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EB-1-2 Process

Outstanding Professors and Researchers

Please see Permanent Residence for basic information on employment-based green cards, and the process of beginning an EB-1 or other permanent residence process at UAMS.

The EB-1-2 (also known as EB-1B) permanent residence category is for Outstanding Professors and Researchers. To qualify, the employee must demonstrate international recognition for their outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. They must have at least 3 years’ experience in teaching or research in that academic area, and they must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. You may find examples of the type of evidence accepted by USCIS at the USCIS EB-1 website.

Please note that eligibility for an EB-1-2 category green card must be determined by an approved immigration law firm prior to beginning the process.

The EB-1-2 petition is a two-step process involving the filing of the I-140 (immigrant petition) and I-485 (adjustment of status) only. No initial filing with the Department of Labor (DOL) is required. The UAMS hiring department is not required to pay any portion of the attorney or filing fees for this category, but may choose to pay a portion or all of the expenses, if desired.

Step 2: I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

When filing the I-140 Immigrant Petition, the EB-1-2 category requires that UAMS establish that the professor or researcher is internationally recognized as outstanding in the professional field specified in the petition. The burden of proof for the EB-1-2 category is much higher than that of most other permanent residence filings because of the international recognition requirement.

Outstanding Professor and Researcher I-140 petitions are filed with the USCIS. Once filed, they generally take about 6-12 months to be approved. It is possible to premium process the immigrant visa petition in which the USCIS will adjudicate the petition within 15 days.

Once the I-140 Immigrant Petition is approved, employees must wait until their priority date is current before proceeding to the final step. You may find the current priority dates for I-485 filing at the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin website. Some foreign nationals must wait 8-10 years before they are able to proceed to the final I-485 step and obtain their green card due to per-country limitations. H-1B nonimmigrant employees whose EB category is backlogged, and they are therefore unable to file the final I-485 step, may be eligible for extensions of their H-1B status beyond the typical 6 year maximum. Contact the Immigration Services Office if you have questions related to extensions of your H-1B or other nonimmigrant status during your green card process.

Step 3: I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

The final step is to file the Form I-485, which is an application to USCIS from the employee requesting their status be “adjusted” from a non-immigrant to an immigrant (Legal Permanent Resident). At present, the processing time for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) application is approximately 12-18 months. All I-485 processes based on an EB category are required to attend an in-person green card interview at a USCIS field office.

Once You Have Your Green Card

Employees should contact the Immigration Services Office as soon as the permanent resident card is received so that immigration, international tax, payroll and I-9 records can be properly updated.