As a research scientist you might qualify in one of three green card categories. Two are in the EB-1 (employment based first preference) category: Extraordinary Ability Aliens and Outstanding Researchers. The third option is EB-2 (second preference) National Interest Waivers.
These cases make up a large portion of my practice, and I have developed the following worksheet as a starting point. If you can provide me with answers to the following questions and your current CV, I would be happy to discuss your green card eligibility with you. Please send materials to firstname.lastname@example.org or otherwise share them with me. I look forward to hearing from you!
Research Scientist Worksheet
1. What is your field of research? Are you able to identify a sub-field which you occupy? In other words, can you narrow your field of endeavor?
2. Do you have a job offer from a United States employer (University or Private) to work primarily as a researcher? Does the employer have at least three full-time researchers already on staff?
3. Do you have at least three-years of experience in teaching and/or research in your academic field?
4. Please provide a detailed summary of your specific research contributions in a chronological bullet-point format. Please identify resulting publications and explain the theoretical and practical significance of each contribution. Theoretically, did your contribution advance the existing body of knowledge? How so? Practically, what is the use and application of your work? How does it impact my everyday life? Also confirm the names of your mentors for each contribution, with a bit of background for each one.
5. Please provide a detailed summary of your current research project. Please include:
a. names of organizations, institutions who are participating in the project
b. a description of what the project is attempting to accomplish, including an explanation of practical use and application of what is being developed
c. names, titles, and brief job descriptions for each project team member
d. a detailed description of your specific role in the project, including what would happen if you were suddenly pulled off
6. Please confirm what kind of funding your current or past research has received, including name of governmental agency, scientific organization, or private institution; dates; and amounts, if possible. Please also confirm if you are listed in funding documents.
7. Have you authored any books or articles in professional or trade publications, scientific journals, or in other media? Please confirm name, title and date of publication. Please include book contributions.
8. Please confirm if any of the scholarly journals where your work has been published are particularly influential in your field. We often look to include journal ranking reports.
9. Do you know how many times your research publications have been referenced or cited by other independent researchers? Can you provide a comprehensive citation report, including name of citing paper, authors, dates, and name of publication?
10. Have you authored any patents? If so, please provide details, including funding, related sales, and explanation of use and application.
Please also confirm if you have authored any original technological advancements which are not yet patented; or may never be, but are significant nonetheless.
11. Can you provide a list of speaking engagements/conference presentations at national or international conferences? Please include name of conference, dates, locations, and nature of the talk you gave. Can you provide copies of conference programs?
12. Please provide a list of people who are willing and able to provide a letter detailing your specific research contributions. Right now, we want to explore a list of people with you. We may ask you to revise this list, or seek out additional authors. Keep in mind that there is no magic number. And that each author should have a unique point of view. Commonly there are letters from those who know your work the best, such as direct research supervisors, former advisors and mentors. There may also be collaborators. Try your best to identify other scientists with whom you have not previously collaborated, but who are aware of your work, and ideally, have used your work to advance their own. Also think of people from leading organizations or associations in your field. We will work with you to prepare the best selection of letters.
13. Have you ever participated, either individually or as member of a panel, as a judge of the work of others? Please provide dates and nature of services provided.
14. Do you have a one-time achievement such as receipt of a major, internationally recognized award? Please confirm title, date received, and significance/nature of the award.
15. Have you received any prizes or awards for achievement or excellence in your field? USCIS might discount student (or other) types of awards, but this information may still add layers of depth to your case, and so we would like to know about it.
16. Are you aware of any published material about you found in professional or trade publications, or other media? Please confirm name, title and date of publication.
17. What are the names and titles of organizations or associations which occupy an authority position in your field? Are you a member? Do you or one of your colleagues know someone who is authorized to speak on behalf of the organization/association AND would be willing to provide an attestation on your behalf?
18. Are you a member of any associations in your field which require outstanding achievement of their members? For example, MENSA, the high IQ society requires a certain score on an intelligence test to become a member. Alternatively, AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, does not. It only requires that we pay annual dues. So when thinking about this question, consider entry requirements.
19. Do you have a license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation?
20. Is your alma mater, either university or beyond, recognized as a leading institution for your particular field? If so, please explain.
21. Can you think of any comparable evidence which has not been addressed above, which might establish your qualifications?
22. Do you have anything in the pipeline which has not been addressed above, and you feel might be relevant to an evaluation of your qualifications or prospective activities in the United States? Patents, publications, special projects, etc.
23. What would be your ideal research position in the United States? How would a green card help you acheive that goal?