As you may know, few visas carry as many advantages as the EB-1 classification of green cards. However, understanding all that goes into the green card process is key. If you think the EB-1B green card is the right choice for you but don’t know where to start, stay tuned to hear about EB-1B FAQs.
Who qualifies for an EB-1B green card?
The EB-1B green card is reserved for those who qualify as “outstanding researchers and professors.” You must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. You must have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in that academic area. And you must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching, or a comparable research position at a university, institution of higher education, or private employer.
I don’t have a permanent job offer. Can I still apply?
No. Unfortunately, you must have a permanent job offer from a U.S. employer to apply for an EB-1B green card.
Is the category open to any field of work?
The EB-1B category is more restrictive than other priority immigrant/achievement-based categories because it requires a permanent teaching or research position. These positions go to individuals within traditional academic fields.
What are the criteria for the EB-1B designation?
In order to qualify as an “Outstanding Researcher or Professor”, an individual must have:
• An offer of a permanent teaching or research position with an appropriate institution of higher learning or research institution. USCIS considers a permanent position to be either tenured, tenure-track or for a period of indefinite or unlimited duration.
• At least three years of teaching or research experience in the field of specialization; and
• Recognized outstanding accomplishments in the field.
To document “outstanding accomplishments and recognition in the field,” an individual must meet at least two of the following criteria:
• Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievements in their academic field
• Membership in associations in the academic field
• Published materials in professional publications about the individual’s work in the field
• Participation, either individually or as part of a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the field (including requests to serve as a reviewer/referee for articles to be published, invitations to serve on discussion and advisory panels, etc.)
• Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field (including citation of an individual’s work by others in the field); and/or
• Authorship of scholarly books or articles in the field. Again, this evidence must be supplemented with letters of support from peers in the individual’s field.
How do I prove that I’ve won a major prize?
Your prize or award should be internationally or nationally recognized. This means that local awards or scholarships are not sufficient to meet this threshold. Also, if you plan on using a prize awarded to a team you worked on, the prize will most likely hold less weight than an individual award.
What kind of published material by others can be submitted in support of my work?
USCIS will place more weight on material that is published by a major media network or publication that attributed your work to your name. Less weight will be given to material that names a team you worked with to complete the work.
What will the USCIS accept that indicates that I was a judge of the work of my peers?
If you served as a judge or a workshop leader at a national or international event, this will go a long way in proving that you are outstanding. You will need to confirm your role as a judge and the nature of the event.
What evidence of my original research contributions will be accepted?
A wide variety of evidence can fulfill these criteria as all research and teaching situations differ. Overall, your work needs to have been original and must be related to your field. Work with your immigration attorney to determine what kind of research will make your case eligible for an EB-1B.
Can I file for the EB-1B and the EB-1A simultaneously?
Yes. In fact, you can file for multiple green cards simultaneously to increase your chances of approval.
Which should I choose if I qualify for both the EB-1A and the EB-1B?
The answer to that question depends on your circumstances. The EB-1A does not require a job offer, and therefore does not require an employer’s sponsorship. On the other hand, it is the more difficult visa to obtain. As mentioned above, speak to an immigration attorney to determine which category is best to file under.
What are the requirements surrounding my intentions in the U.S.?
In order to qualify, you must be seeking to enter the U.S. to attain tenure as a professor or pursue a similar status as a researcher. You must also intend to work in the field where you have demonstrated your outstanding achievement.
Do I need letters of recommendation in order to qualify?
While it is not officially a requirement of the EB-1B, having letters of recommendation from distinguished peers and tutors is often instrumental in approving your case. Ask your immigration attorney if these letters would be necessary for your case.
Do I need a job offer?
Unfortunately, the EB-1B does require a job offer for application. The EB-1A, the EB-2 NIW, and the EB-5 are the only employment-based green cards that do not require a job offer.
What is the validity period for an EB-1B?
Once you are issued your EB-1B green card, it will be valid for ten years. You will need to file to renew your green card at the end of that period. To avoid renewing your green card, you can apply for citizenship through naturalization after five years so long as certain requirements are met.
Which forms must be submitted?
