Immigration Law Associates
Chicago Lawyer, Attorney: Green Card, H-1B, National Interest Waiver, J-1, Spouse, Fiance, Student Visa, VAWA, Citizenship, Removal, Korean, Polish, Japanese, Spanish

Paths to Permanent Residence for Scientists

What Are Your Green Card Options?

Science graphic

If you are a scientist seeking to become a legal permanent resident, Immigration Law Associates, P.C. has the special expertise you are looking for.

We serve scientists in disciplines from particle physics to immunology, from turbine engineering to biotechnology. For over 20 years, we have made it our business to understand each scientist’s work. With a dedicated science immigration staff, we have the ability to structure your educational and professional accomplishments to present a persuasive immigration case. We stay abreast of the latest information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the Department of State (DOS), the Department of Labor (DOL) and closely follow all developments bearing on science immigration.


Science Immigration News


Case Successes

According to a new report issued by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), 42% of the Cancer researchers at America’s top cancer centers are immigrants. Immigrants have thus played an important role in the significant improvement in cancer survival rates in recent years.  More news

Our client was a researcher with a very strong record of accomplishment in nanomaterials. His potential options were EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability), EB-1B (Outstanding Researcher, an employer sponsored category) and the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW). More successes


What Are My Options?
As shown below, there are a number of immigration options available to individuals educated and working in scientific disciplines. The best option for you will depend upon your educational level, your experience, your achievements to date in your chosen field, and the availability of a permanent position with a sponsoring employer.

EB-1A For advanced career scientists with extraordinary ability Self-petitioning No job offer or labor certification
EB-1B For outstanding professors and researchers with permanent job opportunity Employer sponsored Requires job offer but no labor certification
EB-2 National Interest Waiver For scientists at any stage in their careers whose work is in the national interest Self-petitioning No job offer or labor certification
Schedule A Group II For highly talented individuals working in “shortage” fields Employer sponsored Requires job offer and employer sponsorship, but not full-fledged PERM
EB-2 PERM For scientists with advanced degrees at any career stage who have a permanent job offer Employer sponsored Requires job offer and employer sponsorship


Most foreign nationals seeking employment-based permanent residence must have a permanent job offer from an employer willing to sponsor them through the PERM labor certification process. The PERM option is available to a wide variety of scientists and technicians depending on their educational level and work experience.

The PERM process is complex, and it is not always easy to find an employer willing to participate. This leads many prospective immigrants to seek an option that will allow them to avoid labor certification and, in some cases, self-petition.

The paths summarized in the first four rows of the table above provide opportunities for certain specially-qualified scientists to obtain permanent resident status without completing the lengthy labor certification process. Two of the options require a permanent job offer, and two allow the applicant to self-petition without the involvement of an employer.

The eligibility criteria and documentary requirements for each of the non-PERM options pose unique challenges for even the most qualified applicant. Sound strategy and a thorough understanding of current adjudication trends are required to prepare an approvable case.

Ready to get started?
For an initial review of your credentials to assess the strength of your immigration case, please send us your CV. We would be happy to advise you on the options we feel may be available to you. If you have a particular interest in any of the most common paths to permanent residence for scientists, please mention this in your message.


Contact Us:

(847) 763-8500 via email

Visit Us:

8707 Skokie Blvd., Suite 302
Skokie, IL 60077
(Chicago Metro Area)


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