• Applicant: Researcher in Gerentology

  • Nationality: Taiwanese (Republic of China)

  • Degree: Ph.D in Comparative and International Education

  • Awards: 3

  • Memberships: 14

  • Scholarly Works: 27 scholarly articles

  • Articles: 10

  • Sat on the Editorial Board of Many Journals

  • Challenges:

    • Have not graduated Ph.D program

    • County Government worker

    • Average Salary

    • Overall weak EB-1A case

    • Few letter of recommendation to demonstrate contribution

    • Lack of clear focus on what the applicant was going to do in the U.S.

When she came knocking on our door, Dr. Chung was at the edge of a cliff. She faced daunting professional obstacles and a potentially life-altering ticking clock.

The first flaming hoop; Dr. Chung’s daughter was approaching the green card-disqualifying age threshold (21 years old), so Dr. Chung could not continue to wait for her EB-5 Investment application to go through, so she needed a second option. Consequently, Dr. Chung’s only viable option to keep her family together was to reach for the EB-1A Extraordinary ability visa to obtain the I-140 permanent residency approval within a few months. This is the only way she would be able to immigrate to the U.S. with her children. She didn’t plan for this as she was already waiting for the EB-5 investment but the backlog caused a significant delay and now she needed a plan B. Despite the advice she received from numerous lawyers – in China and in the US – that there was no way she could get approval in two months time, Dr. Chung had no choice but to try to prevent her family from being broken apart.

Nearly overwhelmed by this maddening circumstance, Dr. Chung reached out to her trusted friend, Mr. Rosella*, the General Manager at a San Francisco-based Fortune 100 company. Mr. Rosella steered Dr. Chung to Tsang & Associates praying we would be up for the challenge. Both Mr. Rosella and Dr. Chung flew from China to Los Angeles and explained her dire situation to us. We appraised the difficult mountain she had to climb and felt we possessed the necessary expertise to thread this needle. With the window rapidly closing, we agreed to take on Dr. Chung’s case and this gave her a glimmer of hope.

For two straight weeks, Dr. Chung and Mr. Rosella travelled back and forth between China, San Francisco, and our offices and gathered what they could for the EB-1A application. For days they stayed in our office and worked tirelessly with our team to prepare the 1000-page application we filed to prove her extraordinary ability in the field of gerontology. But this was not the only complication.

The second flaming hoop; while Dr. Chung is highly respected among her peer and is the recipient of two Fulbright scholarships, when we were preparing this application, she was still in the middle of finishing her Ph.D thesis. And while getting the Ph.D. from a top tier U.S. university was admirable, it could be viewed as a strike against her. How could she possibly be the best of the best if she hasn’t even graduated yet? To make matters worse, she had virtually no letters of recommendation to bolster her cause (these are critical), her peer-reviewed published work spanned a variety of disciplines thus diluting any singular focus that would cement her reputation as one of the top progressive education researches in the world, and her numerous awards had indistinct criteria. Plus, her government functionary salary was by no means commensurate with an academic all-star. To top it all off, we were all very unclear about what she intended to do in the U.S. with her government background in Asia. What possible contribution could she bring to the U.S. senior population when she herself needed help in speaking English? Like we said, a nightmare case.

Not to be deterred by these hurdles, we decided to get creative (because that is where we excel). As the sands in the hourglass trickled downward, we assigned three of our top lawyers—in Los Angeles and in China—and we were able to find the single common thread that summarized her life achievement. 

She was the pioneer of e-learning for senior citizens. Her contributions in her many years as a government official helped senior citizens learn better. Her concentration was on education. Her plan to come to the U.S. was to partner with other top companies in Silicon Valley to create better e-learning materials for the aging population. She is an entrepreneur, government official, scholar, and she is the best equipped in the senior aging industry to tackle the problem of senior education.

The first task was to translate documents from Mandarin to English, to request letters of recommendations from specific Chinese peers, and to develop a viable business plan that clearly pointed out how Dr. Chung’s work connected to and addressed the broken education pattern present in U.S. seniors, further supporting the impact her work will have in the United States.

Tension mounted, nerves frayed, and more coffee was consumed, as our legal team compiled over 1,000 pages of relevant and directed documentation for Dr. Chung’s petition.


Within a week the EB-1A case was approved. The client said it was a dream come true. The entire family was able to secure the green card and immigrate to the United States and get stationed in San Francisco.