversed.

Our clients in the mid-west and Columbus, Ohio have inquired about employment based immigration when the required degree does not exactly match the foreign degrees. At The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, we have a staff of attorneys ready to help you prove to the USCIS that your employee’s degree matches the job requirements through academic equivalency and study of AAO and BIA case decisions.

In the above-mentioned AAO case, Matter of X, SRC 07 249 5158, the AAO approved the petition upon finding that the beneficiary’s PhD in agriculture and forestry specializing in dairy technology qualified her for the proffered position in charge of researching and developing dairy- and non-dairy based food products and for which a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in food science was required.

This case teached us that what may seem to be common sense in terms of eductation (the beneficiary had a doctorate degree for an EB-3 food technologist position!!), it may be insufficient at the Service Center level. The Service Centers notoriously adjudicate employment based I-140 cases strictly. This AAO decision gives a petitioner some breathing room when a foreign national’s educational background – while duly impressive – does not exactly match the requirements for the job. The AAO got it right in this case since the overriding factor in employment based immigration is whether the foreign national possesses the necessary skills and education for the job. Clearly in this case, the foreign national had such skill and education. This is just an example of how technical and precise one must be in preparing a PERM case or I-140.

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