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EB-1B Visas: For Outstanding Professors And Researchers

The EB-1B visa is an immigrant visa available to foreign outstanding professors and researchers. To qualify for this visa, the foreign national’s achievements in a specific academic field must have received international recognition as being outstanding. In addition, this visa requires at least three years experience in teaching or research in the specific field. Unlike EB-1A, an EB-1B petition must be filed by a qualified U.S. employer for the foreign national beneficiary.

Common Questions And Answers About EB-1B Visas

Can I file the EB-1B petition for myself?

No. This visa is not available for self-petitioning.

Who can file the EB-1B petition for me?

The EB-1B petitioner should be your prospective U.S. employer. Qualified U.S. employers include:

  • University or institution of higher education; or
  • Private employer if it employs at least 3 full-time researchers and has achieved accomplishments in your field.

Do I need Labor Certification to file for EB-1B?

No, Labor Certification is not required for an EB-1B petition. However, you will need an offer letter from your U.S. employer that offers you a qualified position (see question 4) for this petition.

What kind of job position is qualified for EB-1B petition?

If you are an outstanding professor or researcher that can prove you work in one of the following positions, you may be qualified for the EB-1B immigrant visa:

  • A tenure or tenure track teaching position within a university or institution of higher education; or
  • A permanent researcher position at university or institute of higher education; or
  • A permanent researcher position with private employer if it employs at least 3 full-time researchers and has achieved documented accomplishments in your field.

What requirements do I need to meet if I want to apply for EB-1B visa?

Generally, you must have evidence to show that you have been recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field. Also, you must have at least three years experience in teaching or research in that field. Furthermore, your prospective U.S. employer and job position must be qualified for EB-1B petition (see questions 2 and 4).

Specifically, you must also provide at least two of the following evidence:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  • Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about your work in the academic field
  • Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field.
  • Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field

Can I use my research experience during my PhD study to meet the three-year experience requirement?

You can if you have received the PhD degree and if your research has been recognized as outstanding within the academic field.

How long does it take to get the result for my EB-1B petition?

EB-1B cases can undergo premium or normal processing.

Normal case processing times vary based on the number of cases that USCIS must adjudicate at any given time. For the most up to date estimates for case processing times, please see USCIS’s website on this topic here: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/. The relevant form to look up is called Form I-140, the Form Category is “Outstanding professor or researcher (E12),” and the Field Office where the case is filed will depend on whether you request Premium Processing and where you are located. The Field Office where your case should be sent can be verified through USCIS’s website here: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/all-forms/direct-filing-addresses-for-form-i-140-immigrant-petition-for-alien-worker.

Premium Processing is also available for EB-1B cases for an additional fee. EB-1B cases filed with Premium Processing are guaranteed by USCIS to be adjudicated within 15 days of when they are received.

After my EB-1B petition is approved, when can I get my green card?

After receiving the I-140 approval, you will need to file the form I-485 to adjust your status to permanent resident or file the form DS-260 to apply for an immigrant visa abroad to get your green card. However, even if you receive the approval for your EB-1B case, you may still need to wait for some period of time before you can file the second part of your green card application. This depends on when your priority date becomes current according to the dates listed on the visa bulletin for people from your country. We can assist you in determining when you should file your green card applications. Finally, once you receive an approved I-485 or DS-260 and complete all required steps, you will officially become a legal permanent resident in the U.S. We will happily assist you or your family members in preparing your permanent residency application to obtain a green card once you are at this stage.

What is the filing fee for an EB-1B petition?

EB-1B petitions require the Form I-140 to be filed. The current filing fee can be confirmed on USCIS’s website here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-140. If you would like to use Premium Processing service for your case, the current cost can also be verified with USCIS on its website here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-907.

Does a labor certification need to be filed as well?

No, labor certifications are not required for an EB-1B visa.

Is there an advantage in filing an EB-1B Visa application?

Yes, there is no need to file a labor certification and it is often much faster to obtain a green card in this category compared to other approaches.

Can my family join me with green cards if my EB-1B is approved?

Yes, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 can also get green cards based on your case if you are approved.

Contact Us With Any Additional Employment Questions

If you have any additional questions about securing a visa, please contact our San Jose office online. You can also call Fok Immigration Law at 408-606-8911 to schedule a free initial case evaluation. We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Our team has significant experience helping workers secure temporary employment and permanent employment visas. Located in the Bay Area, we serve clients throughout California and the greater United States.