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New Jersey/New York Green Card Attorney

EB-1B Outstanding Professor and Researcher Green Card

1. Q: What is the EB-1B category?


A: The EB-1 (b) category is an immigrant visa category that is reserved for an Outstanding Professor or Outstanding Researcher.


2. Q: Who qualifies as an outstanding professor or researcher?


A: Three requirements must be satisfied for an EB-1B petition of outstanding professors or researchers:


• An outstanding professor or researcher is a foreign national who is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field.
• The foreign beneficiary must have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic field.
• The foreign beneficiary must be offered a tenured or tenure-track teaching or research position at a university, or a comparable research position with a private employer if the employer has at least three full-time researchers and documented accomplishments in the research field.


3. Q: Is a job offer required for EB1-B?


A: Yes. A job offer is required under this category and the foreign professor/researcher needs employer sponsor to file the petition.


4. Q: Is a labor certification required before the filing of EB-1B petition?


A: No.


5. Q: What eligibility criteria should be identified in the case of Outstanding Professor or Researcher petitions?


A: The EB-1B petition for Outstanding Professor or Researcher should include the follow documents:


• The petition should identify which of the six regulatory criteria the alien is attempting to satisfy and the relevant evidence for each individual criterion.
• Provide evidence that the alien has at least three years of experience in teaching and/or research in the academic field.
• Submit a copy of the petitioner's actual job offer issued to the alien beneficiary. This letter or contract must set forth the title, terms and conditions of the position offered.


6. Q: What evidence should be included in an EB1-B petition?


A: Substantial amount of evidence must be included in EB1-B petition to support the satisfaction of qualification. A petition for outstanding professor or researcher must be accompanied by evidence of the six regulatory criteria the petition is attempting to satisfy and the relevant evidence for each individual criterion:


• documentation of the alien beneficiary's receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;
• documentation of the alien beneficiary's membership in associations in the academic field, which require outstanding achievements of their members;
• published material, in any language, provided it is translated into English, in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field--this documentation must include the title, date, and author of the material;
• evidence of the alien's participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same, or an allied, academic field;
• evidence of the alien beneficiary's original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or
• evidence of the alien beneficiary's authorship of scholarly books or articles, in scholarly journals with international circulation, in the academic field.
Also, the petition should include evidence of the alien beneficiary's at least three-year teaching or research experience and tenure or tenured track position.


7. Q: Does the three year experience of teaching or research include the experience in teaching or research while working on an advanced degree?


A: Experience in teaching or research while working on an advanced degree is generally not acceptable. It will only be acceptable if the foreign person has acquired the degree, and if the teaching duties were such that he or she had full responsibility for the class taught or if the research conducted toward the degree has been recognized within the academic field as outstanding.


8. Q: What jobs are qualified as tenure, tenured-track or comparable positions?


A: Tenured, tenured track job means a job that has no definate termination date. It can be a teaching or research position at a university, or a comparable research position with a private employer if the employer has at least three full-time researchers and documented accomplishments in the research field.


9. Q: Is a permanent research job qualified?


A: In recognition that many research positions at universities are not tenured or tenure-track positions, the USCIS rules permit a job offer to qualify for first preference consideration if the university is offering a ‘permanent research position’ to the alien beneficiary. A ‘permanent’ position is one that is for a term of indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.


10. Q: What should a permanent researcher offer letter contain?


A: The offer letter should contain 1) your job title, 2) your job duties, 3) your salary, 4) Language stating that the job has no fixed expiration term; and 5) your employer’s signature.


11. Q: Who is legally defined as my employer for the EB-1B petition? Is it my supervisor, my Department Chair, or my University?


A: Your employer is the legal entity that pays you your salary every month.

 
12. Q: Who can sign for my employer on my EB-1B documents?


A: Usually, the HR Director, International Office Director or Vice President is authorized to sign for an employer. Sometime, another Director or Dean may also sign for an employer.


13. Q: What if I change jobs while my EB1-B petition is pending?


A: If the alien beneficiary changes employers when I-140 is pending, a new petition must be filed.


14. Q: Can my employer files EB1-B for me and I file EB1-A and/or NIW simultaneously?


A: Yes.


15. Q: What are the similarities between EB-1B and EB-1A?


A: There are three main similarities:


• both are in the EB-1 category, which means that immigrant visa numbers are immediately available to all aliens from any country;
• both do not require a Labor Certification; and
• both include the option for premium processing by the USCIS.


16. Q: What are the differences between EB-1B and EB-1A?


A: There are three main points:


• the EB-1A petition does not require an employer’s sponsorship and a permanent job offer, while the EB-1B petition does;
• the EB-1A petition stipulates a higher standard of achievements than the EB-1B petition; and
• the EB-1A petition does not require experience, while the EB-1B petition requires three years experience.


17. Q: What is the similarity between EB-1B and NIW?


A: Neither one of them needs a Labor Certification.

 
18. Q: What are the differences between an EB-1B and an NIW?

 
A: There are four main points of difference:

 
• EB-1B is in the first preference category while NIW is in the second preference category; as such, immigrant visa numbers are available for all EB-1B applicants, whereas there are visa backlogs for NIW applicants born in India or China;
• EB-1B requires a higher standard of achievement, while NIW has more flexible and fluid requirements;
• EB-1B requires a permanent teaching or research job offer with an employer’s sponsorship, while NIW, as a self petition, has no such requirements; and 
• EB-1B applicants can choose premium processing whereas NIW applicants do not have that option.


