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.
I highly recommend attorney Brittni and Legal assistant Violetta. Their expertise and professionalism were instrumental in successfully handling our case. They guided us, answered all our questions, and ensured everything was submitted accurately and on time. Thanks to their efforts, we achieved a positive outcome. I’m immensely grateful for their outstanding service and highly recommend them to anyone seeking immigration assistance.
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One of my relatives just received her Green Card and the credit goes to Kevin Raica and his Paralegal, Aga Bogdanowicz. The final “Adjust Status Petition” including the supporting documentation was 128 pages long! There is no way we could have compiled this level of detail much less have it be error free on our own. The whole process took around 8 months which is to be expected; however, the Petition package was so complete that no interview was required. If you ever have need of immigration legal service you just can’t go wrong with Kevin Raica and the immigration…
My international partner and I needed assistance with completing the process to receive a green card and residency in the United States. I am astounded with how quickly we received residency status thanks to the experience and quality of Kriezelman Burton & Associates. Attorney Kevin Raica was a pleasure to work with and demonstrated professionalism and depth of knowledge with the process. Paralegal Donald Rogers was attentive to all the details, followed-up with us, and ensured all of our documents were submitted on time and tracked. I can't praise this firm enough for how easy they made what could be…