Immigration Options for Scientists and Researchers
The Immigration and Nationality Act makes special provision for permanent residency and work visa options for scientists and researchers in the United States. While the H-1B visa is generally available to such professionals, the low quota often proves to be a significant hindrance. Instead, scientists and professionals can consider other options, including the TN visa for Canadian and Mexican nationals and, in appropriate cases, the O-1 visa. The latter visa covers individuals of extraordinary ability who can demonstrate that they meet specific evidentiary criteria laid out in federal regulations and are the recipients of job offers in their field.
Scientists and researchers may also choose from multiple options for permanent residency. The EB-1 category, which has always been current in recent history and is therefore an attractive option for nationals of backlogged countries such as India and China, includes options for both “aliens of extraordinary ability” (EB-1-1/EB-1A) and “outstanding professors and researchers” (EB-1-2/EB-1B). Similar to its temporary visa counterpart, the O visa, the EB-1A visa requires a showing that the foreign national is of “extraordinary ability.” Unlike the O visa, the foreign national does not need a job offer and can apply for permanent residency on his or her own. The individual must be willing to work in his field of expertise as a permanent resident of the United States.
Outstanding professors or researchers require a full-time job offer of indefinite duration from a university or institution of higher education or, in selected cases, a private institution with an established research department. The job offer must involve either teaching or research, and the sponsored individual must have at least 3 years of relevant experience. USCIS tends to scrutinize such applications more carefully as numerous regulatory criteria must be met, and it is therefore important to consult with qualified immigration counsel before proceeding with such an application.
Finally, scientists and researchers may also be able to apply for a National Interest Waiver in the EB-2 category. Although subject to the backlogs of the EB-2 category, successful applicants do not require a job offer or a labor certification to obtain permanent residency. They must, however, demonstrate that their work is in the national interest and of intrinsic merit, that the benefits of their work are national in scope, and that requiring a labor certification would adversely affect the national interest, as laid out by Matter of New York State Dep’t of Transport (NYSDOT), 22 I&N Dec. 215 (BIA 1998).
These options are available to researchers working in fields ranging from medical and life sciences to geology/oil and gas, physics and nanotechnology, organic chemistry and pharmaceutical science, linguistics, the social sciences, finance, and other fields of benefit to the United States.
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"Thanks for everything! Jeffrey Kriezelman and Kevin Raica did an awesome job on my case. I would recommend them to anyone who needs the best attorneys in Illinois (and probably beyond). Highly recommend!"
"Liza received her green card last Friday and I can’t explain how happy we are. I wanted to send you a quick note and let you know we are so appreciative with the way you handled our case. We talked to a number of lawyers prior to meeting you, but there was something they were all missing and we felt we couldn’t trust any of them. You had a strong presentation and you sounded like you knew what you were talking about right off the bat. Regardless of a delay in the process, you certainly lived up to our expectations. We are so glad we met you and I just wanted to say thank you for your services."
"My husband was in a position to be deported and when I met Erin Cobb she jumped right on it and had it stopped and got him home with us. Later Lauren McClure jumped in to take over when Erin got too busy she jumped in like she had been with our case from the beginning! These two ladies saved our family from being separated and they worked their hearts out to make that possible! I will forever be grateful to them! If you need an immigration attorney these ladies are your people! Thanks so much ladies for all your hard work!!!!"
"I applied for citizenship and spoke to a few attorneys before meeting Kevin. Kevin is very knowledgeable as he has quite a few years in his practice. The atmosphere was always relaxed when working with Kevin, whether over the phone, via email or in person. When the time came for the interview with the immigration officer, that worked well too. Kevin and the officer knew each other. Kevin wrote up a very nice summary of my application for the officer to read. I am happy to say that I am now a citizen and if I choose to use the services of an attorney when I file for my wife-to-be, I will use Kevin and his firm. Thank you Kevin!"
"Thank you Matthew for your efforts. You were a great lawyer in your job and your personal transaction."
"After visiting couple of Lawyers Justin Burton was the only one saying homest that that case wont work Where others Just wanna $. Thank you And will go back ."
"Without a doubt these are the best immigration lawyers around. Notably, Brittni Rivera is extremely knowledgeable and helpful and always keeps her clients informed of what is going on. These are fighters in the courtroom for their clients rights. Don’t go to anyone else!"
