Skip to main content

Key Points

  • USCIS is now using DOL’s definition of “science or art”
  • The change applies to Schedule A, Group II occupation
  • USCIS made the change to align with DOL’s regulatory definition of “science or art”
  • USCIS will review the quantity and quality of evidence when adjudicating applications
  • The change is effective upon publication in the USCIS Policy Manual


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

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

USCIS is now changing its “science or art” definition to align with DOL’s regulatory definition. USCIS is changing because it considers DOL regulations when adjudicating petitions based on Schedule A occupations. DOL and USCIS 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 adds 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.

Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Frank Fogelbach, Managing Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Close Menu

Corporate Immigration Partners

Chicago Office
+1 312-722-6300

Cincinnati Office
+1 513-381-2011

San Francisco Office
+1 415-771-7500

Europe, Middle East, and Africa
+44 20 34326564

+86 10 84053554