Success story: EB-1A Approval for Graduate Student Researcher in 6 days! With Jacob Sapochnick

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick provides a case study of an EB-1A graduate student researcher of extraordinary ability, filing an I-140 self-petition based on his outstanding achievements in cancer research and prevention.


What is the EB-1 preference category?

First, let’s discuss the EB-1 visa category. EB-1 is an employment-based, first preference immigrant visa category for aliens of extraordinary ability (EB-1A), outstanding professors, researchers (EB-1B), or certain types of multinational executive or managers (EB-1C). One of the major benefits of the EB-1 category is that it is a self-petition, meaning you do not need an employer to sponsor your petition. However, the subcategory for EB-1B researchers requires applicants to provide an offer of employment from their prospective U.S. employer, documentary evidence of their employer’s accomplishments, and evidence of employment of at least 3 full-time researchers. No labor certification is required for EB-1B.

Once the I-140 petition has been approved, applicants can proceed with filing their green card application in the United States or apply for an immigrant visa at a Consulate overseas.

For the purposes of this case study, we will be focusing on the EB-1A aliens of extraordinary ability and EB-1B category for outstanding researchers.

What are the criteria for an EB-1B researcher?

In order to qualify for the EB-1B subcategory, researchers must demonstrate international recognition for their outstanding achievements in a particular academic field.

Qualified candidates must have at least 3 years’ experience in their area of academic research. Researchers are also required to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or a comparable research position at a university, institution of higher education, or private employer.

EB-1B researchers must meet at least 2 of the 6 criteria listed below** and provide an offer of employment from the prospective U.S. employer. The private employer must show documented accomplishments and that it employs at least 3 full-time researchers.

  • Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  • Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
  • Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the noncitizen’s work in the academic field
  • Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
  • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
  • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field

EB-1A Subcategory for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

Alternatively, if EB-1B researchers cannot meet the above criteria, they may consider filing under the EB-1A subcategory for aliens of extraordinary ability of national or international acclaim in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. No offer of employment or labor certification is required for EB-1A; however, applicants must provide evidence showing they will continue to work in their area of expertise.

To qualify for the EB-1A subcategory, applicants must show that they have sustained national or international acclaim and that their achievements have been recognized in their field of expertise.

This is proven by providing evidence of a one-time achievement (major internationally-recognized award) OR at least 3 of the 10 listed criteria below (or comparable evidence if any of the criteria do not readily apply):

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

Case Study of a Cancer Researcher of Extraordinary Ability

In this case study, we discuss a case study of a cancer researcher who applied as an alien of extraordinary ability under the EB-1A subcategory. Based on his case evaluation, we found that his background was more well suited to the EB-1A subcategory than the EB-1B subcategory.

In this case, John Doe was an Indian national who received his master’s degree in a STEM field and was preparing to begin his Ph.D. doctoral program in the field of biology with specialization in cancer research.

The focus of John’s work and his thesis was to find ways to predict if an individual could get cancer and how to prevent the disease. John developed novel technologies focused on screening for cancer in people without symptoms. This methodology had the potential to disrupt the field of cancer research and prevention and was considered outstanding work of major significance to the field.

In support of his EB-1A petition, John was able to provide evidence of his authorship of at least 14 peer-reviewed scholarly articles relating to his cancer research, and documentary evidence of his participation in 4 national and international scientific conferences where he discussed his work in the field of cancer search.

Another important factor in our client’s case was that his scholarly articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals were cited over 600 times by prestigious scientists and experts in his field. This helped demonstrate his sustained national and international acclaim in his area of expertise and that his contributions were original scientific or scholarly research contributions of major significance to his field.

John was also able to qualify by providing evidence that he had judged the work of others while sitting on a conference panel in his area of expertise.

Additionally, John reviewed at least 12 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals in his field, further demonstrating his qualifications and outstanding achievements in scientific research.

Such supporting documentation helped John meet his burden of proving his extraordinary ability, as a person with a level of expertise placing him among the small percentage of researchers who had risen to the top of the field of endeavor.

Due to the significance of his research and the original contributions of major significance arising from his work, John’s EB-1A petition was approved in just 6 calendar days with premium processing services.

In addition to proving at least 3 of the 10 criteria, our attorneys also highlighted the substantial impact of his work in the United States, and its potential to decrease the incidence of cancer among the American population.

John will be eligible to apply for a green card once his priority date becomes current on the Visa Bulletin for his country of nationality.

Contact us. If you would like to know whether you qualify for the EB-1 category, we invite you to contact us for a consultation to evaluate your credentials by texting 619-483-4549 or calling 619-819-9204.

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