EB-1b visas for professors and researchers: Information for applicants

Outstanding foreign researchers and professors can seek admission to the United States through an EB-1b visa.

Enrollments at colleges, universities and other post secondary educational institutions continue to rise in the United States. These institutions provide opportunities not just for the students, but for the educators employed to teach these students as well. Educators at these facilities are often given the opportunity to teach while expanding their expertise in their chosen fields. This can be done through continued research or publications with time generally allotted for these pursuits included as part of their employment agreement.

Such opportunities are projected to become even more lucrative for qualified candidates both home and abroad. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for postsecondary educators is better than many other occupations, with this field projected to grow an estimated 13 percent between the years of 2014 and 2024. Foreign applicants who are interested in pursuing these opportunities in the United States may qualify through the EB-1b visa program.

The EB-1b visa program: Outstanding professors and researchers

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Department, eligibility for the EB-1b visa program is available for candidates who can demonstrate “international recognition” for outstanding achievements in an academic field. The agency also requires that the applicant have a minimum of three years of experience in the area, either through teaching or research, and be pursuing a tenure or tenure track teaching or research position at either a university or other academic institution for higher learning.

In order to establish that these criteria are met, the applicant must provide at least two of the following pieces of documentary evidence, as stated by the USCIS:

  • The presence of major awards or prizes for outstanding achievement
  • Membership in associations where membership requires a demonstration of outstanding achievement
  • Publications about the academic field for which the applicant is applying for admission in professional publications
  • Participation as a judge of others in the same or similar academic field
  • Research contributions to the field
  • Authorship in books or articles in international scholarly journals for the specific field

Determining what qualifies as evidence can be difficult. As a result, it is wise to seek legal counsel before submitting an application.

The EB-1b visa program: Importance of legal counsel

Those who are interested in applying for an EB-1b visa can benefit from the aid of an experienced immigration attorney. This legal professional can assist in putting together proper supporting documentation as well as all necessary application materials, better ensuring a favorable result.