"I have dealt with few immigration attorneys in the past and even had a consultation with Justin Burton. I did not choose Justin or anyone from his office at the time and it was a mistake on my end. It is exciting to see how professionally and with precision they are handling my case now. I was very fortunate to meet Brittni Riviera, since my case was transferred to her. She is the best immigration lawyer I have ever met. Her knowledge, helpfulness, sharpness and respect gave me confidence in my case and realistic understanding of what is waiting for me in the future. My case is not over yet, but I know that Justin, Brittni and their team is what I need. Strongly recommend to consider them in any of your immigration matters."
"Mr. Kriezelman is great lawyer , and wonderful staff. I truly recommended ..."
"Mr. Burton is a wonderful lawyer. We are very thankful for all of the helpful services that he has provided for us and for the very kind and helpful staff. They were all very reliable to work with."
"Doing their job very professionally. Highly recommend."
"I sought the help of attorney Matt Kriezelman on an immigration case very important to me and my family. Every minute of working with him was an absolute pleasure. Not only did Matt meet with me for every single question and concern that I had (and I had very many) , but he did so on several occasions even after his business hours were over. He has helped me understand every paper that he filed, every law that would apply to our case and every single problem that we might encounter. Needless to say, every problem that we did encounter, Matt resolved effortlessly, or at least he made it seem effortless. He spent countless hours on our case and we just purchased my aunt's one way ticket to the United States from Serbia, which compelled me to write this review. My family will forever be grateful to Matt Kriezelman for taking on our case and uniting us."
"Justin Burton and his entire team are amazing. Very professional people highly organized very helpful. I'm very pleased working with them . Grateful"
"Very professional people highly organized very helpful. I'm very pleased working with them . I would highly recommend working with them if you have any kind of immigration issues."
"The way that my wife and I met Attorney Kriezelman was nothing short of a miracle. We got a reference from a Social Worker at the clinic we were attending while my wife was pregnant and pretty much told us to go to some Downtown address. We waited for what seemed like forever not knowing who was coming or what to expect. When Attorney Kriezelman did show up, he asked us some questions - pretty much asking who we were. At the end of the meeting he said there shouldn't be any problems with the immigration process. The following week we signed some papers at his office. A couple weeks after that, we had a hearing and we were approved. My wife got her residency card like 2 months later. What a blessing! God bless Attorney Kriezelman!"
"My husband and I visited 2 local immigration lawyers before meeting with Erin. We live about 3 hours from Chicago in Indiana. Within minutes of meeting Erin we knew she was going to be the one to help our family. She was warm, welcoming, very patient as we asked a lot of questions over and over. You could tell that she was very passionate about helping others. If it wasn't for her help we wouldn't be where we are today. Driving 3 hours just to see her was well worth it. We would do it a million times over again! If you are looking for an immigration attorney, I very highly recommend her!"
"Justin Burton and his ENTIRE team are amazing! I first went to Justin a few years ago because I had accidentally missed my interview date with immigration and I did not know what to do nor what was going to happen next. If it weren't Justin, I would still be dealing with the long and tiring immigration process. Justin and his team are extremely knowledgeable and caring. They are very respectful and let you know exactly what the process will be like! I was so pleased with Justin that I asked him to help me with my parent's case just recently. Needless to say, everything has been successful all thanks to Justin Burton and his team!"
"This is the best guy in town. no doubts about that.he worth every money we spend on him. Im not gonna go thru all story but enough to say 5 different lawyers i visit before him was giving me a zero chances for me. Bets man i town!!!!"
"Erin Cobb did an excellent job helping my wife obtain legal permanent resident status in the US. She and her team prepared us for the expected hurdles, walked us through the application process, filed the necessary DHS applications, and finally attended our in-person interview for her Green Card. Her estimated timeline was accurate and there were no surprises. Thanks Erin."
"Justin was recommended to thorough a friend that does professional corporate hiring abroad , krilaw handles all their immigration processes for them. Justin and staff won my case where a couple lawyers failed to deliver. Krilaw is a structured professional kind firm, I have sent them numerous referrals since a started working with them. If you know lawyers and been through a few you will see the difference and appreciate them from the start, and if you haven't hired an attorneys service before you will appreciate their care and patients. No matter how much I rant here it won't serve them justice, go get a consultation, and you will see what I'm talking about."
"We hired Justin Burton in 2012 for an immigration matter for my husband. He let us know right away what to expect, and everything has worked out as he explained every step of the way. Everyone at the office has been accommodating and helpful. The times that he has been unavailable by phone, there has always been someone else there to help us out. We have no problem paying for a service when we are getting what we want in the end."
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