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What options do I have after a Ph.D....I am not a US citizen!!! - EB1-OR visa for ST

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:47 am
by Derek McPhee
As Andrew1 notes, the first thing you need is a sponsor to sign the application and provide a job offer, since the EB1-B (or EB1-OR) cannot be filed by an individual, only by the sponsoring employer. Then compile the documentation for two of the six criteria (or more to make a stronger application). Again as Andrew1 correctly points out, the requirements are fewer in number than for the O-1 or EA categories, but lately USCIS seems to be more stringent about what constitutes satisfactory documentation to support an application - the details can be found on the USCIS website, but in a nutshell they are as follows:

1. Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field.

Submit photocopies of prizes or awards. Include an explanation of the reputation or the organization granting the award, the significance of the award, and the criteria used to select the recipient.

2. Evidence of membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members.

Submit photocopies of membership certificates, letters of nomination, or letters from associations that require outstanding achievement for membership (none of the pay the feees and you are a member ones). Include a description of the association\'s mission and the requirements which must be met for membership, such as by-laws of the organization or a letter of explanation.

3. Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the scholar\'s work in the academic field.

An explanation of how the work is significant to the field is essential. According to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center, \"an unevaluated listing in a subject matter index or footnote, or a reference to the work without evaluation is insufficient.\" They require published material in international professional journals written by others (not past or present colleagues) about the applicant, which specifically name the applicant. Submit photocopies of cover pages of publications and pages where the employee\'s name appears, including footnotes, with title and date of publication. Please highlight the employee\'s name on all pages where it appears.

4. Evidence of participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field.

Submit photocopies of lists of editors, letters requesting review of publications, thank you letters, evidence of supervision of Ph.D. students, etc. Please highlight employee\'s name where it appears. Explain the criteria for selection as a panelist, reviewer, etc., such as widespread recognition or outstanding achievements in the field.

5. Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field.

Submit a complete list of professional presentations, patents, etc. Include date, place, lists of speakers, criteria for selection, photocopies of invitations, conference papers, etc. Please highlight the foreign scholar\'s name where it appears. Include evidence of the importance of such contributions, as well as the significance of the particular conference or event, to the field. According to USCIS Nebraska Service Center, \"evidence that those outside the scholar\'s circle of colleagues and acquaintances consider the work important is especially valuable.\"

6. Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field.

Submit a complete list of publications. Submit photocopies of title page and/or first page of publication showing title of article/book, title of journal, date, volume, and authorship. If publications in item 6 also fit into item 5, you may include an explanation to that effect as well. Please highlight the employee\'s name where it appears as author. It is important to explain the significance to the field of the publications in which they appeared, its circulation, and process for selection of articles.

Appropriate translations must also be provided for anything in a language other than English

One note is that as a visa class subject to quotas, this is one category that seeems underutilized and as far as I know, unlike H1Bs, there have never been enough applications to hit the limit (28.8% of the 40,000 EB visas available/fiscal year). Good luck


PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:21 pm
by SJT
Hello DJM,
Thanks a lot for the information. I am planning to apply and getting things ready for my application so the list is very helpful. I do not know anyone who has been successful with EB1, so am a bit skeptical, but will try my best.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:44 pm
by Derek McPhee
USCIS publishes the decisions of its Adminstrative Appeals Office (
They can be a useful tool in crafting visa applications because many of these documents contain language indicating what is acceptable or not to USCIS for many of these specialized types of visas. Particularly useful are those concerning upholding of denials because they tend to explain in great detail why a particular application was rejected. AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association, maintains a complete database of these documents, as well as \"unpublished\" ones, but I am pretty sure they are only available to member lawyers.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:59 pm
by Andrew1
ST, the complete application is several hundred page (including copies of papers etc), so I can\'t really email the whole thing. Roughly speaking, I incorporated the following (which fit into the various categories DJM mentioned, you can see which), and adopted the doctrine that quality trumps quantity. Don\'t include stuffing, it won\'t fool USCIS and they won\'t appreciate wading through 600 pages of irrelevant fluff.

1) Evidence that my research was extensively cited

2) Copies of articles by other researchers (e.g. reviews, perspectives) that specifically were motivated by, or extensively discussed, my publications.

Probably the single most important:
3) Letters of reference. I had 8, with a mixture from the US and internationally from well-known people in the field, which described the aspects of my research they were familiar with; and *put it in context of why it is significant for the U.S.*. You can probably get by with less, but at least 4 or 5 are needed. Ask people who have cited your work, I found that most were willing to help. This of course, should also be a lesson that networking is as important in academia as in industry ! It is important that the letters specifically address the visa category you are applying for. If you\'re going for EB1-OR, the reference letter should explicitly say that you are an Outstanding Research in your field of XYZ, whose work is internationally recognized.

If I can find the cover letter to my application, which listed and summarized the evidence, I will email it. It could be worth spending the money for an hour or so consultation with an immigration lawyer who can evaluate whether you qualify, or which is the best category.

Good luck - first priority should be to find a job you\'re happy with !


PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:31 pm
by Shehan9762
I have been through this process myself and it is worthwhile having an attorney look at it (as per Andrew and DJM). Not having one may save you some money on the short term but having a GC application denied or stuck in the queue might be causing you some delays and harm you in the long run.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:08 pm
by SJT
Hi Shehan,
Thanks for the advice. I am planning to go through our company lawyer. Not sure if it will be a general lawyer or an immigration one. I was wondering, were you successful in your application. If yes, what points do you think made the most difference to your application in being successful?
thanks, ST

What options do I have after a Ph.D....I am not a US citizen!!!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:10 pm
by SJT
Oh, forgot to say thank you to Andrew1 for the extra point about including references, will surely keep that in mind.

What options do I have after a Ph.D....I am not a US citizen!!!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:26 pm
by Gail G.
Thanks all, this is more advice than I had hoped for!!!


What options do I have after a Ph.D....I am not a US citizen!!!

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:37 pm
by Ike
Please do a search on this forum. People like me and others have addressed this issue extensively over the past 3 yrs since I have been involved with this forum.

I got my PhD here and for a variety of reason did not want to return home and got an instructor position (OPT), did an academic postdoc (H1-B) then got a faculty position (first H1-B then GC). Will be applying to be US citizen next year. I have friends who have used extraordinary ability, outstanding research/professor and national interest waiver routes. So I know something about US immigration from the trenches. If you need more information, contact me privately (ask Dave Jensen for my email address).

Best wishes.