USCIS to use DOL’s Definition of “Science or Art”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will now use the Department of Labor’s (DOL) definition of “science or art” for Schedule A, Group II occupations.  

USCIS typically requires employers filing EB-2 and EB-3 petitions to obtain a labor certification from DOL prior to filing Form I-140, Immigration Petition for Alien Workers, with USCIS. However, for Schedule A occupations, employers can submit a labor certification directly to USCIS instead of first going through DOL review. DOL has two groups of Schedule A occupations. The first is registered nurses and physical therapists (Group I). The second is beneficiaries with exceptional ability in the arts or sciences (except performing arts) and beneficiaries with exceptional ability in performing arts (Group II).  

USCIS is now changing its definition of “science or art” to align with DOL’s regulatory definition. USCIS is making the change because it considers DOL regulations when it is adjudicating petitions based on Schedule A occupations. DOL and USCIS now both define science or art as “any field of knowledge or skill with respect to which colleges and universities commonly offer specialized courses leading to a degree in the knowledge or skill.”  

USCIS also notes that when adjudicating applications, it will review the quality and quantity of evidence provided.  

The change is effective immediately upon publication in the USCIS Policy Manual.

Envoy is pleased to provide you with this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Joy Ang, Partner, at Corporate Immigration Partners, P.C., a U.S. law firm who provides services through the Envoy Platform (the “U.S. Law Firm”).  

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