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EB-1B Visa

EB-1B Visa Classification

Outstanding Professors and Researchers

Immigrant petitions for outstanding professors and researchers are the 2nd of three categories under the employment-based 1st preference classification (EB-1), referred to as priority workers. Our attorneys represent academic institutions, organizations, and foreign nationals in the preparation and filing of complex and sophisticated immigrant visa petitions requesting EB-1B classification.

The green card process for outstanding professors and researchers requires two steps:

  • First, the employer files an immigrant visa petition to sponsor the foreign worker for LPR status in the EB-1B classification.
  • Second, the foreign worker must file an application to acquire LPR status, either by filing an Adjustment of Status (AOS) application directly with the USCIS (if the foreign national is in the U.S.) or by applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy (if the foreign national is abroad).

From an efficiency in practice standpoint, the advantage of the EB-1B classification is that a time-intensive PERM labor certification is not required.

General Requirements for the EB-1B Classification

The EB-1B visa type is available to foreign workers who desire to immigrate to the U.S. to pursue a tenure or tenure-track teaching or comparable permanent research position at:

  • A university,
  • Another institute of higher education, or
  • A private employer with a research department that t employs at least three people as researchers and has demonstrable research accomplishments in the foreign worker’s academic field. The regulation defines an academic field as a “…body of specialized knowledge offered for study at an accredited…university or institution of higher education…”.

To qualify for EB-1B classification, the foreign national must have at least 3 years’ experience in teaching or research in the field. Experience in teaching or research while working on advanced degree is only acceptable if the individual has acquired the degree, and if teaching duties were such, that he or she had full responsibility for the class taught, or if the research conducted towards the degree has been recognized in the academic field as outstanding. Evidence of the foreign national’s experience must be in the form of letters from current or former employers and must include the name, address, position title of the writer, and a specific description of the duties performed by the applicant. Our attorneys are skilled in drafting the
appropriate support letters to satisfy this requirement.

The foreign national must also provide documentation evidencing that that he or she is recognized internationally as outstanding in their academic field. To prove eligibility, the outstanding professor or researcher must provide documentation satisfying at least 2 of the following 6 criteria in their field (or comparable evidence if any of the criteria do not readily apply):

  1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievements in the field,
  2. Membership in associations in the field requiring outstanding achievement of their members,
  3. Published materials about the foreign worker, discussing their work in professional or major trade publications, newspapers, or other major media, which may include evidence of citation’s to the foreign worker’s published work,
  4. Invitations to judge the work of others in the field, such as an invitation to chair or lead a seminar or class, sit on a program committee, peer review articles submitted for publication, or the equivalent,
  5. Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field, which may include an invitation for the foreign worker to present their work at conferences, symposia, or seminars,
  6. Authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation in the field.

Like with the EB-1A, the USCIS adjudicator will evaluate the immigrant petition requesting EB-1B classification under the standard set forth in Kazarian v. US Citizenship & Immigration Services 596 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2010). Under Kazarian, the USCIS officer will first determine whether submitted evidence satisfies any of the regulatory criteria. If the total evidence satisfies at least two of the regulatory criteria, the adjudicator will evaluate the documentation in a final merits’ determination. In this step, the USCIS officer will determine whether the evidence submitted in each criterion is sufficient to approve the petition, in that it shows that the foreign worker is recognized internationally as outstanding in their academic field. The matter will be adjudicated under the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof – the evidence we submit must show that the claims are “more likely than not” or “probably true.”

Our Process for Filing EB-1B Outstanding Professor and Researcher Immigrant Petitions

Our step-by-step process for filing this case type is as follows:

  1. Send us your most up-to-date resume to review.
  2. Schedule a consultation.
  3. Based on our conversation, we will define, refine, and tailor your academic field of endeavor.
  4. We will advise on which regulatory criteria to pursue.
  5. We will send you an extensive Q&A and request for documentation.
  6. We will conduct research to gather objective documentation to strengthen your EB-1B case.
  7. We will advise about possible referees who are well positioned to sign the letters supporting your case.
  8. Our attorneys will draft several reference letters on your behalf. We will work with you to revise the support letters until they are perfect.
  9. Compile all documentary evidence, including external research, recognitions, correspondences, media articles, and support letters.
  10. Our attorneys will prepare an EB-1B Final Brief, which holistically presents you as an outstanding professor or researcher in your field.
  11. File the EB-1B Petition with USCIS.
  12. Await case adjudication
  13. Prepare and file an application to Adjust Status to lawful permanent resident or prepare and file an application to consular process at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.
  14. One-on-one meeting to prepare you for the Final Interview before the Green Card is granted.

If you have any further questions or concerns about how our attorneys can assist you in getting your Green Card through the EB-1A visa classification, please contact us at: info@eoimmigration.com or call our number (305) 391-2105

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