Immigration Options for Researchers, Professors, and University Personnel

The immigration process can be confusing and wrought with traps for delay or denial, and processing for highly skilled professionals presents both special challenges and specific opportunities. When you work with the Sumner Immigration Law team, you get:

  • Direct access to a highly responsive immigration attorney with years of special experience representing universities, researchers, and professors in immigration matters
  • Quick-response, innovative solutions for valued employees and researchers whose visas are expiring
  • Guidance from an immigration attorney who constantly reviews the latest USCIS decisions and trends that specifically affect professors, researchers, and university personnel

Employment-Based Work Visas for Professors, Researchers, and University Personnel

If you represent a research or academic institution and need to hire or retain a foreign national employee, or if you are an individual seeking advice, we can help you identify the available options and help streamline the process. Moreover, we do far more than “process papers.” We help you analyze the best option to achieve your long-term plans and goals, proactively identify potential roadblocks, and suggest practical solutions. Whether you choose the more traditional H-1B avenue or seek a specialized “extraordinary ability” visa such as the O-1, our team supports you every step of the way to answer questions, guide you around pitfalls that can mean delay and even denial, and lead you to success.

Employment-Based Permanent Residence (Green Cards) for Professors, Researchers, and University Personnel

Professors, researchers, and certain other university personnel are fortunate to have expanded options for the permanent residence process. Those options include:

  • Fast Track green cards (EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher/Professor, National Interest Waiver)
  • Special handling labor certifications for professors and university instructors
  • PERM Labor Certifications

Fast Track Green Cards

If You Qualify – We Can Make It Happen

If you are an extraordinary researcher, professor, scientist, artist, businessperson, or athlete seeking to work in the U.S. to propel your career to the next level, you may qualify for a “fast track” green card!

Many outstanding professionals never attempt it because they do not understand the process. They may believe they do not have the time or ability to prepare the extensive application. They may fear that somehow the filing of such a petition may interfere with international travel required for their work. Or, they may believe they cannot afford the fees.

At Sumner Law, we specialize in making Fast Track Green Cards a reality for our clients, reducing their concerns and involvement of time, and providing our support for a surprisingly small investment.

What is a “fast track” green card?

Typically, an employment-based permanent residence process requires a preliminary step called the labor certification. This requires the employer to conduct a series of recruitment steps to prove that no U.S. workers are minimally qualified for the position. The process can take more than a year, and if a qualified U.S. worker is found, the process can be derailed.

However, Congress wisely created a category for foreign nationals who have potential to make major contributions in science, art, education, business, or athletics. For these individuals, no labor certification is required. They can bypass this step and file a petition under special categories by providing documentation to show they have been recognized on a national or international level in their field.

There are three major types of fast track petitions. They include:

  1. Aliens of Extraordinary Ability - EB-1(A)
  2. Outstanding Researchers and Professors - EB-1(B)
  3. National Interest Waiver petitions - EB-2

How can we help you obtain your Fast Track Green Card?

Having permanent residence can significantly advance your career, allowing you to apply for grants, travel with ease, and work more effectively in your profession. But, as a busy, career-driven professional you may hesitate to pursue a Fast Track Green Card, believing the process is too complex and time-consuming.

We can simplify the process. We offer the following services as part of the flat legal fee to our EB-1 and NIW clients:

  1. In-depth review of your resume and consultation to discuss the best strategy for permanent residence filing and to assess the likelihood of success.
  2. Provide a complete list of documents and information required for the EB-1 or NIW filing.
  3. Provide detailed guidance on obtaining letters of recommendation.
  4. Assist with editing and fine-tuning of your summary and “translate” it from technical writing to layman’s terms where necessary.
  5. Provide template/sample letters of recommendation and work closely with you to tailor the letters of recommendation to ensure inclusion of key information and key phrases and to assure that letters are not duplicative.
  6. Conduct research to fill in missing documentation or evidence that you may not have available.
  7. Draft a comprehensive summary letter of support, referencing each piece of evidence and explaining its importance.
  8. Compile the entire package for submission to USCIS, and track and monitor the entire process closely.
  9. Manage agency requests for additional evidence, “translate” the USCIS request into a comprehensive list of documents needed for the response, and prepare a second support letter referencing each piece of additional evidence.

Beyond the process, we deliver:

  • Constant client communication to help you understand and track the process and reduce your stress.
  • Flexible payment options to make the process affordable.

We can help you decide if and how you qualify and then, help you through the process.

We accept only a limited number of cases at any given time to ensure the highest quality client service.

Contact Us now to schedule an appointment!

How to Find a Great EB-1 or National Interest Waiver Attorney

Once you have decided to pursue a green card through the EB-1 or National Interest Waiver process, you will need to find a great immigration lawyer to help you navigate the process. There are many immigration lawyers out there, but given the time and…

What Are the Requirements for the EB-1 Visa (Alien of Extraordinary Ability/Outstanding Researcher or Professor) or National Interest Waiver Petition?

Many people do not apply for the EB-1 or National Interest Waiver (NIW) green card because they are not sure that they meet the requirements for these categories. It is true that these categories are generally reserved for the “best and the brighte…

EB-1A Alien of Extraordinary Ability Visa Requirements

EB-1A Alien of Extraordinary Ability Visa Requirements: In general, to qualify for the EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability category, the person seeking permanent residence (the beneficiary) must be able to show “sustained or international...

EB-1B Outstanding Researcher or Professor Criteria

To qualify as an outstanding researcher or professor, the beneficiary (person seeking permanent residence) must show that he/she is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area, and must have at least three years’ experienc…

National Interest Waiver Criteria

To qualify for the National Interest Waiver category (EB-2), the beneficiary must show: The beneficiary seeks employment in an area of substantial intrinsic national merit; The benefit would be national in scope; and The national interest would be ad…

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If you are a foreign national in the United States, keep your identification documents current! It may be okay for your visa to expire (depending on your situation), but make sure you have a valid passport and/or other valid government ID with your p… Read More
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