The initial petition is the I-140. If you decide to use premium processing, you must also submit Form I-907. For those who choose to adjust their status inside the U.S., the form for that process is the I-485. If you go through consular processing, you must complete the DS-260 online immigrant visa application.
What happens if I lose my job after getting my EB-1B green card?
You could lose your status if you lose your job or switch employers soon after obtaining permanent resident status. For this reason, it is advisable to work with a sponsoring employer that you plan to work with for a significant period or to apply for a green card that does not require a job offer like the EB-1A or EB-2 NIW.
What if I change jobs while my petition is pending?
In that case, you will need to have your new employer file a new I-140 petition on your behalf. Your sponsoring employer must be the one you will work for in the U.S.
I am under J-1 status. Will I still be subject to the 2-year home residency requirement if I apply for an EB-1B?
Yes. In order to bypass the home residency requirement, you will need to obtain a J-1 visa waiver. The EB-1B will not absolve you of this requirement.
How long will it take for my petition to be processed?
On average, the I-140 can take over seven months to process. However, this depends heavily on the caseload of the USCIS service center processing your petition and whether your case has been upgraded to premium process for a decision within 15 days.
Will premium processing help?
Yes. Fortunately, you can use the premium processing service to shorten your EB-1B petition’s processing time to 15 calendar days. Remember that this only applies to the I-140 petition and does not expedite any other part of the process.
Is premium processing available for all green card petitions?
Unfortunately, no. So depending on the case, it is generally best to use it if you have it available.
If I use premium processing, will my approval chances go up?
No. Premium processing only shortens your processing time and has no bearing on whether or not your petition is approved.
What do I do once my petition has been approved?
If the USCIS approves your petition, you will have two options for your next step:
• Adjustment of Status: This involves filing an I-485 form with the USCIS and waiting for approval before automatically adjusting your status.
• Consular Processing: This involves going through a U.S. consulate or embassy to obtain your green card.
What is the difference between a rejection and a denial?
A rejection means that an issue caused your petition not to make it to the decision-making stage. This is usually due to an incorrect fee payment, and outdated form, or a petition with missing pages or information.
On the other hand, a denial means that your petition made it to the decision-making stage and was denied by an evaluating officer based on the merits of the case.
Is it possible to appeal an I-140 denial?
Yes, you may appeal a denial through the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). However, this is usually not the ideal case, as the appeal request could take a long time to process, and the AAO often decides to uphold the original decision rather than overturn it, it is sometimes better to refile the case once you have stronger evidence.
The best way to determine whether you should appeal a denial is to hire an immigration attorney to look over your case and see if anything was overlooked that could be brought to light about your case.
I’ve received an EB-1B RFE. What do I do next?
Sometimes, USCIS will give you a second chance through a Request for Evidence (RFE) rather than issue a denial. The RFE will require a response within a given time frame, including the evidence necessary to continue processing your petition.
The first thing that you should do after receiving an EB-1B RFE is to take it to your immigration attorney. That way, you can be sure that an individual who routinely handles these issues is handling your case. Your lawyer will prepare response with the help of additional information from you in order to take advantage of this second chance and approve your case.
As promised, here’s some bonus information that you may not know about:
If your petition was denied and you do not have any new evidence or changing circumstances to warrant an appeal or a motion, consider a green card through a category other than the EB-1B.
Two employment-based green cards have less stringent requirements for eligibility. The EB-2 is for those with either an advanced degree or exceptional ability. In this case, some of the evidence used for EB-1B could suffice for EB-2.
The overall EB-2 green card processing time can range from 1 to 2 years, depending on how long your I-140 takes to process and when an immigrant visa becomes available.
The EB-3 can also be viable if your EB-1B is denied. This is designed for bachelor’s degree holders and skilled and unskilled workers. However, the priority dates in this category often require long waiting periods.
I hope you found this video helpful. Subscribe if this content or information helps you in any way, comment below if you want me to talk about something in specific and share this resource because you never know who needs answers to these questions. Additionally, if you have any specific questions about this video as they pertain to your unique circumstances, please schedule a consultation with us at the link below. I’ll see you in the next video.