The Evidence Evaluation
for an EB1
1. U.S. Employer Should File the EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Petition
The U.S. employer should file the EB1 outstanding professor or researcher petition with the USCIS. The foreign alien is the beneficiary of the EB1 outstanding professor or researcher petition. All petitions of EB1 need to file the Form I-140.
No labor certification is required before the Form I-140 filing for EB1 outstanding professor or researcher. A job offer is required under the category of EB-1B, and the foreign professor or researcher needs U.S. employer's sponsorship to file the EB-1B petition. All EB1 immigrant visas are current, so it is much faster to obtain a Green Card in this category than others.
EB-1B is an immigration category for researchers and professors only. To be eligible for this classification, the alien applicant's job duties must be primarily research. A private company can file EB-1B application for an alien worker. But there are other requirements that a private company has to meet for filing an EB-1B application. If the U.S. employer is a private company, not a university or educational institution, the private employer must employ at least 3 full time researchers in their research activities, and have achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.
2. The Process of U.S. Permanent Residency (Green Card) Application in the Category of EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor
For a U.S. employer to seek permanent residency for an alien employee in EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor category, the following is the process:
1) The employer should file Form I-140 application, Petition for Alien Worker, and also submit the job offer and other evidence to USCIS. (It is possible to file From I-485 application concurrently with Form I-140 application)
2) Upon approval of Form I-140, the alien beneficiary should file Form I-485 application for adjustment of status, if an immigrant visa number is available, and the alien beneficiary is in U.S. On the other hand, if the alien beneficiary is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, the alien could complete the process of status adjustment at a nearest U.S. consulate office.
3) If the From I-485 application is approved by USCIS, the alien beneficiary is granted U.S. permanent resident status, and will receive a permanent resident card (Green Card) in mail. (If the alien beneficiary went through the immigrant visa process overseas, the alien beneficiary can enter the U.S. and receives an immigrant visa attached to the passport at the U.S. port of entry, to serve as evidence of immigrant status until receiving the Green Card in mail.)
3. Evidence Required for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Petition
The EB-1B petitioner should submit evidence to USCIS to establish that the professor or researcher is recognized as outstanding in an academic field. The submitted evidence must include documentation of at least two of the following:
1) Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
2) Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievements;
3) Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field;
4) Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field;
5) Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field;
6) Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field.
The submitted evidence for EB-1B application should meet the following requirements:
1) the petition should determine which of the 6 criteria the alien beneficiary is attempting to satisfy, and provide the relevant evidence for the individual criterion.
2) the petitioner should provide evidence that the alien beneficiary has at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in an academic field.
3) the alien beneficiary has a tenured or tenure track teaching position or comparable research position, at a university or other institution of higher education or a private employer;
4) evidence that the alien beneficiary is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field;
5) submit a copy of the employer's job offer issued to the alien beneficiary. The job offer letter should indicate the title, terms and conditions of the offered job position.
6) the employer must show the ability to pay the proffered wage to the alien beneficiary.
To help you obtain U.S. Green Card easily and quickly, we provide the high quality and case-proven Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Outstanding Researcher Petition, based on our extensive and practical employment immigration experience.
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4. Evaluating Evidence Submitted in Support of a Petition for an EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor
Evidence should be submitted to support an EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor application. The submitted evidence should demonstrate that the alien beneficiary is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field. An academic field is defined as “a body of specialized knowledge offered for study at an accredited United States university or institution of higher education.”
Also, the EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor application should be accompanied by an permanent job offer, tenured, or tenure-track employment from a qualifying U.S. employer, and also include evidence that the alien beneficiary has had at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reviewed the denial of a EB-1A petition in 2010. It is called the Kazarian case. The AAO determines that Kazarian case sets forth a two-part approach. Thereafter, a USCIS memorandum mandates the two-step analysis for EB1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability petition, EB1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers petition, and EB2 National Interest Waiver petition.
USCIS adjudicators will use a Two-Part Evaluation to evaluate the submitted evidence. First, USCIS adjudicators will evaluate the submitted evidence to determine which evidence meets the regulatory criteria, by a preponderance of the evidence. Second, USCIS adjudicators will evaluate the submitted evidence together, for the final merits determination regarding the high level of expertise requirement for the EB-1B immigrant visa category.
