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EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers Visa

The EB-1 is the first-preference visa category of employment-based immigration. It has three visa categories under it, namely; EB-1A Extraordinary Ability, EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers, and EB-1C Multinational Manager or Executive.

Not many countries value technology and education as much as the United States. That is why the U.S. welcomes researchers and professors, internationally seen as the best.

The EB-1B visa was designed to attract individuals with exceptional achievement and recognition, either as professors or researchers.

The visa cuts across every field without restrictions, including arts, business, education, sciences, etc. However, to qualify for the EB-1B, applicants must meet some requirements:

  • Outstanding achievement in an academic field with international recognition.
  • At least three years of research or teaching experience in the same academic field.
  • A U.S. employer has to offer the individual a permanent job. The employer is often a university or research institute.
  • The applicant has to provide evidence of their outstanding achievements. Evidence could include awards, letters of recommendation, publications, etc.

Qualifications for an EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers Visa

As expected, every U.S. visa has required qualifications and documentation. To be approved, you must show you are internationally recognized as an expert and that your achievements have been praised. For EB-1B, the applicant must meet specific qualifications that prove their exceptional abilities as professors or researchers in their respective fields.

For the EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers Visa to be approved, the applicant must:

  • Hold an advanced degree, typically a Ph.D. or its equivalent in their field.
  • Have at least three years of experience teaching or researching the subject you are an expert in.
  • Have a job offer at a university that is tenured or on track for tenure. For researchers, they must have a job offer that is equal to tenure.
  • Be able to show that others around the world see you as an expert in the subject. This could be in the form of citations, invitations to international events, collaborations with other researchers or professors, etc.
  • Have awards, publications, recognitions, and the like as proof of continuous outstanding academic or research achievements.
  • Have letters of recommendation from other experts in the same field. It will signify the impact of the applicant’s previous works.

While we have attempted to list crucial qualifying factors for the outstanding professors and researchers visa, EB-1B applicants still need to seek the help of immigration professionals for one-on-one consultation.

Documentation and Evidence of the EB-1B Visa

Meeting the requirements is not enough, it is vital to pay utmost attention while submitting documents for the visa petition and application. The documents submitted to the USCIS must substantially prove that the applicant is qualified.

  1. Letters of recommendation from fellow experts in the same field.
  2. A detailed record of publications by the applicant. Like a list of articles, books, research papers, and other works that prove the applicant is a scholar.
  3. Document showing prizes or awards the applicant has won for outstanding achievement for their contribution to the field.
  4. Membership in associations that only accept people who have outstanding achievements.
  5. Citation metrics could also be included to prove the impact of the individual’s research.
  6. Presentations, speeches, and the like, showing details of participation in reputable academic events, conferences, seminars, etc.
  7. Participation on a panel to judge the work of others.
  8. The employment history of the applicant, highlighting the positions, roles, responsibilities, and impact on the job.

Some documents expected to be submitted are particular to the field and the job. In some cases, documentation of any patents obtained, innovations, research contributions, amidst other supporting documents.  A quick WhatsApp chat with our immigration experts can help shed more light on the right documents to show as evidence of qualification for the EB-1B outstanding professors and researchers visa.

Applying for the Outstanding Professors and Researchers Visa

The EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers Visa requires sponsorship from a U.S. employer. Some other visas that also need employer sponsorship include H-1B, L-1, O-1, E-2, EB-2, and EB-3, among others. In most cases, the U.S. employer has a vital role to play in the application process for the EB-1B visa.

The applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can usually apply for a dependent visa as well. If after getting the EB-1B visa, the applicant decides to process a green card (permanent residency) then they are on the pathway to naturalizing into U.S. citizens. Five years after getting the green card, the applicant and their family can usually apply to be U.S. citizens.

Employer Sponsorship and Job Offer

  • The sponsoring employer (often a qualified U.S. academic or research institute) must initiate the EB-1B petition (I-140, Petition for Alien Worker) on behalf of the potential foreign employee.
  • The job position the U.S. employer is offering must be permanent, tenure-track, or long-term.
  • The job offer should be in teaching or research in the outstanding professor or researcher’s field.
  • The petition submitted by the U.S. employer must show how the foreign worker fits in as an outstanding professor or researcher based on USCIS EB-1B visa requirements.
  • The proposed wage must match the prevailing wage for the position to be filled, based on the location in the U.S.
  • There must be a clear understanding of the terms between the employer and the foreign individual.

