EB-1B is the employment-based first preference classification for outstanding professors or researchers under the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. It is tailored particularly for university professors or researchers. Because it is a first preference immigration petition, there is no visa backlog and the foreign national can file a concurrent adjustment of status application with the underlying immigrant petition or can immediately file such application upon the approval of the immigrant petition. Although labor certification is not required for the EB-1B petition, a job offer for tenured position or permanent research position is mandatory for the petition. Thus self-petitions are not allowed.

General Requirements

In an EB-1B petition, the beneficiary, or the foreign national, must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area; have at least three years experience in teaching or research in the academic area; and enter the United States for a tenured, tenure-track teaching position in a university or institute of higher education to teach or permanent research position to conduct research in the academic field.

At Least Three Years Teaching and or Research Experience

The foreign national must have at least three years of experience in teaching and or research in the field. Teaching experience obtained while studying on an advanced degree can be counted only if the degree is earned and the foreign national had the full responsibility for the class taught. Research conducted toward the degree can be counted only if the research was considered as outstanding in the academic field.

Job Offer of Permanent Position Required

The teaching position offered to the foreign national must be a tenured or tenure-track position in the academic field at a university or institute of higher education. The research position must be a comparable permanent research position in the academic field from a university or institute of higher education. A research position from a private employer may be qualified if such private employer has three persons full-time in research positions and has achieved documented accomplishment in the academic field.

International Recognition as Outstanding

The standard for the EB-1B petition is for the foreign national to prove that he or she is internationally recognized as outstanding in the academic field. According to the regulations, the foreign national must meet two out of six evidentiary criteria to establish his or her international recognition as an outstanding professor or researcher. The six criteria are:

(A) Documentation of the foreign national’s receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;
(B) Documentation of the foreign national’s membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members;
(C) Published material in professional publications written by others about the foreign national’s work in the academic field. Such material shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;
(D) Evidence of the foreign national’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
(E) Evidence of the foreign national’s original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or
(F) Evidence of the foreign national’s authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field;

Kazarian and two-step approach

Since August 2010, USCIS has implemented a policy requiring a two-step analysis approach to adjudicate each EB-1B petition pursuant to Kazarian v. USCIS 596 F.3d 1115, (9th Cir. 2010). According to the USCIS memo, the immigration officer adjudicating the EB-1B petition will first “evaluate the evidence on an individual basis to determine if it meets criteria, and then must consider all the evidence in totality in making the final merits determination.”

In the first step, the adjudicator will evaluate the evidence to determine how many evidentiary prongs the petition has met. If the petition has met at least two of six evidentiary prongs, then the adjudicator must proceed with the second step approach of “final merits determination” by reviewing the evidence, accumulatively, to decide if the foreign national has proven that he or she is an outstanding professor or researcher with international recognition in the academic field.

Process Information

Nebraska Service Center and Texas Service Centers are the two USCIS centers accepting and adjudicating EB-1B petitions. Usually, it takes USCIS around four months to process EB-1B petitions. Premium processing service is available to EB-1B petitions. By paying an additional $1225.00 premium processing fees, EB-1B petitioners and beneficiaries can expect that USCIS will come up with either a decision or notice within 15 calendar days. Because employment-based first preference is a category where visas are always available, foreign nationals residing in the United States can file concurrent adjustment of status applications with qualifying family relatives at the time filing the EB-1B petition. Such concurrent filing will allow the foreign national and immediate relatives to obtain immigration benefits such as employment authorization and travel document.


For a detailed discussion of EB-1B petitions, please refer to the EB-1B Frequently Asked Questions page of our website. The Law Offices of Yongbing Zhang has extensive experience in successfully representing talented foreign national professionals to file immigrant visa petitions before USCIS. As of yet, we have never received a denial on an EB-1B petition prepared and filed by our firm. Please click here to read some of our successful petitions.

Scope of our Services in EB-1B Petitions

Please contact us for a free evaluation of your EB-1B petition by filling out the initial online questionnaire and sending us your comprehensive curriculum vitae. After you retain us, we will provide the following quality services for your EB-1B petition:

  • Provide a list of documents and evidence you and your employer should collect for your EB-1B petition;
  • Answer unlimited questions from you and your employer either through phone calls or emails regarding your EB-1B petition;
  • Review all documents and proposed evidence and advise as to whether reviewed documents should be included in the petition or replaced with other evidence;
  • Draft up to six letters of recommendation based on the information provided by you regarding the background and expertise of the recommenders;
  • Work with you or the recommenders to finalize the letters;
  • Prepare and finalize all the immigration forms and supporting documents for your EB-1B petition, including the signed recommendation letters;
  • Draft and finalize a petition letter on behalf of your employer in support of EB-1B petition persuasively explaining to the USCIS service center why your EB-1B petition should be approved according to the law and the evidence submitted;
  • Organize, tab or paginate the petition package and file it with USCIS;
  • Monitor the status of your pending case after filing;
  • In the event of a USCIS Request for Evidence (RFE), Work with you to prepare (including drafting one additional letter of recommendation) and file the additional documentation in response to the RFE; and
  • Advise you of further legal steps you can take after receiving USCIS decision, which marks the end of our legal representation of your EB-1B petition.

We will advise you of any legal steps you may take in the aftermath of the USCIS decision. We will inform you whether you are eligible for adjustment of status after your EB-1B petition is approved. If it is a denial, we will discuss with you the option and possible outcome of your next actions, such as appeal to Administrative Appeal Office (AAO) or filing a new petition.

Rules for Clients Communication

At the Law Offices of Yongbing Zhang, client satisfaction is our priority. To better serve our clients, our office has implemented the following rules to assure the quality of our services:

  1. All unanswered phone calls during the regular work hours shall be answered within 24 hours of the business day;
  2. All emails shall be replied to within 24 hours of the next business day;
  3. All first drafts of letters, statements, affidavits or other documents shall be completed within 5 business days upon receipt of all the necessary information from the client;
  4. All revisions, amendments or additions to a draft of a letter, statement or affidavit shall be completed within five business days after the request by the client;

Contact Us

We suggest that you contact us today for a free evaluation. Our experienced attorneys will provide you with a detailed analysis of your case within 24 hours.