5. USCIS Policy of Two-Part Evaluation for Form I-140 Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a Policy Memorandum to provide "Two-Part Evaluation" in adjudicating the Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, filed for:
- EB1-Extraordinary Ability;
- EB1-Outstanding Professors or Researchers; and;
- EB2-Aliens of Exceptional Ability, including EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW).
The purpose of the Policy Memorandum is to ensure that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes Form I-140 petitions filed under these employment-based immigrant classifications with a consistent standard. USCIS Immigration Service Officers (ISOs) will follow the amended procedures in the adjudication of all Form I-140 petitions filed for EB1-Outstanding Professors or Researchers. In general, the petition must be accompanied by initial evidence that:
a) evidence submitted satisfies the preponderance of the evidence standard and meets at least two criteria.
b) the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area.
The evidence provided in support of EB1-Outstanding Professor or Researcher petitions must demonstrate that the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition. Thus, the universe against which the beneficiary is compared is measured solely against the particular academic field of which the beneficiary claims outstanding achievement.
In addition, the petition must be accompanied by an offer of permanent, tenured, or tenure-track employment (limited to “permanent positions” in the case of research positions) from a qualifying prospective employer and evidence that the alien has had at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic field in which the alien will be engaged.
In Part One, the USCIS adjudicator will determine whether the immigrant visa petition has submitted evidence to meet the criteria for the immigration classification he or she is seeking, as required by the USCIS regulations. The Part One is limited to determine whether the submitted evidence is comprised of at least two of the six EB-1B regulatory criteria, by applying a preponderance of the evidence standard. In Part One analysis, USCIS adjudicators will consider the quality of the submitted evidence objectively to determine if a particular regulatory criterion has been met. USCIS adjudicators will not make a determination for the alien beneficiary’s claimed international recognition.
In Part Two, the USCIS adjudicator will consider all of the submitted evidence in totality to make a determination as to whether the alien beneficiary meets the requisite level of expertise for the immigration category. In this step, the USCIS adjudicator will evaluate all the evidence and determine if it proves by a preponderance of the evidence cumulatively that the alien beneficiary satisfies the general definition of the category.
6. Part One Evaluation - Evaluate Whether the Evidence Meets any of the Regulatory Criteria
The determination in Part One of the analysis is limited to determining whether the evidence submitted satisfies the preponderance of the evidence standard and meets at least two criteria. While USCIS adjudicator must consider the quality and caliber of the evidence to determine whether a particular regulatory criterion has been met, the USCIS adjudicator should not make a determination relative to the alien’s claimed international recognition in Part One of the case analysis. Meeting the minimum requirement by providing at least two types of this evidence does not, in itself, establish that the alien in fact meets the requirements for classification as an Outstanding Professor or Researcher.
1) Evaluation Criterion #1: Documentation of the Alien's Receipt of Major Prizes or Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Academic Field
USCIS adjudicators will determine if the alien beneficiary was the recipient of prizes or awards. The alien beneficiary should be the receipt of the major prizes or awards, as opposed to his/her employer being the receipt of the prizes or awards.
USCIS adjudicators will determine if the alien beneficiary has received major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement. The considerations for major prizes or awards of outstanding achievement in the field include:
the criteria used to grant the major prizes or awards;
the number of prize recipients or awardees;
any limitations on competitors (for example, an award limited to competitors from one institution may not rise to the level of "major" award in the field).
To meet this criterion, the petitioner should establish that the prizes or awards are given for excellence in the beneficiary’s field of endeavor, or that the primary purpose of the prizes or awards was to recognize excellence in the beneficiary’s field. To demonstrate excellence in the field is the basis for the prizes or awards, the petitioner may submit:
Documentary evidence describing how the prizes or awards relates to excellence in the beneficiary’s field.
Documentary evidence of the criteria used to grant the prizes or awards, including evidence that a criterion for winning the prizes or awards was excellence in the field.
If you do not have any awards or prizes in a field, you still can apply for an EB-1B petition, if you can provide evidence for other criteria. There is no requirement that you must have awards or prizes to file an EB-1B petition or get it approval, although the awards or or prizes would help you satisfy one criterion in the EB-1B regulation. An applicant can still submit evidence that satisfies other criteria listed in the EB-1B regulation.