19.  Q: How many publications are sufficient to meet the EB-1B requirements?

 
A: There is no specific minimum publication requirement; rather, it is determined by USCIS on a case-by-case basis depending on the quality and quantity of the publications. General speaking, several publications in major, well-acknowledged journals in the alien’s field would meet one of the six criteria for “Outstanding”.


20. Q: What is a Letter of Recommendation?

 
A: A letter of recommendation is a letter written by an expert in the alien's field or an otherwise authoritative person in an allied or supporting field. The letter discusses the abilities and accomplishments of the alien seeking an EB-1B. Letters of recommendation are an important part of an EB-1B petition.

 
21. Q: Who should I contact to obtain Letters of Recommendation?


A: Recommendation Letters should be written by experts or scholars in your field. Usually, our clients ask their former professors, supervisors, co-workers and individuals that they have met at meetings/conferences. One or two people who are less familiar with the alien are also strongly recommended since they are more objective and independent. In general, anyone who knows your work directly or indirectly and has expertise in the field may write a Letter of Recommendation for you.


22. Q: How many Recommendation Letters should I obtain?


A: There is no specific number set forth by the USCIS. We generally include five to seven letters of recommendation in our EB-1B cases.


23. Q: What information should be included in the Recommendation Letters?

 
A: Because recommendation Letters provide the primary supporting evidence for your petition, they should include the writers' qualifications, your achievements, awards, publishing record, society memberships, etc. Moreover, the letters should explicitly link your achievements to the EB-1B criteria.

 
24. Q: Obtaining Letters of Recommendation will be difficult for me. Are these letters important?


A: If you can provide clear and convincing evidence that you fulfill the criteria for an EB-1B petition, you do not need any Letters of Recommendation. For example, someone with a Nobel Price may not need them. For most EB-1B applicants, however, strong letters of recommendation are necessary to show that you meet the EB-1B requirements for approval.


25. Q: Can Letters of Recommendation included in an NIW petition be used for an EB-1B petition?

 
A: Since EB-1B and NIW have different standards, the recommendation letters for NIW may not be effective for EB-1B applications. We usually suggest one set of recommendation letters be used for NIW and another set of recommendation letters be used for EB-1B. Nevertheless, they may come from the same group of experts.


26. Q: If I am not a member of any professional association, organization, or society in my field, may I still apply for an EB-1B?

 
A: Yes. There is no specification that you need to be a member of any professional association, organization, or society in order to apply or obtain approval for an EB-1B petition.


27. Q: If I do not have any awards in my field, may I still apply for an EB-1B?


A: Yes. There is no specific requirement for applicant’s receipt of awards in order for him or her to apply or obtain approval of an EB-1B petition, although in many instances awards would help improve chances of approval.


28. Q: Is the foreign professor/researcher required to have a PhD degree?


A: Although one would normally expect outstanding researchers and professors to have Ph.D. degrees, neither the statute nor regulations require possession of a doctorate.

 
29. Q: If my EB-1B petition is approved, can I file a petition for Adjustment of Status or an immigrant visa? If so, when can I do so?


A: Yes, you may file for Adjustment of Status. Because the EB-1 category has immigrant visa numbers immediately available, you can apply for Adjustment of Status immediately after your EB-1B approval, or even apply for an EB-1B and Adjustment of Status concurrently.


30. Q: Do I need to live in the U.S. to apply for an EB-1B?


A: No. Any alien, living either within the U.S. or in a foreign country may apply for an EB-1B petition, provided, or course, that he or she meets the relevant requirements. Nevertheless, it may be very hard for an alien who is outside the US to receive a permanent employment offer for a teaching or research position from a US employer.


31. Q: If I have a Labor Certification pending, may I also apply for an EB-1B?


A: Yes. They may be filed independently, since they are not related. Labor Certification processing is conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, whereas the USCIS processes EB-1B petitions. If you do both and your Labor Certification is ultimately denied, you still have a chance of getting an EB-1B approved. Moreover, and EB-1B is faster since it can be adjudicated with premium processing.


32. Q: If I have been denied a Labor Certification, may I still petition for an EB-1B?

 
A: Yes, assuming you would otherwise qualify for an EB-1B. The standards for an EB-1B petition and Labor Certification are very different. A Labor Certification is based on a lack of available U.S. workers with minimum qualifications for the particular job. By contrast, an EB-1B is based on proving that the alien is an “Outstanding Professor or Researcher”.

 
33. Q: If I have filed an EB-1B, when is my priority date?

 
A: Your priority date is the date that the USCIS receives your EB-1B petition. Currently, the priority date for the EB-1B applicant is not important since visa numbers are available for EB-1 aliens from any country.


34. Q: I am in J-1 status and subject to the two-year home country residency requirement. May I apply for an EB-1B?

 
A: Yes. However, you need to either obtain a J-1 waiver or satisfy the two-year home residency requirement before you may adjust your status to permanent resident.

 
35. Q: I am currently in J-1 status and subject to the two-year home country residence requirement. If I apply for an EB-1B and it is approved, is my J-1 home country requirement waived?


A: No, a J-1 waiver and an EB-1 are two different things. A J-1 waiver is an application to waive the two-year home country residency requirement. An EB-1 is an immigration petition. Even if your EB-1 is approved, you are still subject to the two-year requirement. You need to either obtain a J-1 waiver or satisfy it before you may adjust your status to a permanent resident.

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