律师观点|了解Kazarian诉美国移民局案例,提高EB1A特殊人才移民成功几率

了解Kazarian 诉 美国移民局

案例,提高EB-1A特殊人才移民成功几率

Kazarian v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

(英文引自Golden Gate University Law Review, Kazarian v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services:Clarifying”Extraordinary  Ability” Visa  Qualifications, Jaimie Bombard)


一、律师观点

我们编辑Kazarian案例的目的是什么?

本案在EB-1A绿卡类别中非常重要---Kazarian案例决定了当今的美国移民局官员在所有EB-1A案件中做出决定的程序和基本标准;是我们从事美国移民业务的律师在处理EB-1A申请过程中,“教科书”般的参考;对于客户来讲,也是了解自己的申请资格的强项、弱项的重要指南。


移民申请被拒绝了,还可以打官司吗?

美国移民法属于联邦法,所以如果客户不服USCIS或者AAO对其移民申请作出的决定,可以通过诉讼的方式要求联邦法院审理。美国联邦巡回法院系统分为13个巡回区,其中本案涉及的第九巡回法院辖区包括阿拉斯加、亚利桑那、加利福尼亚、夏威夷、爱达荷、蒙大拿、内华达和华盛顿州等八个州。负责审理EB-1A申请的地区移民局服务中心(TSC和NSC)并不属于第九巡回法院的管辖区,但是但无论这些机构的决定是在哪里作出的,申请人都可以在当地的联邦地区法院对此决议提出起诉,然后有必要再上诉到相关巡回法院。


移民申请被拒绝,除了打官司还有其他途径申诉吗?

像Kazarian这样的多年的诉讼是个特例。大多数申请人会因为时间和费用的考量,没有上诉到这个阶段。移民到美国,申请人可以采取多种途径。如果申请被拒绝,您可以选择重新提交一份申请或提交不同类别的另一份申请。这样可以同时节省时间和金钱。例如,如果您同时满足EB-1A和国家利益豁免NIW的要求,而首先递交的EB-1A(审批时间较快)被拒绝了,那么我们可以另行为您申请(审批时间较长的)NIW,或者在补强新证据后可重新组织材料再次申请EB-1A。


二、摘要

ABSTRACT

2007年,Poghos Kazarian 博士因美国移民局(以下简称“USCIS”)拒绝其申请“杰出能力”移民签证,而向其提起诉讼。在Kazarian诉USCIS之前,第九巡回法院(以下简称“法院”)从未解决过相关纠纷,也未涉及到“杰出能力”签证的法律法规该如何解释的问题。Kazarian案显示,对于符合“杰出能力”的证据应在法律文本上做限制解释。法院总结道,Kazarian博士提出的证据只满足了法律所需的至少三种资格中的两种,因此移民局拒绝其“杰出能力”签证的决定是正确的。

下滑查看英文

In 2007,Dr. Poghos Kazarian appealed the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s denial of his application for an “extraordinary ability” visa. Prior to Kazarian v. US Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Ninth Circuit had never addressed the issue of how the statutory and regulatory requirements for the “extraordinary ability” visa should be interpreted. The Kazarian court determined that the regulations outlining the evidence sufficient to qualify for the “extraordinary ability” classification were extremely restrictive. The court then concluded that, since Dr. Kazarian had presented only two of the three types of evidence required to meet the eligibility criteria, the agency’s determination that his petition was insufficient to support an “extraordinary ability” visa was correct.



三、案情介绍

INTRODUCTION

Poghos Kazarian博士是亚美尼亚人,于1997年在亚美尼亚的埃里温获得埃里温州立大学理论物理博士学位。Kazarian博士的专长是“非爱因斯坦引力理论”。从1997年到2000年,Kazarian博士担任助理研究员。从2000年开始,Kazarian博士在加利福尼亚的Glendale社区大学工作,担任物理和数学导师、讲师,并在“科学系列讲座”中担任演讲嘉宾。

In 1997, Dr. Poghos Kazarian, a native and citizen of Armenia, received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Yerevan State University in Yerevan, Armenia. Dr. Kazarian’s specialty was “non-Einsteinian theories of gravitation.” From 1997 to 2000, Dr. Kazarian worked as a research associate. In 2000, Dr. Kazarian began work at Glendale Community College in California as a physics and math tutor, an instructor, and a speaker in the “Science Lecture Series”.



