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EB1-2 Visa (Outstanding Researcher / Professor)

If you are an outstanding researcher or professor looking to resettle in the United States, you may be eligible for an EB1-2 Visa.  This is an immigrant visa that will allow you permanent resident status in the United States.

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What is the EB1-2 Visa?

The second EB1 Visa (EB1-2 or EB1-B) is for those who are outstanding researchers or professors and wish to immigrate to the United States. This means you must be able to show you are internationally recognized for your achievements in a particular field.

To be eligible for this visa, you must have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in your particular academic area. The reason for entering the United States must be for teaching purposes in an educational establishment or research position at a university or other higher education institution.

The Visa EB1 is a permanent residency Green Card that enables the holder to live and work under a permanent resident status in the United States. This type of visa is held in high esteem because of its quicker priority dates, meaning there can be far fewer waiting times for visa processing compared to other categories where you can wait years for a spot to become available.

In addition, there isn’t a requirement to go through the PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) process, so you do not need to obtain a Department of Labor (DOL) certificate for the position. Needless to say, this visa is particularly desirable. It also sets a high bar for qualification and involves a high level of application scrutiny. It is therefore recommended that you seek the help of an experienced immigration attorney to make sure that the application is well put together and meets the high standards.

Immigrants under an EB1-2 visa will become eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship after living in the United States for a continuous 5 years. During this time, they can travel abroad freely but should be careful not to spend too much time abroad as this could cause them to ‘abandon’ their U.S. permanent residency.

If approved for an EB1-2 visa, the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years old may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States under E-14 (for spouse) and E-15 (for children) immigrant status.

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Requirements for an outstanding professor or researcher (EB1-2 or EB1-B)

Outstanding professors and researchers will need to have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in their academic area and must demonstrate international recognition for their outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. To do this they will need to meet at least 2 of the 6 criteria set by the USCIS and will also need to provide evidence of a job offer from a U.S employer.
For an outstanding researcher or professor visa, you must provide at least 2 of the following:

  • Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  • Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
  • Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about your work in the academic field
  • Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or related academic field
  • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
  • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles in the field

In addition to meeting these requirements, the applicant must be entering the United States in order to pursue either tenure or tenure track teaching or a related research position at a university, an institution of higher learning, or a private employer. If working for a private employer, the employer must provide both documented accomplishments in their respective field and demonstrate that it employs at least 3 full-time researchers. Again, no labor certification is necessary.

What are the required documents for the EB1-2 Visa?

In order to apply for an outstanding professor or researcher immigrant visa, you will need to submit supporting documents that show that the visa applicant meets the necessary criteria (these requirements are mentioned above). These would include at least 2 documents from the following list:

  • Documents showing that the applicant received a major prize or award(s) for outstanding achievement in their academic field
  • Documents showing the applicant’s membership in any associations that require outstanding achievements in their academic field
  • Copies of published material in a professional publication either written by the applicant or about the applicant’s work
  • Documents showing that the visa applicant participated as a judge of other people’s work who are in the same or allied field
  • Copies of original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field
  • Any evidence that shows the authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals that have international circulation
  • Letters from former employees that provide evidence of at least 3 years of teaching or research experience in their academic field
  • A letter or contract from a university stating that the position is tenured, on the tenured track or is a permanent researcher position
  • Evidence that shows the employer (if working in the private industry) has a history of significant achievements in research, employs at least 3 other full-time research workers, and has the intention to hire the applicant for permanent research work

In addition, the visa applicant must also provide a copy of the U.S. employment contract, letter of a job offer, or any other document showing evidence that the applicant will continue their research or teaching.

What is the application process for the EB1-2 Visa?

If you are an outstanding professor or researcher, your U.S. employer will need to file Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) on your behalf. During the application process, your U.S employer will need to prove a continuing ability to pay the offered wage as of the priority date. They may use an annual report, federal income tax return, or audited financial statement to demonstrate this.

Again, the EB-1 Visa can be acquired much more quickly than most US Green Cards, this is because PERM Labor Certification is not required from a US employer. Most other employment-based immigration visas do require this which can greatly increase the processing time.

After the Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) is filed and approved, it is then sent off to the National Visa Center. The NVC center will then assign a case number to the petition and ask that the applicant complete DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application). You can complete this file online. Once completed, you will be given a confirmation page. Make sure to print this confirmation page and keep it safe as you may need to submit it later along with other supporting documents to your visa application.

The last stage of the immigrant visa process is the interview. The visa applicant will be called to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (if abroad) for an interview when their priority date becomes current. If they are in the U.S., the applicant will attend an interview in a local USCIS office. After the interview, if the visa is approved the applicant can then travel to the U.S.

What are the fees?

Depending on your case and unique circumstance, the costs associated with an EB1-2 visa will vary. Overall, the cost of the application will consist of the following fees:

  • Form I-140 (if you are self-petitioning): $700
  • Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application): $325
  • Affidavit of Support: $120
  • Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status), this form is if you are already in the U.S. under a different visa and need to adjust your status to an EB2 visa.
  • Biometrics fee (if applicable): $85
  • Medical Examination and required vaccinations: costs may vary
  • Certified Translations (if applicable): costs may vary
  • Travel expenses: costs may vary

How long does it take to get an EB1-2 Visa?

