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EB1 Law Review AAO May 01 2013 Decision – Major or Lesser Awards, et. al

EB1 Law Review by Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram 

Lesser National or Internationally Recognized Prizes or Awards

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May 1st 2013 – Lesser National or Internationally Recognized Prizes or Awards, et .al (p6-7)


Source Case

Determination of Major or Lesser Award – (May 01 2013 p6-7)

8 C.F.R section 204.5(h)(3)(i) – Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.


In this case Counsel for Petitioner argued as to whether the consideration of a lesser national or internationally recognized prize or award should be considered within the context of the award being major, since the word major is used in the higher classification in 8 C.F.R section 204.5(h)(3) – “a major, international recognized award”.

AAO Discussion

Congress’ sole example of a one-time achievement is a Nobel Prize *(i). A lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize than the Nobel Prize would still be a major prize. *(ii) noting that Congress entrusted the decision of defining a major award to the administrative process. Moreover, the plain language of 8 C.F.R section 204.5(h)(3)(i) requires that a qualifying award be nationally or internationally recognized.


For 8 C.F.R section 204.5(h)(3)(i) documentation is required to show that the award is nationally or internationally recognized. As to whether an award is major or not Congress has left the administrative process (immigration officers) to decide. Also, 8 C.F.R section 204.5(h)(3)(i) makes reference to the term “prizes or awards” (plural) thus it may take comprehensive documentation the alien having received several prizes or awards to satisfy this category.

*Cases Cited
(i)  H.R. Rep. No. 101-723, 59 (September 19, 1990)
(ii) Rijal v. USCIS, 772 F. Supp. 2d 1339, 1345 (W.D. Wash. 2011)


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