USCIS Embraces Innovation Adopts DOL's Definition of ‘Science or Art’

USCIS Embraces Innovation: Adopts DOL’s Definition of ‘Science or Art’

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the adoption of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) definition of “science or art” for Schedule A, Group II cases, through policy guidance outlined in the USCIS Policy Manual.

In the context of employment-based 2nd and 3rd preference (EB-2 and EB-3) petitions, employers are typically required to secure a labor certification from DOL before submitting Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, to USCIS. However, certain categories categorized as Schedule A occupations bypass DOL review, as DOL has determined a shortage of qualified U.S. workers. Currently, DOL has classified two groups of occupations under Schedule A: registered nurses and physical therapists (Group I), beneficiaries with exceptional ability in the sciences or arts (except performing arts), and beneficiaries with exceptional ability in performing arts (Group II).

Recognizing the significance of DOL regulations in adjudicating petitions related to Schedule A occupations, USCIS is now incorporating DOL’s regulatory definition of “science or art” into its policy, particularly concerning Group II. According to DOL, “science or art” encompasses “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 emphasizes that, as with all adjudications, it evaluates both the quantity and quality of evidence provided.

Effective immediately upon publication, this guidance, found in Volume 6 of the Policy Manual, does not alter existing policy or operations. Rather, it serves to harmonize USCIS practices with DOL’s definition as part of an update to the USCIS Policy Manual.


Source: USCIS