Green Card for Scientists & Professors


Immigration Desk's EB-1B clients include universities and private laboratories who are hiring researchers and professors to fill long-term positions.


Basics and Benefits of the EB-1B Green Card

To obtain an EB-1B green card, the professor or researcher has to be considered outstanding in his field.

Utilizing the EB-1B category is one of the quickest ways to get a work based green card. Generally, filing for employment-based green cards is a 3-part process, but for EB-1B petitions, we skip the PERM filing, which is the most time-consuming part of the process.

  • Step I – (I-140) Can be approved in less than 1 month.
  • Step II – (I-485) Most of the time, you can file both these steps together, which saves additional time.

Usually, researchers who qualify for O-1, J-1 or H-1B visas (used for temporary stay) also qualify for EB-1B permanent residence if their employers are willing to sponsor them for a green card.

If you are a scientist trying to choose between an EB-1A and an EB-1B category for green card, remember that you can sponsor yourself using EB-1A, whereas you need an employer to sponsor you for an EB-1B. However, it is much easier to qualify for a EB-1B green car than it is to qualify for an EB-1A.

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Eligibility Criteria

To get a green card under EB-1B, the employer must prove that the professor/researcher being sponsored:

  • Is internationally known for their outstanding achievements in science
  • Has more than 3 years of work experience
  • Is coming to the US to either teach or research in their field

To prove that the researcher or professor is outstanding, you must prove that you meet 2 out of this list of 6 criteria:

  • Won a major prize or award
  • Membership in associations that only allow outstanding people as members
  • Other researchers have cited your work in their research publications
  • Been a reviewer or a judge of similar works in your industry
  • Performed original research
  • Written research papers or books that have been published in reputed academic or professional journals

If the employer is a private research facility, they must prove that they employ more than 3 full-time researchers.

Once the criteria are met, the USCIS then looks at all the documentation together to decide whether the researcher is outstanding in his field.

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The Filing Process

EB-1B petitions are filed with the USCIS in the United States. These are 2 steps:

  • Step I – (I-140) The employer files the 140 petition with the USCIS requesting a green card in the EB-1B category. You can also pay the USCIS an additional premium processing fee and have your I-140 reviewed in less than a month. Usual processing times may several months, sometimes taking over a year.
  • To process these petitions, the USCIS often consults with experts in your industry, to decide whether your research work is outstanding.

  • Step II – (I-485 or Consular Processing). This is the 2nd step in the process. If you are in the US, you may qualify to file for I-485 along with an I-140 (Step I), saving you many months in government processing time. If you do not qualify to file both the 140 and 485 petitions together, you will need to wait till your “priority date” is current so you can file this step.
  • If you are out of the US, you must wait till the I-140 is approved before applying for consular processing.
  • (See this link for explanation of I-485, consular processing and the concept of “priority date”)

  • Green cards issued in this category are usually valid for 10 years and can be extended.
  • Green card holders can file for citizenship 5 years after obtaining their green cards.
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How We Can Help

Proving an EB-1B Case

Our EB-1B clients are private research labs and universities who hire us to file for the green cards of their employees. We often also help individual scientist who approach us to file their EB-1B petitions. Our individual clients work at private laboratories or universities in the US. Sometimes, our clients may be involved with sales and marketing, or may be providing services ancillary to the research being conducted. While your employer is willing to sponsor your green cards, the employer wants you to get your own attorney to file the petition. We are happy to work with both companies and individuals to file for your EB-1B green cards.

Based on more than 2 decades of experience representing clients, we find that most cases have one commonality - Though our scientist-clients are very comfortable explaining their research in formulae, our audience — the immigration officer — very rarely has that depth of scientific knowledge. In these and all EB-1B petitions, it is our responsibility to talk to you and figure out an answer to the critical question, the answer to which will get the green card approved - “What do you think your research will achieve?”

We find that the answer to this question will get the EB-1B green card approved.

The Immigration Desk Solution

As your attorney, it is our responsibility to explore your research with a thorough deep dive so we know exactly what the research is designed to do. This level of detail helps us visualize how the research expands current scientific knowledge and theorize as to what its potential commercial applications may be. Then we put this knowledge into a simple, coherent explanation that gets our EB-1B green card cases approved.

We take pleasure in all the work that goes into building a successful EB-1B case. We talk to our clients – a lot! We talk to the employers who have an end goal in mind when they spend millions of dollars on a particular research project. We research you and your peers on Google Scholar, we ask you to explain terminology. And we spend a lot of time talking with you. We become your partner, invested in the process as much as you are.

And we take as much pleasure in getting a swift green card approval as you do.

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