2003年11月31日,Kazarian 博士根据他在理论物理方面的知识和工作经历,申请了“杰出能力”签证。Kazarian博士提交了几封同事的推荐信来支持他的申请。Kazarian博士还指出,他编写了一本教科书,并在申请书中提供了有关他在科学系列讲座的材料。

On December 31,2003, Dr. Kazarian filed an application for an “extraordinary ability” visa based on his knowledge of, and work in, theoretical physics. Dr. Kazarian submitted several letters of recommendation from colleagues in support of his application. Dr. Kazarian also noted that he had authored a textbook and he included information in his petition regarding his Science and Lecture Series.



USCIS拒绝了Kazarian博士的申请,Kazarian博士随后向行政上诉办公室(以下简称“AAO”)提出上诉。AAO驳回了Kazarian博士的上诉,认为Kazarian博士没能证明其满足法律上的任何要求,以表明他具有获得“杰出能力”签证的资格。

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) denied Dr. Kazarian’s petition,and Dr. Kazarian then appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). But the AAO dismissed the appeal, concluding that Dr. Kazarian had not established that he met any of the regulatory requirements demonstrating that he possessed the requisite “extraordinary ability” necessary to obtain the special visa.



Kazarian博士不服AAO的驳回裁定,随后向美国加利福利亚中区联邦地方法院(以下简称“地方法院”)提出诉讼。地方法院采纳了USCIS提交的所有关于事实调查的材料,在没有开庭听证的情况下,批准了USCIS的简易判决动议。Kazarian博士随后向第九巡回法庭提出上诉。

Dr. Kazarian then filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California challenging the denial. The district court adopted all of the findings of fact submitted by the USCIS and granted the USCIS’s motion for summary judgment without hearing argument. Dr. Kazarian then appealed to the Ninth Circuit.



第九巡回法院面临的争议点是:Kazarian博士是否有资格获得“杰出能力”签证?2009年9月4日,第九巡回法院认可地方法院对申请人的驳回裁定,认为有实质证据支持AAO的所有调查结果,AAO判定Kazarian博士不满足杰出移民签证的法定资格是正确的。

The sole issue before the Ninth Circuit in Kazarian was whether Dr. Kazarian had established his eligibility for an “extraordinary ability” visa. On September 4, 2009, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial, concluding that there was substantial evidence supporting all of the AAO’s findings and that the AAO’s determination that Dr. Kazarian failed to meet any of the statutory qualifications was correct.



Pregerson法官与大多数人对于符合签证资格的要求的法律解释持有不同意见。Pregerson法官反驳了多数人对《联邦法规》第8卷第204.5(v)条的解释,该条允许申请人通过提供出版的书籍或文章来证明其杰出的能力,但大多数人在解释时添加了一项要求,即申请人需证明其出版物在圈内得到了好的反响,但该要求并未出现在法条中。

Judge Pregerson dissented, taking issue with the majority’s interpretation of the visa’s eligibility requirements. Judge Pregerson rejected the majority’s interpretation of 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(v) ,which permits an applicant to demonstrate extraordinary ability by producing evidence of having been published, as containing an additional requirement that the applicant demonstrate that his or her publication received a favorable reaction from the scientific community.



2010年3月4日,第九巡回法院的上诉委员会撤回了2009年9月4日的意见,代之以一份修正意见。修改后的意见书与原意见书所作的结论相同,但是原因不同。

根据修改后的意见,AAO错误的地方在于没有得出Kazarian符合“杰出能力”签证资格中的两项要求。然而,由于“杰出能力”申请人在法律上必须满足至少三项要求,法院的结论是,AAO的决定中尽管过程存在瑕疵,但是地方法院驳回Kazarian博士的诉请的结论是正确的。Pregerson法官同意修正后的意见。

On March 4, 2010, the appellate panel withdrew the September 4,2009, opinion and field a superseding amended opinion. The amended opinion contained different determinations than the original opinion but ultimately reached the same result.

According to the amended Kazarian opinion, the AAO erred by failing to concluded that Kazarian met two of the required “extraordinary ability” visa qualifications. However, because an “extraordinary ability” applicant must meet a minimum of three statutory requirements, the court concluded that the AAO’s error was harmless and that the district court correctly denied Dr. Kazarian’s petition. Judge Pregerson concurred with the amended Kazarian opinion.



四、杰出能力签证的法定标准

“EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY” VISA CRITERIA

EB-1A移民签证的申请可以分成门槛条件和实质审查两个层次。

门槛条件又分成两种,第一种是如获得过重大的国际奖项,如诺贝尔、奥斯卡、奥运会奖牌等,可直接申请 EB-1A;

第二种(绝大多数的申请人是这一种)若没有这种级别的奖项,那么需要符合下列十项标准中的至少三项:

The petition classification of EB-1A is best determined through a two-part analysis: threshold conditions and substantive review.