Job Categories that Qualify for the EB-1B Visa

Listed below are some types of employment positions that qualify to apply for the outstanding professors and researchers visa.

  1. University Professors
  2. Researchers in Research Institutions
  3. Scientists in Private Industries
  4. Think Tank Scholars
  5. Arts Professionals
  6. Tech and Engineering Innovators
  7. Medical Researchers
  8. Scientific Researchers
  9. Social Scientists
  10. Published Authors and Writers
  11. Leaders in Specialized Fields, etc.

This list is not exhaustive, but one common feature is that the applicant must meet USCIS’s definition of an outstanding professor or researcher. Contact our lawyers with your details to know which visas you best fit in.

It’s essential for EB-1B applicants to carefully document and showcase their accomplishments within their particular job category to strengthen their case for this prestigious visa. Providing evidence of international recognition and influence within their field is crucial for a successful application.

Priority Date and EB-1B Visa Availability

Priority date in EB-1B outstanding professors and researchers visa determines when one can apply for adjustment of status or consular processing. It is when USCIS receives the approved filed Form I-140 petition. Like EB-1A for extraordinary ability and EB-1C for multinational managers and executives, the EB-1B visa is under the first preference category of employment-based visas. This means that visas are largely available, except for mainland China and India born applicants.

The U.S. Department of State monthly visa bulletin provides vital availability details for various visa categories. Being updated with the information important for planning, applying, and understanding peculiarities for some countries and visas. It’s also advisable to consult with immigration professionals to ensure the accurate and timely submission of applications by the priority date.

Related Read: How to Read Visa Bulletin and Find Priority Dates.

Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing

The two possible methods of applying for the EB-1B visa are either by adjustment of status or consular processing. An applicant processing their immigrant visa from within the United States will use the adjustment of status method if they are in a valid non-immigrant visa status. The consular processing method is when the applicant is processes the visa via a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country because they are outside U.S. or if they live in the U.S. but cannot adjust status.

Adjustment of Status to EB-1B Visa

Certain adjustments of status eligibility criteria must be met by the applicant to be able to use this method, which includes being physically present in the United States, among others. The adjustment of status method of application has some pros and cons:

  • Sometimes, it could help reduce the visa processing time.
  • The applicant can continue working in the U.S. pending the outcome of the visa application.
  • There could be some international travel restrictions during the process.
  • Also, if the applicant exits the United States before the visa application is fully processed, potential complications could arise.

EB-1B Visa Consular Processing

The consular processing option is used by applicants applying from outside the U.S. or those within the U.S. who are not eligible for adjustment of status. The whole process will have to take place at a U.S. consulate or embassy of the home country of the applicant.

It could potentially mean a longer processing time when compared to adjustment of status applicants, but it’s just as effective. Also, if the applicant is not in their home country while applying, they will need to travel to their country to complete the visa process.

Premium Processing for EB-1B Visa

The USCIS premium processing option allows EB-1B applicants to hasten their visa petition process by paying a $2,500 fee. This means that the petition’s processing time is reduced to within 15 days.

Note that the option is only available while filing Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) or while the petition is pending. Also, the premium processing option is not a guarantee for approval as it only affects the processing time and not USCIS’s final decision on the petition.

Applicants can consult immigration experts to help weigh the advantages compared to the cost before taking up the option. An email with details to CFUIS lawyers can help with determining its profitability to your application.

From EB-1B to Permanent Residency (Green Card)

After getting the EB-1B visa, the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under age 21 can usually apply for a dependent visa as well. They can then decide to process a green card (permanent residency) then they are on the pathway to naturalizing into U.S. citizens. Five years after getting the green card, the applicant and their family can usually apply to be U.S. citizens.

Upon the issuance of the EB-1B visa for outstanding professors and researchers, the applicant may be eligible to apply for permanent residency (green card). To adjust an EB-1B status to a U.S. green card (lawful permanent residence), the applicant will file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

In some cases, the outstanding professor or researcher can file both Form I-140 and Form I-485 simultaneously.

Contact CFUIS – EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers Visa Lawyer

Not every person who meets the descriptions above will be approved for an Outstanding Professor or Researcher Visa. The word “outstanding” is in the visa name for a reason, because being very good is not enough.

As immigration lawyers, we can help you decide if you should apply for an EB-1B Outstanding Professor or Researcher Visa. If you should, we can help you complete the right forms at the right time, and if not, we will help you decide what other kind of visa is best for you. Call us today at 813-298-7222chat on WhatsAppemail usfill out our contact form, or schedule an appointment.