Table of Contents
What is the EB1B visa?
The EB1B visa is an immigrant visa that allows outstanding professors and researchers to permanently come to the
United States if they demonstrate international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic
field and have at least three years of experience in teaching or researching within that field.
Who qualifies for the EB1B visa?
In order to qualify for an EB1B visa, an applicant must be able to prove that:
- He or she has outstanding achievements in a particular academic field;
- The applicant has at least three years of experience in teaching or researching in his or her respective field;
- The applicant is seeking to enter the United States to pursue tenure, a tenure track teaching, or comparable
research position at a university or other higher education institution;
- The applicant has a job offer from a university, higher education institution, or a department, division or
institute of a private employer before applying for the EB1B visa.
What is the process for obtaining an EB1B visa?
The application process for the EB1B visa is fairly straightforward. Generally, the application process is led by
the applicant’s employer. The steps below outline the application process:
Step One: U.S. Employer Files Form I-140 with the USCIS
The prospective U.S. employer for the EB1B applicant must complete and sign Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers according to the form’s
instructions. The form is submitted with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After
completing and signing the form, it must be submitted with the applicable filing fee and documentary evidence
showing the applicant meets the qualifications for the EB1B visa.
Evidence to be Submitted with Form I-140
When submitting Form I-140, evidence must be provided that proves the EB1B applicant is an outstanding professor or
researcher. There is no requirement that EB1B visa applicants receive and submit a permanent labor certification from
the United States Department of Labor.
EB1B applicants must be able to prove that they are an outstanding professor or researcher. To do so, applicants
must submit to the USCIS at least 2 of 6 criteria below:
- Evidence of the applicant’s membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding
- Evidence of the applicant’s published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s
work in the academic field;
- Evidence of the applicant’s original scientific or scholarly research contributions in his or her academic
- Evidence of the applicant’s receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
- Evidence of the applicant’s participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others
in the same or allied academic field;
- Evidence of the applicant’s authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international
circulation in the field.
Upon receipt of evidence, the USCIS will evaluate the proffered documentation to determine whether it proves that
the applicant is an outstanding professor or researcher. The strength of the evidence will be determined by the
USCIS by comparing the applicant’s evidence of outstanding achievement and international recognition with others in
the field who have outstanding achievements and international recognition in their own right. International
recognition and outstanding achievement is not determined by merely comparing the applicant to the general
population, but to the applicant’s peers in his or her academic field.
Step Two: Applicant Files Online Form DS-260 and DS-261
EB1B applicants who are outside of the United States at the time they apply must also submit the online Form
DS-260 and DS-261 application and pay the associated fee.
Step Three: Applicant Schedules Visa Interview
After submitting Form DS-260, applicants must then schedule an interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate near
them. At their interview, applicants will be required to have their biometrics taken and will be asked questions
about their background, experience, and interest in coming to the United States permanently. Applicants must bring
the following items to their interview:
- Copy of printed Form DS-260;
- Copy of Form I-140;
- A valid passport;
- A photo conforming to the United States Department of State’s photo
- Evidentiary documents proving the applicant’s qualifications;
- The applicant’s CV or resume;
- An affidavit of support from the applicant’s employer
Step Four: Applicant Files Form I-485 with the USCIS
After Form I-140 is approved, the applicant must wait until his or her priority date is current in order to apply
for legal permanent resident status. Once the priority date is current, the applicant must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status
with the USCIS. Once Form I-485 is approved by the USCIS, the applicant will officially be a lawful permanent
resident in the United States.
Applicants Already Inside the United States
EB-1B visa applicants who are already in the United States at the time they apply must file Form I-485 to change their visa status along with Form I-140.
Premium process is available for EB1B visa applicants. Opting to use premium processing will expedite the process by
which the visa application is reviewed and approved for an additional fee.
What are the advantages of the EB-1B visa?
There are several advantages of applying for and receiving an EB1B visa. For example, the EB1B visa does not require
applicants to receive a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, which saves time and expedites the
application process. The process is also generally quicker for EB1B visa applicants because visa numbers are usually
current for the EB1 category, which reduces the wait time for applicants before they can apply for adjustment of
status to lawful permanent resident (green card status) by filing Form I-485.
What are the limitations of the EB1B visa?
The EB1B visa is limited in a few important ways. For example, the EB1B visa is only available to outstanding
professors who will be employed in a tenure, tenure-track, or comparable position with a university, higher
education institution, or a department, division or institute of a private employer. The employer may also employ
the EB1B applicant in a permanent research position. However, employment with a local, state, or federal government
agency or entity does not constitute qualified employment under the EB1B visa unless the government agency is a U.S.
university or institution of higher learning.
How much does it cost to get an EB1B visa?
- The Form I-140 filing fee is $700.
- The Form I-485 filing fee is $750-$1,450, dependent on the applicant’s age.
- The biometrics fee for overseas applicants is $85.
- The Form DS-260 filing fee for overseas applicants is $445.
- The affidavit of support for overseas applicants is $88.
- The premium processing fee is $1,440.
Family of EB1B visa holders
The spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age may accompany the EB1B visa holder in the United States. The
family member(s) must apply to accompany the visa holder in the United States at the same time or after the EB1B
visa holder applies.
For how long is the EB1B visa valid?
Once Form I-485 is approved by the USCIS, EB1B visa holders will be issued a green card that is valid for 10 years.
After the 10 year validity period, the green card may be renewed for another 10 years. Alternatively, the EB1B visa
holder may pursue citizenship, which will remove the need to renew legal permanent resident status (green card)
every 10 years.