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What are the requirements of an Outstanding Researcher (EB-1B) petition?

By January 2, 2023Immigration
research under a magnified glass

The EB-1B category is a sub-category of the first preference (EB-1) pathway for researchers or professors who have a permanent job offer from a U.S. university or private employer who employs at least 3 full-time researchers in a department that has achieved documented recognition in an academic field.

To be eligible for the EB-1B classification, the researcher or professor must meet at least two out of six evidentiary criteria which much show that they “stand apart in the academic community through eminence and distinction based on international recognition.”

  1. Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement.
  2. Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement.
  3. Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the noncitizen’s work in the academic field.
  4. Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field.
  5. Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field.
  6. Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field.

In addition to these evidentiary criteria for being outstanding, the petition is also subject to several additional requirements:

  • Beneficiaries (the foreign national) cannot self-petition; the application must be made by the university or institution itself.
  • The application must be accompanied by a job offer letter from the prospective U.S. employer. A labor certification is not
  • The employer must either be a U.S. university or a private institute.
  • If the employer is a private institute, it must operate a research department or division that employs at least 3 people in the department and must have achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field. Engineering or product design research, which relates to the application of existing research, does not
  • The job offer letter and other elements of the application must show that the job offer is for a permanent (e.g., tenured or tenure-track) position where the professor or researcher will have an expectation of continued permanent employment absent good cause.
  • The researcher or professor must show that they have over three years of experience as a researcher or professor.

As with all the EB-1A, extraordinary ability subcategory, the EB-1B petition can benefit from premium processing, which renders a decision or other action within 15 calendar days. This benefit, combined with the fact that a labor certification is not required, can make this option one of the fastest pathways to a green card.

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