The first way to meet the first criterion is by submitting "evidence of a one- time achievement (that is, a major, international recognized award) ,such as the Nobel Prize , The Oscar , Olympic MEDALS,etc. It can directly apply for EB-1A.

The second way to meet the first criterion (the majority of applicants are in this category) , if you do not have an award at above level, is to present the minimum three of the ten possibilities enumerated below:



(1)在专业领域内获得过国家级别或国际性的奖项(但是没有诺贝尔、奥斯卡那么高级别);

(2)是该领域内只有国家或国际级别的专家才能加入的专业协会的会员;

(3)在重要的专业刊物或重要的媒体上有申请人及其相关工作的论文或报道;

(4)在其专业领域內曾担任他人论文或作品的评委;

(5)在其专业领域內作出过原创性的重要贡献,可以是学术研究或艺术;

(6)在其专业领域內的期刊或重要媒体上发表过专业作品;

(7)其作品曾经在重大的展会上展出;

(8)在著名的工作机构担任主要领导或其他重要职务;

(9)申请人的薪资远远高于其专业领域内的同行;

(10)在表演艺术上获得较大的商业成功。

下滑查看英文

i. Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor(but not as high as a Nobel or an Oscar);


ii. Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;


iii. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;


iv. Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;


v. Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;


vi. Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;


vii. Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;


viii. Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;


ix. Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or


x. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.



第二个层次是实质审查,上述条件具备后,向移民局递交申请书,移民局对是否符合标准、其数量是否在三个以上、提供的证据的可信性等进行审查,做出批准或不批准的决定,其标准是“整体评估认定申请人在其行业内属于很少比例的人才能达到的高水平”(这也是律师要证明的核心问题)。

The second level is the substantive examination. When the above conditions are met, the application will be submitted to the immigration office. The immigration office will examine whether the standards are met, whether the number of standards is more than three, and the credibility of the evidence provided, and make a decision of approval or disapproval, the standard is "a high level that can only be reached by a small proportion of the beneficiaries in their industry through overall evaluation" (this is also the core issue for lawyers to prove).



五、第九巡回法院的分析

NINTH CIRCUIT ANALYSIS 

(1)KAZARIAN博士关于“杰出能力”的证据

   (1)DR.KAZARIAN’S EVIDENCE OF “EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY”

在Kazarian博士的案件中,十项“杰出能力”标准中,四项与本案有关:1)专业领域著作;2)担任评委或裁判;3)在专业领域有重大意义的原创性的科学或学术贡献;4)其作品曾经在重大的展会上展出。法院对每一项进行了审理,认为AAO在拒绝Kazarian博士的申请中,错误地认为Kazarian博士不符合任何一项标准,但是Kazarian博士符合其中两项标准。  

Only four of the ten “extraordinary ability” criteria were at issue in Dr.Kazarian’s appeal : 1) authorship of scholarly articles in the field of endeavor, 2) participation as a judge of the work of others, 3) evidence of original scientific or scholarly contributions of major significance in the field of endeavor, and 4)display of the alien’s work at artistic exhibitions or showcases. The court addressed each, finding that the AAO had incorrectly rejected Dr. Kazarian’s qualifying evidence on two of the criteria.



1. 专业领域著作

1.Authorship of Scholarly Articles in the Field of Endeavor

AAO根据Kazarian博士提交的证据,其证明了他的七篇文章已经发表,但没有证明其他学者引用了其文章,因此AAO认为,因为没有证据证明文章被引用,Kazarian博士不符合法律规定的在专业领域有著作的标准。

第九巡回法院不同意上述观点,认为AAO的结论是基于对法律的“不当理解”。法庭认为,尽管他人引用文章可能与考量申请人的文章是否处于领先水平有关,但是法条中没有任何规定专门要求申请人用文章的反响来证明其专业领域的成就。由于USCIS和AAO对Kazarian博士提出了额外要求,法院认为这是滥用自由裁量权。

According to tha AAO, Dr.Kazarian submitted proof that seven of his articles had been published but had not demonstrated that other scholars had cited to his publications.The AAO concluded that, without evidence of such citations, Dr.Kazarian’s articles did not meet the authorship criterion.