2) Evaluation Criterion #2: Documentation of the Alien's Membership in Associations in the Academic Field which Require Outstanding Achievements of their Members
USCIS adjudicators will determine if the alien's membership association requires outstanding achievements in the academic field. The petitioner should show that the association membership is based on the alien beneficiary’s outstanding achievements in the field.
In some cases, an association may have multiple levels of membership. The alien's level of membership should require outstanding achievements in the academic field. The considering factors for whether the alien’s membership is based on outstanding achievements in the field include:
solely based on a level of education;
solely based on years of experience in a particular field;
based on the payment of a fee;
by subscribing to an association’s publications.
Also, to meet this criterion, the petitioner should provide evidence to confirms that the association requires outstanding achievements of its members. To assist the USCIS in determining that the beneficiary’s membership satisfy this criterion, the petitioner may submit the section of the association’s constitution or bylaws which discuss the criteria for membership for the beneficiary’s level of membership in the association.
And, the submitted evidence should show that the basis for granting memberships in the submitted association is the beneficiary’s outstanding achievements in the field of endeavor as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field. To assist in determining that the beneficiary’s membership satisfy this criterion, the petitioner may submit:
- Information to establish that the individual who review prospective member’s applications are recognized as national or international experts in their disciplines or fields.
- The section of the association’s constitution or bylaws which discuss the qualifications required of the reviewers on the review panel of the association.
3) Evaluation Criterion #3: Published Material in Professional Publications Written by Others about the Alien's Work in the Academic field. Such Material Shall Include the Title, Date, and Author of the Material, and any Necessary Translation
USCIS adjudicators will determine whether the published material was about the alien’s work. The published material should be about the alien’s work in the field, not just about his/her employer or another organization that the alien beneficiary is associated with. The articles that only cite the alien beneficiary’s work as footnotes or endnotes are not generally considered as “about” the alien’s work.
USCIS adjudicators will determine if the publication is a professional publication. The submitted evidence for published material should include the circulation, the intended audience, and the title, date, and author of the material.
4) Evaluation Criterion #4: Evidence of the Alien's Participation, either Individually or on a Panel, as the Judge of the Work of Others in the Same or an Allied Academic Field
USCIS adjudicators will determine whether the alien beneficiary has participated as the judge of the work of others in the academic field. The petitioner should show that the alien beneficiary has not only been invited to judge the work of others, but also that the alien beneficiary actually participated in the judging of the work of others in the field. Some of the examples include:
Peer reviewing for a scholarly journal, with evidenced of a request from the journal to do the peer review, and any proof that the review was actually completed.
Serving as a committee member of a Ph.D. dissertation, which makes the final judgment for a candidate’s doctoral degree, as evidenced by school or department records.
5) Evaluation Criterion #5: Evidence of the Alien's Original Scientific or Scholarly Research Contributions to the academic field
USCIS adjudicators will determine whether the alien beneficiary has made original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the field. Different from the EB-1A criterion, this EB-1B criterion does not require that the alien beneficiary's original contributions has “major significance.”
The evidence in the EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor regulation does not simply require original research, but an original scientific or scholarly research contribution. It also requires that the contribution must be “to the academic field”, rather than an individual laboratory or institution.
To meet this criterion, the submitted evidence should show that the beneficiary’s contributions are considered to be original in the field of endeavor. To assist in determining whether the beneficiary’s contributions are original in the field, the petitioner may submit:
- Objective documentary evidence of the beneficiary’s contribution to the field.
- Documentary evidence that people throughout the field currently consider the beneficiary’s work important.
- Testimony and/or support letters from experts which discuss the beneficiary’s contribution.
- Evidence that the beneficiary’s contribution has provoked widespread public commentary in the field, or has been widely cited.
- Evidence of the beneficiary’s work being implemented by others.
In addition, the evidence which may satisfy this EB-1B criterion include:
Citations of the alien’s work, such as number of citations, and an examination of the journals' impact factor. We all know that many aliens publish scholar articles, but not all published articles are cited by others, or published on journals with high impact factors. The web tools of GoogleScholar, SciFinder, and Web of Science can be used to establish the number of citations, and the journals' impact factor.
Generally, scholarly work is expressed in specialized language. In order to assist the alien’s original contributions in the field, USCIS adjudicators will consider the reference letters from the experts in the field for the alien’s contributions. But not all reference letters could help to provide such analysis. The reference letters that specifically indicate how the alien beneficiary has contributed to the field and its impact on subsequent work would add value for an EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor application.
