What is an EB-1B Visa?

What is an EB-1B Visa?

An EB-1B visa is a type of employment-based, first preference visa. To petition for an EB-1B visa, one must be able to show that their academic research has international recognition. This research should be considered outstanding and will need evidence supporting this claim. You must have research or at least three years of teaching experience in an academic field to be considered.

In order to be granted an EB-1B visa, the current or future U.S. employer will be the petitioner. EB-1B visas can also be referred to as E-12 Outstanding Professor or Researcher. It must also be proven that the potential job is for a tenure, tenure-track position, or comparable position. EB-1B visas do not require a Department of Labor (DOL) Labor Certificate, but you must provide an offer of employment from your prospective employer. The employer then needs to prove they have at least three other full-time researchers obtaining documented accomplishments. Your employer is called the petitioner.

Criteria of an EB-1B Visa

The EB-1B visa requirements are the following:

  • International recognition as an outstanding researcher or professor
  • Three years minimum of teaching or research in academic field
  • The offer of a tenure, tenure track position, or a position like tenure track, or a research position offer with no fixed time with the expectation of permanent employment, or a research position at a private, qualifying sponsoring employer

Evidence That A Person Is an Outstanding Professor or Researcher

To demonstrate that one obtains the qualifications for this visa, you must provide at least two of the following:

  1. Evidence that you received major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  2. Evidence that you are a member/have membership in an association that requires outstanding achievement
  3. Published material in a professional publication written by others about your work in your academic field
  4. Individual or panel participation as a judge of other’s work in the same or similar academic field
  5. Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research
  6. Evidence of authorship in internationally circulated scholarly books and/or articles

The USCIS also allows letters and testimonials from other experts in the field. The testimonials need to talk about the beneficiary’s academic achievements of original scientific or scholarly contributions in your field of study.

Three Year’s Experience

A minimum of three years experience teaching and/or researching in your field. This evidence can be demonstrated by letters from your current or former employer that include your name, address, the title of the writer, and a detailed explanation of your position and duties you preformed. Working towards a degree may qualify if you had full teaching duties or if the degree has been accepted as outstanding.

Characteristics of a Qualifying Job Offer

A qualifying job offer for an EB-1B visa needs to be a tenure position, tenure track position, comparable research position, or a permanent research positions. Since many universities do not have tenure research positions available to offer, the USCIS permits universities to offer permanent research positions as an acceptable employment offer.

Qualifying Sponsoring Employer

Take note that the employer petitioning for you needs to be the one who fills out Form I-140 needs to also be a qualifying sponsoring employer. If the hiring employer is from a private company, they need to have at least 3 additional full-time researchers at the institution and have documented accomplishments in their field of study. If the employer is from a public establishment, they need to be from a U.S. university or establishment for higher learning. They must also prove that they can pay and continue to pay the offered wage starting at your priority date. Your employer/petitioner can do this by sending an annual report, a federal income tax report, or audited financial statement.

How are the EB-1B and EB-1A Visas Different?

Even though both are first preference visas, they are distinct differences between EB-1A and EB-1B green cards.

Unlike the EB-1B, the EB-1A allows self-petitioning, meaning petitioners can fill out their own I-140 form. EB-1B benefactor is petitioned for by their employer. Self-petitioning allows for more variance in a line of work, while EB-1B requires a position that you have already filled and are granted by an employer.

Other differences include qualifications, which are starkly different between the two. EB-1B green cards are exclusively for educators and researchers, while EB-1A has a more extensive category for fields of expertise. There is also no time expectation with EB-1A, while EB-1B requires at least three years in a field of study.

Still, neither visa needs a DOL labor certificate. Whether through self-petition or employment petitioner, a Form I-140 needs to be filed for both visas. Since both EB-1B and EB-1A are in the same employment-based visa preference level, they are processed at the same time. Processing between EB-1A, 1B, and 1C does not differ. However, depending on where your file is being processed, there may be a variance in processing time.

Application Process

To petition for an EB-1B visa, a petitioner who is a current or future employer, must:

  • Fill out and sign Form I-140, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
  • Pay the filing fee of $700. For premium processing, Form I-907, Request for A Premium Processing must be filled out for a fee of $2,500. An advantage to premium processing is that it guarantees a 15-day processing time.
  • They must provide all evidence needed for the EB-1B visa.
  • After the I-140 form has been filed, the USCIS will process your application and give you receipt of notice. If needed, they will reach out for a biometrics service notice and/or a notice to appear for an interview. You will also receive a notice of their decision.

There are two parts of an EB-1 application process:

  1. Priority Date
  2. Final Action Date

Your priority date does not change and is the date of when the USCIS receives your petition. The final action date varies monthly and is dependent on how many people from your country filed for an EB-1 visa. Take a look at the U.S. Department of State’s visa bulletin to find the final action dates for that month. When priority date meets or surpasses the action date for your country, a visa number will become available and you can move forward.

Working with An Experienced Attorney

Petitioning for or being a benefactor of an EB-1B visa can be a difficult process. Working with an experienced EB-1 visa lawyer can benefit you by ensuring you have the best chance in your petition. Having an attorney on your side to help walk you through the forms and gather evidence can go a long way. Our attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. have decades of experience in immigrant and nationality law. Contact us today for a case evaluation on obtaining an EB-1B visa.

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