EB-1B: Outstanding Professors and Researchers

Key Takeaways from This Page:

1) The EB-1B is generally one of the fastest ways to get an approved I-140.

2) The EB-1B petitioner must meet at least 2 of the 6 listed regulatory requirements.

3) The EB-1B beneficary must have a employer-sponsor; they cannot self-petition.

4) Most EB-1B beneficiaries can generally file their I-485 application for a green card at the same time their employer files their I-140 EB-1B petition.

5) Premium Processing is available which will result in action within 15 calendar days.
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What is the EB-1B Petition?

The EB-1B petition is a petition type that is found within the first preference category for United States employment-based petitions. It is the highest “priority workers” category for employment-based petitions. This petition category is reserved for individuals demonstrating international recognition for their outstanding achievements in an academic field. They must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research and be seeking U.S. permanent residence to pursue a tenure, tenure-track, or comparable research position. In short, this is one of the very highest classification category for aliens petitioning for employment-based immigration and corresponding.

What Are The Requirements For the EB-1B petition? 

There are several very specific requirements that a petitioner must meet in order to be qualified as an outstanding professor or researcher. These qualifications are defined by statue (8 U.S.C. § 1153(b)(1)(B)) implementing regulations (8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)), and USCIS policy and practice (e.g. AFM). The juxtaposition of these different sources of authority can be summarized as follows for the main criteria that must be met to make a prima facia showing of qualification for the EB-1B petition category:

1. Provide evidence that the beneficiary is international recognized as being outstanding in a specific academic field;

2. Provide evidence that the beneficiary has at least three years of relevant research or teaching experience. This can include experience obtained while in pursuit of an advanced degree but only if the individual had full responsibility for the class being taught or the research was recognized as outstanding. 

3. Provide evidence that the beneficiary has a job offer for a permanent research position or a tenured track teaching position from the sponsoring employer. If the job is through a private employer, they must have at least three full-time researchers.

4. Provide evidence that the beneficiary seeks to enter the U.S. to continue to work in the area for which they are claiming extraordinary ability; and

5. Provide evidence that the beneficiary will substantially benefit prospectively the U.S.

How Is Someone Recognized as "Outstanding"

As noted, one must show that they are an outstanding researcher or professor in their field. To demonstrate this, one must present evidence to meet at least two (2) of the following:

1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement.

2. Membership in associations which require outstanding achievements of their members.
3. Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work (more than merely citing the alien's work).

4. Participation as a judge (individually or as a part of a panel) evaluating the work of others in the same field or concentration.

5. Original scientific, scholarly, or artistic contributions in the field.

6. Evidence of authorship of scholarly books/articles in journals with an international circulation.

Why Do People Choose The EB-1B?

Given that the EB-1B petition category is one of the highest preference category for employment-based immigration petitions, what incentives then do individuals have to apply under this preference category? Quite simply, there is one central quality about the EB-1B petition that makes it quite desirable for individuals and that is that the priority dates for this petition category are generally current, meaning that petitioners do not need to wait any amount of time generally before the beneficiary can file their I-485; the petition to adjust their status to permanent resident (green card). In addition, USCIS also provides a service for the EB-1B petition that is called “Premium Processing”. By paying an extra fee to Homeland Security in addition to that which is required for “Regular Processing”, a petitioner can have action on their petition within 15 calendar days.

In short, with what are generally current priority dates and a premium process service that provides a decision within 15 calendar days, the EB-1B petition provides one of the quickest avenue for petitioners and beneficiaries to acquire an approved I-140 and corresponding ability to file their I-485.
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