EB-1B Outstanding Professor or Researcher


EB-1B immigrant status allows outstanding professors and researchers to gain permanent residency if they have a qualifying offer of employment at an university or private research institution. EB-1B status recipients receive many immigration benefits, including avoiding the ability to premium process, the ability to obtain permanent residency much faster than other immigrant workers, and the ability to avoid a labor certification. EB-1B visas may be obtained by professionals with advanced degrees or those with exceptional ability in the sciences, business or arts. An alternative for those who do not qualify for an EB-1B visa because of its higher standards, the EB-1B visa generally requires the applicant to have a job offer from a U.S. company.


The EB -1B Immigrant status is reserved for outstanding professors and researchers who have offers of qualifying employment at universities and private research institutions. Qualifying employment opportunities must be:

  • A tenure or tenure-track teaching position or comparable research position,
  • A research position with no fixed term in a position where the employee would generally have the expectation of permanent employment, or
  • A research position with a private company that has at least three full time researchers and has research accomplishments.

Eligible immigrants do not need to complete a labor certification.


An immigrant seeking to gain permanent residency through EB 1-B status must demonstrate that he or she is an outstanding professor or researcher. Generally speaking, outstanding ability must be demonstrated by meeting two of the following factors:

  • Receipt of a major international prize or award for outstanding achievement in the academic field, outstanding achievement in the academic field,
  • Membership in associations that require outstanding achievements of their members,
  • Material in professional publications written by others about the foreign national’s work,
  • Participation as a judge of the work of others in the field,
  • Original contributions in the field,
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles in journals with international circulations.

Although the regulations only require two indicators to be met, in reality it is often necessary to demonstrate that more factors have been met. To better understand the EB 1-B qualifications, please contact Rai & Associates immigration attorney.


To receive approval for an outstanding researcher visa, you must provide the following documentation:

  • Must provide evidence of your international acknowledgments within your field.
  • Applicant must have at least two of the accepted articles of evidence.
    • Documented proof of significant awards and prizes in field
    • Membership in prestigious organizations associated with applicant’s field. Must demonstrate achievements within the organization.
    • Recognition by others in the form of professional or media publication within the applicant’s field.
    • Having been a judge of the work of your peers individually or on a panel.
    • Created significant, original scholarly or scientific research to the field.
    • Published scholarly books, articles, or journals with international circulation.

Processing Time

The beneficiary must file a Form I-140 petition directly with USCIS. In addition, if a visa number is available, the beneficiary can concurrently file I-485 with the I-140, and can also apply for employment authorization and a travel document. Processing time for EB-1B cases depends on the workload at the specific USCIS service center at which the petition is filed. Processing of Outstanding Researcher/Professor petitions, filed with USCIS form I-140, is currently taking at least 4-6 months from the date that the initial petition is submitted to the USCIS. Please note that processing times may vary depending on caseload and administrative delays at regional USCIS Service Centers, and you can check estimated processing times at the USCIS website. Expedited service, known as “Premium Processing,” is available on EB-1B applications. Premium Processing requires an additional $1225 fee, and in return the USCIS will make an initial decision on the case in 15 days. If additional evidence is requested, a final decision will be made within 15 days of filing the evidence. Note that a petition can be upgraded to Premium Processing, even if it was not originally filed with the $1225 fee.


The EB-1B Outstanding Professor Or Researcher category has a number of advantages including:

  1. No labor certification is necessary.
  2. EB-1B is rarely – if ever – retrogressed
  3. Since most foreign nationals will be able to file concurrently, the case processing time will be significantly reduced compared to a self-sponsorship EB-2/NIW petition.


  1. The adjudications standards are high for EB-1B
  2. Due to a December, 2010 USCIS policy decision, results are more unpredictable than previously.
  3. You have to be outstanding – not just very good – to qualify for this category. Not everyone qualifies. Unlike the Aliens of Extraordinary Ability category (EB-1A), the Outstanding Professors or Researchers (EB-1B) category requires a permanent job. This means that you cannot self-petition under the Outstanding Professors or Researchers category.

How We Can Help Obtain Your EB-1B Visa

Due to the EB-1B visa petition needing to be presented in an organized manner with a cover letter strategically written as to highlight why the applicant is an outstanding professor, without confusing the case reviewer, it is important to higher an immigration attorney to prepare the case. Even if the applicant is qualified for an EB-1B visa, due to the complexity of the paperwork, immigration services may not understand the significance of the worker’s contributions. This is where an attorney plays a pivotal role in compiling the EB-1B application to ensure it is written in such as way as to clearly convey to the immigration service the significance of the applicant’s contributions to the academic world to the immigration service. Furthermore, due to the attorney’s experience and deep knowledge of the EB-1B application process, they will be able to ensure that the proper documents are compiled and sent. At Rai & Associates, experienced attorneys will first evaluate your situation in order to select personalized options for a potential immigration petition. You can always start this process by sending us your resume either by e-mail to info@hsrai.com or by fax to +1 415-693-9135. After reviewing your resume, we’ll have a frank discussion with you regarding your ability to secure an EB-1B visa.

Our EB-1B visa attorneys experience benefits you in several key areas. We:

  • Clarify options and potential scenarios surrounding your case.
  • Assist you in collecting the proper information and documentation.
  • Correctly classify the application and ensure requirements are met.
  • Prepare and submit all USCIS and Department of Labor (DOL) forms and documentation.
  • Communicate with the DOL and USCIS throughout the process.
  • Monitor the entire EB-1B visa immigration application process.