But the Ninth Circuit disagreed, holding that the AAO’s finding rested on an “improper understanding” of the regulatory criterion. The court held that, while other authors’ citations might be relevant to determining whether an applicant is at the very top of his or her field, nothing in the regulations specifically requires an applicant to demonstrate the reaction to his or her published articles before those articles could be considered. Since the USCIS and the AAO had thus imposed an extra requirement on Dr. Kazarian, the court concluded that this was abuse of discretion.



2.担任评委或裁判

2.Participation as a Judge of the Work of Others

Kazarian博士还提交了证据证明他是埃里温州立大学研究生文凭审核工作的评委。但在AAO看来,在自己的大学里为学生们审核文凭的工作并没能证明Kazarian博士在国内外获得高度评价,没有证据表明Kazarian博士曾担任一所与其没有关联性的大学的外部论文评委,因此AAO得出结论,Kazarian博士提交的证据不足以证明其参与评委工作。第九巡回法院不同意AAO的观点,认为AAO得出的结论是基于对法律的“不当理解”。

Dr.Kazarian also submitted proof that he was a judge of graduate-level diploma works at Yerevan State University. But in the AAO’s opinion, reviewing diploma works for fellow students at one’s own university failed to established sustained national or international acclaim. Without evidence that Dr.Kazarian had served as an external dissertation reviewer for a university with which he was not otherwise affiliated, the AAO concluded that Dr.Kazarian’s submission was insufficient to satisfy this criterion. But again the Ninth Circuit disagreed,concluding that the AAO’s finding rested on an “improper understanding” of the regulatory criterion.



3.证明在专业领域有重大意义的原创成果或学术贡献

3. Evidence of Original Scientific or Scholarly Contributions of Major Significance in the Field of Endeavor

Kazarian 博士提交了几封物理学教授的推荐信来证明他在该领域的贡献,但AAO认为其贡献并不重大,因此不符合法定要求。第九巡回法院同意此观点,认为AAO对Kazarian博士关于科学贡献的评判符合法律规定,既不武断、随意,也没有滥用自由裁量权。

In support of his position, Dr.Kazarian also submitted several letters from physics professors attesting to his contributions in the field. But the AAO found that his contributions were not major and thus did not meet the statutory requirements. The Ninth Circuit agreed,holding that the AAO’s analysis of Dr.Kazarian scientific contributions was consistent with the relevant regulatory language and was neither arbitrary, capricious, nor an abuse of discretion.



4.在展会上展示作品

4. Display of the Alien’s Work at Artistic Exhibitions or Showcases

最后,Dr.Kazarian 提交证据证明他自费出版了一本教科书、在社区大学演讲、在会议上发言,以支持其(移民)申请。但AAO认定,这些活动都不构成作品展览或展示。第九巡回法庭同意此观点,认为AAO的分析与法律观点一致,AAO认定Kazarian未提交适当证据,既不武断、随意,也没有滥用自由裁量权。

Finally, Dr.Kazarian submitted proof that he had self-published a textbook, given lectures at a community college, and made presentations at conferences in support of his petition. But the AAO determined that none of these activities constituted displays at artistic exhibitions or showcases. Again, the Ninth Circuit agreed, concluding that the AAO’s analysis was consistent with the relevant regulatory language and that the AAO’s determination that Kazarian did not submit proper evidence was neither arbitrary, capricious,nor an abuse of discretion.



(2)观点的瑕疵

   (2)HARMLESS ERROR

第九巡回法院认为,AAO本应该得出的结论是,Kazarian博士提交的四项证据中,有两项证据是符合法律规定要求的。因此,第九巡回法院认为,AAO驳回了Kazarian博士关于申请移民所有的证据,犯了明显的法律错误。

然而,决定是否向申请人发放“杰出签证”的标准是,其必须符合法律要求的十项中的三项,AAO的结论是Kazarian 博士未能证明其符合该要求。尽管第九巡回法院认为AAO不恰当地忽略了Kazarian博士提交的四项证据中有两项是符合法律要求的,但法院认为AAO关于Kazarian博士未能达到获得“杰出签证”的法定要求的结论是正确的。因此,第九巡回法院认为AAO的论证过程存在瑕疵,但是结论是正确的。

The Ninth Circuit determined that the AAO should have concluded that two of the four types of evidence submitted by Dr.Kazarian in support of his petition were satisfactory. As a result, the court held that the AAO had committed clear legal error by rejecting all of the evidence Dr.Kazarian presented with his visa application.