6) Evaluation Criterion #6: Evidence of the Alien's Authorship of Scholarly Books or Articles in Scholarly Journals with International Circulation
USCIS adjudicators will determine whether the alien has authored scholarly articles in the field. By definition, a scholarly article reports original research, experimentation, and discourse. The scholarly articles are written by researchers or experts in the field.
USCIS adjudicators will determine whether the publication is a scholarly book, or a scholarly journal with international circulation. The submitted evidence for published material should establish that the circulation is international, and indicate the publication's intended audience. Scholarly articles could include an abstract, a description of methodology, footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography.
Publications can establish the alien applicant's original scientific contributions to the field. To file an EB-1B application, there is no requirement that you need to have many published articles, although publications may help to improve your chances of EB-1B approval. An applicant can still submit evidence that satisfies other criteria listed in the EB-1B regulation, if you do not have many publications.
7. In Part One Evaluation, the Beneficiary Should Objectively Meet the EB-1B Criteria
In Part One, the USCIS adjudicator will only determine if the submitted evidence could objectively meets the EB-1B criteria. USCIS will determine whether the petitioner has submitted evidence to show that the beneficiary qualifies under at least two of the six criteria required for this classification. But in Part Two analysis, whether the alien beneficiary is recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic area will be articulated.
In Part One analysis, meeting the criteria alone does not establish that the alien beneficiary meets the requirements for EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor. For example:
1) The judging of the work of others in an academic field should satisfy the EB-1B criteria in Part One. But for Part Two analysis, the alien beneficiary’s work should be evaluated to determine if it was recognized as outstanding in an academic area.
2) The authorship of scholarly articles in journals with international circulation will satisfy the EB-1B criteria in Part One. But for Part Two analysis, the alien beneficiary’s authorship will be evaluated to
determine if the alien has being recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic area.
8. In Part Two Evaluation - Final Merits Determination
Meeting the minimum requirements of EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor of by submitting initial evidence does not establish that the alien beneficiary in fact meets the EB-1B requirements for an outstanding professor or researcher. The quality of the submitted evidence will also be considered.
In Part Two analysis for each EB-1B application case, USCIS adjudicators will evaluate the evidence together to make a final merits determination of whether or not the petitioner has demonstrated that the alien beneficiary is recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic area, by a preponderance of the evidence.
If the USCIS adjudicator determines that the alien beneficiary has not met the EB-1B requirements, the USCIS adjudicator will articulate the specific reasons as to why the petitioner has not demonstrated that the alien beneficiary is an Outstanding Professor or Researcher.
9. The Processing Time for EB1 Green Card Application (1/11/2018)
The EB-1 is the most prestigious employment-based U.S. green card application category. Its main advantage lies in the fact that the waiting time is usually much shorter than that of other green card application categories. The first preference category is broken down into three subcategories: EB-1A for foreign nationals who can demonstrate that they have extraordinary ability; EB-1B for outstanding researchers and professors; and EB-1C for multinational executives and managers.
The processing time for all three of these subcategories is not the same. Based on the alien's eligibility, the approval process time may take more or less time. The processing time to obtain an EB-1 Green Card typically depends on the applicant’s ability to complete the required documentation accurately. The error in an application may extend EB-1 processing time. The processing time also depends on how quickly the USCIS is able to process the applicantion. The following is an outline of EB-1 processing times:
- Filing times vary based on whether the applicant shall be filing regular application, or whether the applicant will be requesting premium processing.
- On average, the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) and the Texas Service Center (TSC) have similar processing times; however, the NSC is known for delayed processing times. Unfortunately, applicants cannot choose service centers as USCIS has predetermined processing locations dependent on the applicant’s intended state of employment and the jurisdiction of the service centers.
- The USCIS reports the most current EB-1 processing times. Generally, the USCIS processing time for the EB-1 immigrant visa is about 4-6 months. Once the EB-1 has been approved, the USCIS may take about 3-5 months to issue permanent residence (Green Card).
- The processing time is only available if the EB-1 category is current. Applicants can check category status at the DOS Visa Bulletin. If the EB-1 category is not current, there will be an extended amount of time to receive approval.
- If the applicant incurs any delays with applications or misfiling, the process time will be prolonged. USCIS Case status checks are available online, which provides applicants a better determinant for case-specific processing.
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