Step 1: Determine EB-1 eligibility
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will approve an EB-1 outstanding professor/researcher petition only if the evidence submitted with the petition supports the contention that the employee is internationally recognized as outstanding in the academic field.
Provide documentation showing both the position and the employee meet the necessary requirements below. If any document is not written in English, provide a translation and a translator’s certification.
|Requirements||How to document requirements|
A tenured or tenure-track teaching or “permanent” research position in the academic field.
Note: USCIS defines “permanent” as being “for a term of indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.”
Provide a letter signed by the dean/director confirming the position is tenured, tenure-track, or “permanent.”
At least three years of postdoctoral teaching or research experience in the academic field.
Teaching experience gained while pursuing an advanced degree can be counted toward the three years only if the beneficiary received the degree and had full responsibility for the class taught (i.e., solo-teaching, instructor of record).
Research experience gained while pursuing an advanced degree can be counted toward the three years only if the beneficiary received the degree and conducted research that is recognized as outstanding by other experts in the academic field.
Provide employment certification letters from past employers to show at least three years of teaching and/or research experience in the field. If some or all experience took place in the same UH college/school/unit, then employment certification can be combined with the dean/director’s letter.
Substantial achievements in a specific academic field in at least two of these six categories:
(A) Major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field.
(B) Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members.
(C) Published material in professional publications about the individual’s work in the field for which classification is sought.
(D) Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought.
(E) Required: Original scientific or scholarly contributions of significance to the field.
(F) Authorship of articles published in scholarly journals with international circulation in the academic field.
If at least one of the above categories does not fit the type of evidence to be submitted, the beneficiary may also provide comparable documentation of outstanding international achievements in the field.
(A) Major awards/prizes for outstanding achievement:
Note 1: Although prizes must be prestigious national or international in scope, they do not have to be of the same caliber as a Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
Note 2: USCIS does not accept school-awarded academic scholarships/fellowships and grants unless they are notoriously competitive.
(B) Memberships based on outstanding achievements:
(C) Published articles about the beneficiary’s work:
Note: The articles must extensively discuss, as opposed to simply cite, the beneficiary’s work in positive or neutral way.
(D) Participation as a panelist/individual as a judge of others’ work:
(E) Required: Original scientific or scholarly contributions:
(F) Authorship of published scholarly articles:
Examples of comparable evidence proving outstanding international recognition in the field include, but are not limited to:
Step 2: Prepare EB-1 request
UH colleges, schools, departments, and units need to follow each step below to complete and submit EB-1 requests to FSIS.
1. The UH department initiates the EB-1 request.
The UH department works with the EB-1 beneficiary to obtain necessary information and documentation for the EB-1 request packet. The department completes/gathers its portion of the documents listed on the EB-1 Request Form.
2. The HR specialist reviews the EB-1 request and attaches documents.
The UH department forwards its portion of the EB-1 request packet to the HR specialist for the college/school/unit. The HR specialist reviews these documents and attaches any additional documents.
The HR specialist sends the complete request packet to an Immigration Specialist at FSIS.
Step 3: FSIS processing
Once FSIS receives the request from the HR specialist, we will review it. If we have any questions, we will contact the HR specialist and/or the employee. As long as all initial requirements are met, we will complete the following:
|1||Review all departmental letters and documentation of outstanding international recognition; may independently obtain additional supporting documents and/or ask the employee for additional evidence to clarify and/or supplement the information already provided.||2 to 6 weeks|
|2||Draft a comprehensive petition cover letter summarizing the employee’s impact on the specific area of research and detailing the documentation of outstanding international recognition being submitted.||2 weeks|
|3||Email the employee to confirm their information and method of applying for permanent residence; employee replies to provide information.||Few days or longer after cover letter is drafted|
|4||Complete Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker and Form I-907 Request for Premium Processing (optional) and attaches the cover letter and supporting documents.||Few days after employee replies|
|5||FSIS emails the employee to provide the Form I-140 filing fee(s) and a pre-paid mailing label for the petition.||Few days or longer|
|6||FSIS mails the EB-1 petition to USCIS and file drops a copy of it to the employee and the HR specialist for the unit.||Same day or day after petition is finished|
Note: At this step in the process, certain employees may be eligible to concurrently file a Form I-485 adjustment of status application with the Form I-140 petition. See Step 5 below for more details.
Step 4: USCIS processing
Upon receiving the EB-1 petition, USCIS will conduct an initial review to ensure the petition is being filed with the appropriate fee. If USCIS determines the petition has been properly filed, it will mail a receipt notice to FSIS, and we will email a copy of it to the HR specialist and employee.
Under regular processing, it generally takes USCIS 6-8 months to adjudicate petitions.
If premium processing service is requested, USCIS will act on the petition within 15 calendar days (“Act on” = approve, deny, request further evidence, or notify of intent to deny). USCIS offers this service for an additional fee.
While the petition is pending, departments can check its status using the receipt number and view average processing times on USCIS’s case status website.
If the petition is approved, USCIS will mail an EB-1 approval notice (Form I-797 Notice of Action) to FSIS. FSIS will email a copy of the notice and information about the next steps to the HR specialist and the employee. It is important to note that approval of an EB-1 petition does not grant a person legal status in the U.S. The employee must continue to have valid status and work authorization in the U.S. until permanent residence is obtained.
Step 5: Apply for U.S. permanent residence
The employee can apply for permanent residence by one of these two methods:
|Adjustment of status||Consular processing|
Effect of unauthorized employment or status
If the employee has maintained a valid nonimmigrant status throughout their stay in the U.S. and is currently in the U.S. in a qualifying nonimmigrant status, adjustment of status or consular processing are both options for the final stage of the permanent residence process. However, if the worker has not maintained status, has engaged in unauthorized employment, or has violated the terms and conditions of admission for a total period of more than 180 days, they may not be eligible to adjust status in the U.S. In such a case, the only option will be consular processing.