EB-1B Visa Attorney Experience & Responsiveness that Makes a Difference. Our EB-1B Attorney Pledge:

  • 100% commitment to processing your EB-1B Visa quickly & successfully.
  • Strong EB-1B Visa attorney experience & knowledge.
  • Open EB-1B Attorney communication & responsiveness is among our top priority.
  • Highest level of EB-1B Visa Attorney service at an affordable FLAT rate.
  • Some EB-1B Visa applications can be submitted in as little as 1-2 weeks.
  • To discuss your case call: (415)-693-9131 or Mail Us.
Something very important you may want to know

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1
    What are the minimum documentary requirements for EB-1B petitions?

    An EB-1B petition consists of Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, and supporting documents that show that the beneficiary meets EB-1B criteria. The specific documents required depend on which criteria a petitioner is attempting to satisfy.

  2. 2
    If I have the choice between filing an EB-1A or an EB-1B petition, which petition should I choose?

    It depends on your individual circumstances. If you meet both sets of criteria, we’d generally recommend that you file an EB-1A petition because it will not bind you to any particular employer and you’re allowed to file on your own behalf. An EB-1B petition requires a job offer and sponsorship from a petitioning employer, and unanticipated events like a job change while your petition is pending may affect your EB-1B application. Of course, your particular situation may differ depending on your individual facts and circumstances. Please consult with one of our experienced immigration attorneys for more information.

  3. 3
    Can I file both an EB-1A and an EB-1B at the same time?

    Yes. In fact, many of our clients opt to file both petitions simultaneously. Oftentimes, one petition will be approved before the other. And if one petition is denied for some reason, then obviously there is still a chance that the other pending petition will be approved.

  4. 4
    Can I file bI’m a Ph.D. student. Can I still apply for an EB-1B?

    In theory, yes. However, in reality, it may be very challenging for a Ph.D. student or even a postdoctoral researcher to receive a permanent job offer teaching or researching.

  5. 5
    How many publications should I have in order to meet EB-1B requirements?

    There is no specific minimum number of publications you are required to have. That said, having at least some publications in major, widely circulated scholarly journals meets one of the criteria of an EB-1B visa.

  6. 6
    I received a permanent job offer from my employer. Is my employer required to employ me permanently?

    No. Most jobs involve an employment relationship that is considered “at will.” In practice, this means that either you or your employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time for any, or for no, reason at all.

  7. 7
    What should a job offer letter for a permanent position contain?

    The offer letter should contain the following basic information: your job title, duties, and salary; language stipulating that the job has no fixed end date; and your future employer’s signature.

  8. 8
    I plan on staying with my current employer for only a few more months. Can I still file an EB-1B petition?

    Yes, you can. However, be sure to work for the employer that sponsored your EB-1B petition for at least 180 days. Why is this the case? Pursuant to the final rule regarding portability that took effect in January 2017, a foreign national whose I-140 petition has been approved for at least 180 days will not have his or her petition automatically revoked in the event the petitioning employer goes out of business or withdraws the petition. After 180 days, if an employee wants to change jobs, then he or she is allowed to retain the originally approved I-140’s priority date. In addition, if such an employee has filed an I-485 application that has been pending for at least 180 days, then he or she is permitted to use the old I-140 petition for another job, provided this new job is in the same or similar occupational classification as the old.

  9. 9
    What if I lose my job while my EB-1B petition is pending?

    Your petition could still be approved, but your adjustment of status may not be. As long as you maintain your job for 180 days after filing, your status should be safe.

  10. 10
    Do I need to live in the U.S. to apply for an EB-1B?

    No. Any alien, regardless of where he or she resides, can apply for an EB-1B petition, provided, or course, that he or she meets the EB-1B requirements . That said, it may be challenging for an alien who resides outside the U.S. to receive a permanent employment offer for a teaching or research position with a U.S. employer.

  11. 11
    If I have a labor certification pending, can I still apply for an EB-1B?

    Yes. They can be filed independently since they’re unrelated. The labor certification process is handled by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), whereas USCIS handles EB-1 petitions. If your labor certification is ultimately denied, then you still have a chance of getting your EB-1B petition approved.

  12. 12
    If my labor certification was denied, can I still petition for an EB-1B?

    Yes, assuming you would otherwise qualify for an EB-1B. The standards for an EB-1B petition and a labor certification are very different. Labor certifications seek to determine whether there is a lack of available U.S. workers with minimum qualifications for a particular job. In contrast, EB-1B applications center on proving that intending immigrants are “outstanding” researchers or professors.

  13. 13
    From whom should I obtain my letters of recommendation?

    Recommendation letters should be written by experts or scholars in your field. Usually, our clients ask their former professors, supervisors, coworkers, or peers they’ve met at meetings or conferences. We recommend asking people who are not too personally familiar with you since such individuals are more objective in their testimony about you. Ultimately, though, anyone who knows and can speak to your work whether directly or indirectly and who has expertise in your field is the sort of person you would want to write a letter of recommendation for your application.

  14. 14
    Who can sign on behalf of my employer on my EB-1B documents?

    Usually, the HR director, international office director, or a vice president is authorized to sign on behalf of an employer. Sometimes, another director or dean may also be able to sign on the employer’s behalf.


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