EB1-2 visas benefit from having current priority dates which means that there is less waiting time compared to other immigrant visas. First, the employer must file Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker).  The average processing time for this form is around 6-9 months depending on which service center is used to process the visa.  Premium Processing is available for those who do not want to wait months for their Form I-140 to process.

This type of expedited processing will process your visa application in 15 calendar days.  If you choose to have your application premium processed, you must first file Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service) and pay the $2,500 fee.

Once in the United States, you will have to wait at least 6 months for the government to issue you with permanent residence.  Your green card will be sent to you via mail to the address you specified in the DS-260 form.

What happens at the interview?

Since the EB1-2 visa is a worker’s visa that allows for permanent residency, you will be asked to attend an in-person interview at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are in the U.S. when filing, you will be asked to go to a local USCIS field office.

In this interview, the USCIS officer will call you into a private area, ask you to raise your right hand and promise to tell the truth then check your photo I.D. After this, the officer will ask you some questions regarding the information in your application visa file. Questions asked are normally at the interviewer’s discretion however the interview will likely ask you questions about your background, your job qualifications, education, details about your job offer in the U.S., and your employer.

After the interview, if the immigration official is satisfied with the answers given, your visa will be approved. It should be noted, that any dependents who are also on your visa application must attend an interview as well. However, the interview is waived for children under 14 years old. If you are attending the interview with your spouse or children, they will be asked certain personal questions as well like how long you and your spouse have been married, where were your children born, and any other relevant questions that prove you are in a bona fide relationship. This interview is more light and friendly than intimidating so try not to get too worried or stressed out about it.

What documents should I bring to the interview?

When you attend an interview at your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy for your immigrant visa, you will be asked to bring with you a number of documents. These may include the following:

  • A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the intended date of entry into the U.S.
  • The confirmation page of the DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application)
  • Two 2×2 photographs that meet U.S. Visa standards
  • Any relevant immigration documents received after your petition was filed
  • A letter from your employer confirming employment
  • Completed Medical Examination and Proof of Vaccination Forms
  • Marriage and birth certificates if you are interviewing with your family who will also come with you to the U.S.

All documents submitted should be in their original form. These will be given back to you usually at the end of the interview.

Required Medical Examination and Vaccinations

In order to be approved for a U.S. immigrant visa, all applicants must first complete a medical evaluation proving that they are healthy enough to enter and live in the United States without posing a risk to the general public. In addition to this medical examination, the applicant must also receive the required vaccinations.

Instructions for what specific vaccinations are needed along with the required medical examination form will be sent to the applicant in the first NVC packet. All medical forms must be signed by a licensed doctor. These will be included in the portfolio of evidence that will be submitted later.

EB1-2 Visa Outstanding Researcher/Professor Help

The Immigration Advice Service has US-based lawyers who are experienced in professional immigration applications. Your attorney will review your application, go through the interview process with the USCIS, and make sure your visa application has the highest possible chance for success. To make an inquiry call +1 844 290 6312 or use the online form today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The EB1-2 Visa process involves applying for a Green Card, which gives you permanent residency in the United States. It’s a highly-desired visa category. There are three distinct subsets: ones who are eligible for a visa for extraordinary ability in their field; have been recognised as outstanding professors, and those who are executives or managers of multinational corporations.

They are wanted visas and are reserved for the brightest and best. The USCIS does not just give them away. Instead, those who want one of these visas must produce an application that delivers what the EB1 requirements outline, and beyond.

The EB1-2 Outstanding Professor/Researcher Visa is a Green Card visa which provides permanent residency to nationals who want to reside in the USA. For some countries, individuals have to wait years until these visas are immediately available.

It is, ultimately, for people who are exceptional in their fields: outstanding professors and research academics who are internationally recognised for their excellence. Exceptional professionals may also be selected to be part of the J1 Exchange Visitor Program.

You can submit an EB1-2 Visa Outstanding researcher/professor application online or through a lawyer at the Immigration Advice Service. The EB1-2 Outstanding Researcher/Professor Visa is one of the hardest US visas to obtain. Individuals with extraordinary ability can follow different immigration route to enter the U.S., such as the O visa category. That’s why, here at IAS, we ensure that we are closely scrutinising your application to ensure it receives a successful outcome.

Our specially-trained lawyers will be able to advise you on the visa and how to submit a successful application, including what to do in the interview with the USCIS.

The EB1-2 Outstanding Researcher/Professor Visa is one of the hardest US visas to obtain. That’s why, here at IAS, we ensure that we are closely scrutinising your application to ensure it receives a successful outcome.

Our specially-trained lawyers will be able to advise you on the visa and how to submit a successful application, including what to do in the interview with the USCIS.