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The EB-1 Green Card category is a highly sought-after pathway for foreign researchers and professors with exceptional abilities to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Within the EB-1 category, the subcategory of “Outstanding Professors and Researchers” offers a unique opportunity for accomplished individuals in academia to pursue their career and research goals in the U.S. These green cards are also referred to as EB-1B visas or E-12 Outstanding Professor or Researcher.
Suppose you are considering applying for an EB-1 Green Card for Outstanding Researchers and Professors. In that case, it’s essential that you understand the eligibility criteria, application process, and other important considerations. You may even want to hire a skilled immigration attorney to help you through this process.
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Understanding the EB-1 Green Card Category
Within the EB-1 immigrant visa category, there are three subcategories:
- EB-1A is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
- EB-1B for outstanding professors and researchers
- EB-1C for multinational executives and managers
The EB-1 Green Card category is highly regarded due to its unique benefits. One significant advantage is that it does not require a labor certification, which is a time-consuming and complex process. This exemption allows beneficiaries to bypass the labor market test and proceed directly to the petition filing.
The EB1 visa application wait time is also remarkably shorter than most other immigrant visa categories, sometimes taking years.
Eligibility Criteria for the EB-1B Category
Individuals must meet specific criteria to qualify for the EB-1 Green Card category.
In the case of the EB-1B category for outstanding professors and researchers, they must demonstrate international recognition for their outstanding achievements in a particular academic field.
This recognition can be established through the following:
- Extensive professional publications written
- Membership in professional associations
- Evidence of scholarly research contributions
- Letters of recommendation from experts in the field
Evidence of Being an Outstanding Professor or Researcher
You must provide at least two of the following to demonstrate that you meet the qualifications for this immigrant visa:
- Evidence of receiving significant prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
- Proof of membership in an association requiring outstanding achievement
- Published material in a professional publication authored by other individuals about your work within your academic field
- Individual or panel participation judging someone else’s work in the same or similar academic field
- Evidence of your original scientific or scholarly research contributions
- Proof of authorship in internationally circulated scholarly articles or books
The USCIS also accepts letters and testimonials from other experts in the field. The testimonials must discuss your academic achievements of original scientific or scholarly contributions within your field of study.
Three Years Experience
At least three years of teaching or research experience in your field. Letters from your current or former employer, including your name, physical address, the title of the writer, and a detailed description of your position and duties you performed, can serve as evidence of this experience.
Working towards a degree may also qualify if you have full teaching duties or if the degree is accepted as outstanding.
Characteristics of a Qualifying Job Offer
A qualifying job offer for an EB-1B visa must be a:
- Tenure position
- Tenure track position
- Comparable research position
- Permanent research position
Since many universities don’t have tenure research positions available to offer, the USCIS considers permanent research positions at universities an acceptable employment offer.
Qualifying Sponsoring Employer
Unlike other visas, you can’t self-petition for an EB 1B. It’s crucial to note that the employer petitioning on your behalf must be the party who completes Form I-140. They also need to be a qualifying sponsoring employer.
If the hiring employer is a private company, the government requires them to have at least three additional full-time researchers at the institution and documented accomplishments in their specific field of study.
If the employer is from a public establishment, they must be from a U.S. university or establishment of higher learning. They must also show they can pay and continue paying your offered wage beginning on your priority date.
Your employer can do this by sending the following:
- An annual report
- A federal income tax report
- An audited financial statement
Role of Employer in the EB-1B Petition
To receive an EB-1B visa, your current or future U.S. employer is the petitioner, and you are the beneficiary.
The employer must prove that the potential job is for the following:
- A tenure or tenure-track position
- A research position offer with no fixed time with the expectation of permanent employment.
- A research position at a private, qualifying sponsoring employer
- A comparable position
Even though EB-1B visas don’t require a Department of Labor (DOL) Labor Certification, there must be an offer of employment from your prospective employer.
Additionally, the employer must be able to show they have a minimum of three other full-time researchers obtaining documented accomplishments.
The EB-1B Application Process
To petition for an EB-1B visa, the current or future employer petitioner must do the following:
- Complete and sign Form I-140, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
- Submit the required filing fee of $700. However, if the employer wants premium processing with a guaranteed 15-day processing time, they must also fill out Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, and pay a fee of $2,500.
- Provide all evidence required for the EB-1B visa.
After the employer files the I-140 form, the USCIS will process the application and provide them with a receipt of the notice. If needed, they will reach out for a biometrics service notice or a notice to appear for an interview.
When it’s ready, the employer will also receive a notice of their decision.
The EB-1 application process has two parts that employers and their beneficiaries should be aware of:
- Priority Date
- Final Action Date
The priority date doesn’t change as it’s the date when the USCIS receives the petition. The final action date varies monthly and depends on how many people from your country filed for an EB-1 visa.
You can reference the U.S. Department of State’s visa bulletin to find the final action dates for that month. When a priority date meets or exceeds the action date for your country, a visa number will become available, and you can proceed.
Petitioning for or being a benefactor of an EB-1B visa is often a challenging process. However, working closely with an experienced EB-1 visa attorney can benefit you by ensuring you have the best chance to obtain your green card. An experienced immigration lawyer can help walk you through the forms, gather evidence, and help you understand the process.
Can Spouses Work on an EB-1 Visa?
Through the EB1 visa scheme, bringing your dependents with you to the U.S. is possible.
A dependent of an EB1 visa holder is defined as any of the following:
- Legal spouse
- Civil partner
- Unmarried children that are 21 years or younger
A spouse or civil partner can accept employment in their field. Still, they must complete Form I-750, apply, and get an accepted Employment Authorization confirmation.
Dependent children of any age aren’t eligible to work, but any of your dependents (including the spouse) may attend school freely, including colleges and universities.
Need Help with EB1? Call TZG Law Today
TZG Law is here to provide professional guidance and support in navigating the complexities of immigration law. With our team of experienced immigration attorneys, we specialize in various areas of immigration, including EB1, employment visas, naturalization, deportation defense, and more. Whatever your immigration needs may be, we have the knowledge and skills to assist you.
Take action today! Contact TZG Law at 385-396-4599 or click here to schedule your initial consultation with Tina. Let us be your trusted partner on your immigration journey.