What is the EB1-2 visa?
EB1-2 are immigrant visas for foreign nationals, including those from Ireland, who can demonstrate extraordinary ability as professors or researchers and wish to immigrate from Ireland to the US to become lawful permanent residents.
The EB1-2 is a highly regarded visa as it has a quick processing time. As it is an immigrant visa, EB1-2 permits you to live and work in the US with residency status and to apply for citizenship after living in the US for a continuous period of five years.
A main restriction to the EB1-2 papers is that you are not permitted to excessive travelling outside of the US too often and for too long. If you do, it may result in your entrance back to the US being halted, and you may be questioned on the grounds of potential abandonment of residency.
If you have any questions regarding the EB1-2 Visa or other immigration laws, you can contact our expert immigration lawyers to discuss any concerns you may have, or for some help navigating the application process. You can call us on (+353) 061 518 025, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.
Who is eligible for the EB1-2 immigrant Visas?
The EB1-2 visa is considered difficult to qualify for and is closely scrutinized.
To be eligible for the EB1-2 visa, you must demonstrate that you are an Irish citizen who is considered to have extraordinary ability as an outstanding professor or researcher. In order to demonstrate this, you will need to provide documents that you have received international acclaim for your academic achievements.
You must also have at least three years of experience in either teaching or conducting research within your chosen field of expertise.
To qualify for this visa, you must be able to prove that the reason you wish to enter the US is to take on a teaching or research position within an educational establishment, or other higher educational institutions.
You must be entering the US to pursue tenure or tenure-track teaching position, or a comparable research position within a higher institution, university, or private employer, depending on your field of expertise.
What are the required documents for an EB1-2 Visa?
Upon filing the Form-I140 in the first stage of the application process, the petitioner/employer must include the documents that prove that you have the outstanding ability as a professor or researcher, proof of their ability to pay your salary, prove you have at least three years experience, a permanent job offer, and at least two of the following documents:
- Proof of substantial honours or prizes for great academic achievement and/or demonstrate outstanding achievement evidence
- Proof of membership in organisations that require exceptional success and members are of high stature in your field evidence
- Proof that academic writings and professional publications written about your achievements and work that have received international recognition
- Demonstrate international recognition for your work
- Proof of innovative scientific or scholarly research contributions in your field.
- Proof of being an individual or panel judge for other work within your discipline or related discipline.
- Demonstrated authorship of scholarly publications or articles in your academic field.
Should you be unable to provide evidence of any of these requirements, but still believe you are eligible for an EB1-2 Visa (for example, if you are newly accredited and established within your field of expertise), you will need to submit comparable evidence. Total Law can assist you in this process.
How to apply for an EB1-2 Visa
To apply for an EB1-2 Visa as an outstanding professor or researcher, your potential US employer (also called the petitioner) will have to file Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker) on your behalf to begin the application process.
With the EB1-2 visa, you may not self-sponsor or self-petition on behalf of yourself. Your US employer must petition on your behalf.
Once your application has been approved, it is sent to the National Visa Centre (NVC) and assigned a case number.
You will then complete Form DS-260: Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application. Upon submission, print and keep the confirmation page, as it will be required as part of your supporting documentation that you will need to bring alongside you to your visa interview.
Applicants are required to undergo a medical exam to prove that they are in good health. This is to ensure applicants will not be a burden to the American medical system and to ensure they will not pose a danger to Americans. A licensed medical doctor will perform the exam, and provide you with a sealed report, which must remain sealed, and must be submitted to the US consulate. In addition to the medical, applicants must receive and prove they have all necessary vaccinations to enter the US.
Should the immigration officer be satisfied with your visa interview, your application will be approved.
Once approved, you will be able to travel to the US, and will receive your green card in the mail at the provided US address in approximately six weeks.
If you are already living in the US under a different visa, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, as an adjustment of status and you will not need to return to Ireland for your interview, you will attend your interview at a USCIS office in the US.
The visa interview
When your application is processed, you will be invited for an interview at the US consulate in Dublin. This interview is used by US immigration to ascertain your intent of moving to the US.
There are no “set questions” used in these interviews, however, you can anticipate you’ll be asked questions about your background, education, job offer, employer, and your qualifications.
The documents that you need to bring with you to the interview include:
- A passport that is valid for at least six months
- The DS-260 confirmation page
- Two photographs that meet the visa standards of the US
- Your employment offer letter
- Marriage certificates for dependent spouses and birth certificates for dependent children (if applicable)
- Completed proof of required vaccinations and medical examinations (if applicable)
- Any other required and supporting documents submitted as part of the application, including the receipt of your application fee
Visa costs and processing time
As the EB1 Visas have first preference for permanent workers in the US, and the visa categories are held in high esteem, they usually have a faster processing time than other immigrant visas.
As such, there are fewer waiting times for this particular visa process, though it may still take between 6 – 9 months, depending on the workload of the embassy that processes your application.
Premium processing is available for EB1-2 visas, at an extra charge, however, which brings the processing time to 15 days. Premium Processing costs $2,500 and your employer has to file Form 1-907 alongside the payment.
Fees can vary between applicants however, some or all of the following fees may apply to your EB1-2 visa application:
- Form DS-260 filing fee: $325
- Affidavit of Support: $120
- Form I-485 filing fee for adjustment of status (if applicable): Varies: $750 or $1,140
- Biometrics fee (if applicable): $85
- USCIS Immigrant Fee (if applicable): $220
- The filing fee for Form I-140 is $700, (paid by petitioner)
- You will likely have to pay additional fees for medical examinations and vaccinations.
Can Dependents join me in the US with an EB1-2 Visa
Eligible dependents may join the EB1-2 visa holder. Eligible dependents are defined as unmarried children(s) under the age of 21, your legally recognized spouse, or your civil partner.
You must wait for your Form I-140 petition to be approved before applying for an E-14 or E-15 immigrant status for your spouse and/or children(s). When applying for their visas, you will need to show a substantial proof of their relationship with you, using supporting documents like the original marriage certificate, wedding photos, letters, bank statements and/or the original birth certificate (s)
Your spouse and any children that are above the age of 14 will be required to attend your visa interview. During the interview, while there are no “set questions” the questions will revolve around the nature and validity of the marriage and/or relationship.
If/when the application is successful, similar to the EB1–2 visa holder, dependents will receive their green card in approximately six weeks and achieve permanent residency in the US.
Once they have permanent residency status, they can work legally with any employer, be self-employed, get a Social Security number, get a driver’s licence and pay taxes.
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One impressive advantage of the EB1-2 Visa is that it does not require the PERM Labour Certification. The PERM Labour Certificate’s primary goal is to prove that there are no US citizens or permanent residents of the US who are capable, skilled and/or willing to complete the job within the specific field.
Obtaining a PERM labour certification is a lengthy and costly process, so being able to bypass it is considered advantageous.
It is a ‘Green card,’ providing you with permanent residency in America. After 5 years of continuous stay in America, you can, if you wish, apply for American citizenship.
EB stands for Employment-based, as a job offer is required for this application.
Yes, the visa comes sooner and is a permanent residency (green card) option to going to America and it doesn’t require the long process of obtaining a labour certificate.
Yes. USCIS states you can combine your relevant experience, like research and teaching to reach the requirements.
Regardless of the type of visa you select for your circumstances, the best step is to get in touch with the team at Total Law, so you know that you are guaranteed the right path, and stand for a much higher success rate for your immigration application.
You can contact us seven days a week, either on the phone or by using the online chat function to speak with one of our client care agents.