A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Comparable Evidence Standard for EB1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers Adopted

The DHS has finalized new regulations to improve several nonimmigrant visa programs as well as the EB-1B Outstanding Professors and Researchers immigrant program. This final rule, entitled: "Enhancing Opportunities for H-1B1, CW-1, and E-3 Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants" will go into effect on February 16, 2016.

EB-1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers

Foreigners who can establish that they are outstanding professors or researchers may apply for permanent residence (green card) in the United States.  It generally requires at least three years of relevant experience and a tenure track or comparable job offer by a U.S. educational institution or private company. Further, they must submit evidence to prove that they are recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified. Specifically the regulation requires that that they must submit evidence to meet at least two of the following six criteria:

(A) Documentation of the alien's receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;
(B) Documentation of the alien'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 alien'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 alien'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 alien's original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or
(F) Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field;

The new regulation for outstanding professors and researchers accepts other types of evidence that are comparable to the above-listed ones.  For examples, the applicant may now submit important patents or prestigious peer-reviewed funding grants to prove international recognition.  This modification is good news for professors and researchers who would like to apply for a green card under the EB-1 category.  It provides alternative ways for them to prove their case when the primary evidence is not available.  

Improvements in the Singapore, Chile (H-1B1), Australia (E-3) and CNMI  CW-1 Programs

H-1B1 and principal E-3 nonimmigrants will now be allowed to work for the sponsoring employer without first applying for an employment authorization document (EAD).  Further, these foreign workers may continue employment with the same employer for up to 240 days if an extension of stay petition has been timely filed by their employers.   

Similarly, CW-1 nonimmigrants will enjoy the same continued employment authorization after the expiration of their current status, as long as their employers' timely-filed request for an extension of stay remains pending.

Finally, the new rule has also included the principal E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrant classifications in the existing regulations regarding the filing procedures for extensions of stay and change of status requests.


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