IMMIGRATION LAW PRACTICE                              
EB1(a), EB1(b), EB1(c) & NIW 99% Approved !
H-1B, O-1A, L-1A, L-1B 99% Approved !

EB1B Outstanding Researcher and Professor

The Legal Standard

The Immigration and Naturalization Act Section 203(b)(1)(B) provides:

Visas shall first be made available to an alien (i) if the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area, (ii) the alien has at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in academic area, and (iii) the alien seeks to enter the United States (I) for a tenured position (or tenure-track position) within a university or institution of higher education to teach in the academic area, (II) for a comparable position with a university or institution of higher education to conduct research in the area, or (III) for a comparable position to conduct research in the area with a department, division, or institute of a private employer, if the department, division, or institute employs at least 3 persons full-time in research activities and has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

USCIS regulation further provides that “Permanent, in reference to a research position, means either tenured, tenure-track, or for a term of indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is a good cause for termination.”  8 C.F.R. Section 204.5(i)(2). 

8 C.F.R. Section 204.5(i)(3)(i) further provides that a petition for an outstanding professor or researcher must be accompanied evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition.  Such evidence shall consist of at least two of the following: 

(A)       Documentation of the alien’s receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field; 

(B)       Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members; 

(C)       Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in the academic field.  Such material shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;

(D)       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;

(E)       Evidence of the alien’s original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or

(F)       Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field;


Further, the petition must be accompanied by


(ii)        Evidence that the alien has at least three years of experience in teaching and/or research in the academic field.  Evidence of teaching and/or research experience shall be in the form of letters from current or former employers and shall include the name, address, and title of the writer, and a specific description of the duties performed by the alien and

(iii)       An offer of employment from a prospective United States employer.  A labor certification is not required for this classification.  The offer of employment shall be in the form of a letter from

(C)       A department, division, or institute of a private employer offering the alien a permanent research position in the alien’s academic field.  The department, division, or institute must demonstrate that it employs at least three persons full-time in research positions, and that it has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

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The Q & A:

1)  What is so great about EB1b?

An EB1b application, if successful, means that you will get a green card within about 6 – 8 months after filing, whichever country you were born.  It does have to have a job offer, which means an employer must sponsor you by signing the application forms and extending you a “permanent” job offer.

2)  So how good do I have to be to qualify for an EB1b?

You can refer to the legal standards to left of this Q & A but practically if you have publications which have been cited significantly (say, 10 times) and you have a “permanent job offer”, you can apply.  We had a client who had only published 3 articles that were cited once but there could be other unique aspect of the applicant we address in the petition to make the candidate eligible.

3)  What is a typical background for a successful EB1b candidate?

The standard for EB1b is less than that for EB1a.  Actually any green card applicants who have employers willing to sponsor them and feel that they have a chance for EB1a should apply for EB1b because it is easier.  Even though lower in standard, EB1b still requires that applicants be “internationally recognized” for their research.  Nowadays, with the availabilities of the research citation tools, proving “internationally recognized” is actually not that hard.  

Of course, an EB1b applicant must have a “permanent” job offer from an employer that has at least 3 full time researchers and has documented achievements.  In addition, an EB1 applicant must have at least 3 years of full time research experience.

4)  What is a “permanent” job offer?

A permanent job offer means a job that has no expected end or termination date.

5)  I am a post-doc on a research grant, can my job be permanent?

Yes, as long as there is a reasonable expectation that the grant can be renewed.  In addition, your employer must be willing to sign your application.

6)  What is the difference between a successful EB1a candidate versus a successful EB1b or National Interest Waiver Candidate?

The EB1b has definitely less stringent requirement but requires a job offer and sponsorship (meaning employer signs your papers).  If you don’t have a job offer or if you employer does not sponsor you and you think you have ONE of the followings, you should consider apply for EB1a:

  • Total number of citations of the applicant’s articles in the neighborhood of 100
  • Awarded a truly national or international award
  • Certain uniqueness about your background that put you into a reasonably hard-to-find category.  For example, you involved in the basic research of an anti-cancer drug and also is the one that obtained its patent and involved in its clinical trials.  These experiences make an individual unique
  • Your article (remember non-first author is fine) has been quoted or appraised in such recognition systems as Faculty 2000

If you don’t have any of the above, then you should consider for National Interest Waiver.

7)  What are some the stuff can a client do to improve his or her chances after the client hire your firm?

There are a number of things you must do to quickly upgrade your achievements before you apply for EB1b.   For example, we always advise our clients to join certain merit-based associations and obtain an opportunity to review article submissions to journals to satisfy some of the legal standards.  Further, we also have some customized solutions to package your background in much better shape.

8)  When you say I am qualified, does it really mean I am really qualified?

After our evaluation, we will say to you whether we believe you are a good candidate or not.  Even though we don’t guarantee results, but our taking the case means that we have enough confidence in the case that we would like to take 50% of the risk as well because for qualified candidates, we offer a contingent fee structure that we collect only first half of the attorney’s fee for the immigration petition.

9)  What is the approval rate of your EB1b cases?

So far we have had a 100% approval rate with Texas Service Center.

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