However, the procedure for determining whether to grant the “extraordinary visa” to an applicant is to determine whether three of the ten regulatory criteria have been met. The AAO concluded that Dr.Kazarian failed to establish that he met at least three of the ten regulatory criteria. Although the Ninth Circuit determined the AAO had improperly discounted two of the four types of evidence Dr.Kazarian submitted, the court found the AAO had properly concluded that Dr.Kazarian failed to meet statutory requirements for obtaining the “extraordinary visa”since he had not presented the requisite three types of satisfactory evidence. Therefore, the Ninth Circuit found the AAO’s error to be harmless.



(3)衍生观点

(3)CONCURRENCE

Pregerson法官同意法院修正后的观点,但另外撰文强调“移民法和移民制度对本案造成了不公正”。Pregerson法官认为,Kazarian博士在理论物理领域的贡献对美国是有价值的,Kazarian博士离开这个国家是“毫无疑问的浪费”,并且暗示着“(移民)体制的紊乱”。尽管Pregerson法官同意多数人的意见,认为Kazarian 博士没能提交“杰出能力”签证所需的三项要求,但他认为Kazarian 博士本应是一个优秀的“杰出能力”签证候选人。然而,Kazarian博士的律师没有为他申请这样的签证提供完善的法律建议。

Judge Pregerson concurred with the amended opinion but wrote separately to emphasize what he deemed an “injustice perpetuated by the immigration laws and system in this case.” In Judge Pregerson’s opinion, Dr.Kazarian’s contributions to the field of theoretical physics in the United States had been valuable. Consequently, Judge Pregerson stated that forcing Dr.Kazarian to depart from the country was “undoubtedly wasteful” and indicative of “something haywire in the system.” While Judge Pregerson agreed with the majority that Dr.Kazarian failed to submit the three types of evidence required for the “extraordinary ability”visa,he concluded that Dr.Kazarian would have been an excellent candidate for an “exceptional ability”visa. However, Dr.Kazarian’s attorney failed to counsel him to apply for such a visa.



六、判决的影响

IMPLICATIONS OF THE DECISION

Kazarian案件树立了一个非常清晰的标准,无论是USCIS还是AAO,都无权单方面要求申请者提供法律中没有规定的证据。在推翻AAO对“杰出能力”签证要求的解释时,第九巡回法院坚定地提醒 USCIS 和 AAO,他们在履行职责时必须谨慎适用法律和法规的要求。“杰出能力”签证的要求是严格的,AAO不能对申请人武断的强加额外的要求。第九巡回法院迫使USCIS和AAO完全按照法律规定做出决策,从而确保将来“杰出能力”的签证申请人的负担不会高于移民法的要求。

通过这样的方式,法院确保未来的“杰出能力”签证申请人在进入美国时不会遭遇武断的障碍,也不会被要求承担超出移民法律法规规定的举证责任。

Kazarian stands as a clear reminder that neither the USCIS nor the AAO has the authority to unilaterally impose additional evidentiary requirements not found within the regulations. In overturning the AAO’s interpretation of the requirements for the “extraordinary ability”visa, the Ninth Circuit firmly reminded both the USCIS and the AAO that they must carefully apply the statutory and regulatory requirements when performing their duties. Although the “extraordinary ability”visa requirements are restrictive, the AAO cannot impose arbitrary requirements on applicants. By forcing the USCIS and the AAO to make their determinations based on the regulations exactly as written, the Ninth Circuit has assured that the burden placed on future “extraordinary ability” visa applicants will not be higher than what the immigration regulations require.

In doing so , the court ensured that future “extraordinary ability”visa applicants will not encounter arbitrary hurdles or be required to meet evidentiary burdens beyond those set forth in the language of the relevant statutes and immigration regulations when they seek entry into the United States.


服务团队成员

彭杨姗

德和衡简家骢永本金月(前海)联营事务所   律师

擅长领域:民商事诉讼、涉外法律服务等

Andrew Ceraulo

Origin Law, LLP 律师事务所  合伙人 

深耕美国移民法 30 余年,业内公认的移民法权威,客户包括全球性金融机构和奥斯卡奖获得者。


David Zong

德和衡简家骢永本金月(前海)联营律师事务所   美国移民法顾问

擅长领域:

跨境电商服务、中美跨境法律业务、美国监管合规

Peter Zhang

Origin Law, LLP 律师事务所  合伙人

擅长领域:移民法、公司法

质控人

唐志峰

德和衡简家骢永本金月(前海)联营所  主任

德衡律师集团高级合伙人  

擅长领域:跨境民商事争议解决、证券资本市场业务、跨境投融资、国际公证等。

如需了解更多信息,请联系

彭杨姗   律师

联系电话:13****9

ym13****9

邮箱:

13****9@163.com

pengyangshan@deheng.com

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